Tuesday Afternoon Confessional (When Intuition Isn't Enough)

So, if you've been reading along with JL for a while, you've probably noticed that things have become a little funny lately. I'm talking about a lot of non-sweaty stuff, and I've been boring you with a lot of kitchen and home remodeling garbage. I'd like to say that I'm sorry for all of this nonsense, but I am really just telling you about the things that are important to me right now. As in...Jogger's LIFE. The LIFE portion is what has been consuming me lately. Consuming me a lot. Less JOGGER, more LIFE.

In times of stress, I am very much on autopilot. I roll along with my life, I don't make the best choices for my body, and I just live in a state of "let's do what we have to do to get to where we need to be." I'm an expert at this. I am a woman of action, and I want things done...done now. And, if I want things done, I do them myself.

Then, I just become a bitter (and exhausted) shell of my former self.

I've had many thoughts brewing lately in terms of eating and life, and how my anxiety and stress level correlates directly to how much I'm listening to my body and giving it what it needs. I've had a few conversations over the past week with My Gazelle about how I just haven't been "listening". My words:

I just can't HEAR when it's so loud in there!

[Wherein 'hear' is listening to my body, and 'in there' is my anxiety-ridden head.]

There is so much chatter in there that I just can't hear myself think. It feels like the days when I'm alone in the house on a Sunday afternoon cleaning and such, and before I know it, I've turned on every noise inducing electronic within earshot. My iPod, 3 TV's, the clock radio, and a 12 year old African Grey parrot are all chattering loudly. The icing on the cake is that by the time that I notice the chaos, one of the TV's is now rebroadcasting a football game from 1988.

Ooh, football. My faaavorite.

Too much noise!

I have to physically slow down, think, eat, breathe. Breathe...listen...relax. It's not as difficult as I think it is, but I have to make myself do it. I'm high strung. I always have a plan. I always have a goal.

Must keep going!

Confessions

As much as I have always been a proponent of intuitive eating and NOT calorie counting weighing and measuring, I must confess that I started logging my food on Livestrong (Daily Plate) again. Each time I resort back to this method of sanity, I feel like a little bit of a sham. I feel like all of the people who I have encouraged to eat intuitively and who are learning about and following this path will feel like IE just does not work.

I've resorted back to calorie counting, but I don't see myself as an intuitive eating failure.

I have been keeping track of my calories for about a week and a half, and something miraculous has happened. I've started listening again. I've started to remember what "hungry" and "full" are, and I'm starting to obey those feelings rather than ignoring them. Whereas some people stop calorie counting and then realize for the first time that they can "hear" the things that their body is telling them, I've already been through that amazing process. At this point, I am just reminding myself through calorie counting that intuitive eating is possible.

Is this a long term plan? Nope. I just need to know that I am paying attention. Slowing down. Breathing.

This brings me to my next point. I'm officially changing my stance on calorie counting. I've started to realize that in this instance, in my case, counting calories right now is a great help to me. It's reminding me that just because I CAN eat a piece of cake if I want it, doesn't mean that it has to be the biggest piece of cake available.

I'm reminded about how much portions matter. Having "just a taste" of something does satisfy sometimes.

I've also been reminded that if I have a huge lunch, it probably means that balancing the day with a light dinner is the best choice. When I was active in treatment for my eating disorder, it wasn't uncommon for me to turn something that I would normally consider a snack into a full-fledged (balanced) dinner. Or vice versa. These are things that I 'forgot' for a while because it got too noisy.

When my clothes start to get tight, and I'm surprised by photos of myself, I'm just not listening.

It appears as though I just needed a reminder. I had to get back to my Intuitive Eating roots, but it's too noisy in 'here' to listen right now. Rather than using the act of counting my calories as an end-all-be-all and becoming obsessed, I'm using it as more of a tool. I'm not depriving myself of any foods, I'm just adjusting my portions accordingly. Quality, not quantity.

Long term plan? Nope...probably not.

Short term solution? Yep...for now.

siggy