Monday, July 21, 2008

Intuition FAIL

The title of today's post is a shout-out to one of my favorite sites, the FAIL Blog. It has nothing to do with weight loss or fitness, but it makes me laugh. Be warned, it's not always safe for work.

I finished the Intuitive Eating book over the weekend, and now I find myself conflicted and confused on so many levels. I get the basic premise- by depriving ourselves and adopting the "diet mentality," we set ourselves up for binge eating and failure. Because of that, we should reject the diet mentality and allow ourselves to eat whatever we want. In theory, it makes perfect sense. In practice (at least for me), it's like skydiving without a parachute.

Here's the thing- as I was losing my excess weight, I really wasn't depriving myself. Sure, I ate less than the average person, and I often felt slightly hungry. I often craved things but didn't eat them immediately. I'd save it for my weekly cheat meal. Some may call that deprivation; I call it delayed gratification.

The book also assumes that the average person can eat just one cookie. Yeah, right. In what world does a person go to the store, buy some Pepperidge Farm Milanos, and then only eat one? Not in my world, that's for damn sure. Over the weekend, my Intuition told me I wanted Milanos, so I took its advice and bought some. Actually, Angie bought them for me, but that's not the point. I took one out of the container and savored it, then assessed my hunger. "More cookies, please," my Intuition said. Needless to say, the container was empty by the following day.

My Intuition also told me I wanted a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Up until now, peanut butter was on my short list of foods that were banned from our kitchen due to their knack for triggering my binges. According to the book, however, there should be no forbidden foods. Foods don't have inherent values like "good" or "bad," but we assign them values and make them more powerful than they should be. Yeah, that makes sense. So I got some and...well, you probably know where this is going.

For now, I need to find some kind of happy medium or compromise. I'm not trying to belittle myself by saying this, but if there's a box of cookies or a jar of peanut butter in my house, I'm going to eat the whole thing very rapidly. That's just something I know about myself. It's reality. So, I think I need to keep that stuff out of the house. However, if I'm out at Panera and really want a PB&J sandwich, I'll totally order one.

Like anything else, it's a learning process. I'm working on it!


Anonymous said...

I finally FINALLY learned not to buy certain foods (ice cream, cookies, et cet) because I know myself too well. I'll eat them all! So I just buy individual packages, or take a couple and get rid of the rest. The process of getting control over food is a constant trial and error, and the key is to learn what works for you and what doesn't. You'll get there!

Mom Taxi Julie said...

My friend read that book. She said "I'm finished with diets!", sent me a link and has bought bigger clothes for every season. I don't think it's working. I personally know that I don't work that way so I'm not even going to bother reading it!

Jessaleigh said...

Love your blog, but I'm not sure I've ever commented before (oops). I do the intuitive eating thing too, and its not as easy the books make it sound. However, I have found that while my weight went up the first couple of weeks, when I truly allowed myself myself to have whatever I wanted it got rid of the "Bad" food mentality and now what I want are healthy foods. Now I make the healthy choice because its what I want and I'm not constantly fighting that "good food vs bad food" mentality. Its such a relief.

I don't mean to sound like a commercial, or to suggest that its easy or that it works for everyone, just that what you said is exactly right, its a learning process.

Regardless, you have accomplished so much - you should be proud! And try not to be so hard on yourself. Easy for me to say, right?

deanna said...

you just said it yourself, it's a learning process, try and see what works if it doesn't move on the the next thing, it look a lot of work to lose 100 pounds, you will not put that back on. Have faith in yourself, we do!!!

Kristin said...

Honestly, I don't believe that intuitive eating works for everyone. Me, for example, because I have very poor intuition! I am much more successful if I just keep away from trigger foods (primarily sweets) except for very special occasions, because sweet foods make me crave more sweets. I also don't like to wait until I'm hungry (if that's part of it), because if I get too hungry then all reason is lost. I am much better off when I eat regularly so I don't turn into a starving maniac. If I eat plenty of the healthy, appropriate foods then I am satisfied, and am less likely to seek out foods that are going to cause me problems.

Liz said...

This is a great post and one that I ID with completely. I have found that by eliminating all sugar, flour and wheat from my diet I am craving free (relatively!). It's been amazing not having to wonder why in the world I JUST HAD to have the whole box of Better I don't even want them at all!