Intuitive Eating: A Pain in the Ass

The title of this blog is “A Woman’s Intuition,” and part of the reason I initially started it was to work through—once I was done losing weight—my food anxieties so that I could ultimately start eating intuitively. Well, I’m trying to do that now; I’m still counting calories, but I’m really trying to eat only when I’m hungry and to eat when I’m hungry even if I don’t have the calories. So far, I’ve been succeeding on the former point, but it’s proved to be moderately inconvenient.

My classes fall right after meal times, which was convenient during my “scheduled eating” dieting days because I’d eat my lunch at 12 p.m., regardless of hunger level, trot off to class and be back to my dorm by snack time. But, now that I’m trying to eat intuitively, things don’t go as smoothly. Take today, for instance:

“Hm, it’s noon. But, I don’t have a hunger. That’s OK! I’ll just do some work and maybe be hungry in a bit.”

“Hm, 12:30 … still not hungry. Oooh, Kotaku has a picture of the guy they based Mario from Super Mario Brothers on!”

“SHIT IT’S 1 P.M. I HAVE TO GET TO CLASS SHIT I HAVEN’T EATEN I NEED TO PACK A THING TO EAT GODDAMMIT”

Granted, I’m not complaining about not being hungry: It’s pretty cool just listening to your body and learning about how much you really need, but apparently intuitive eating means I need to be more … flexible/prepared when thinking about my meals for the day.

Regardless, like I said, I’ve been doing pretty well only eating when I’m hungry, but I’m not sure if there are days where I should make myself eat. Yesterday, for example, I only ate 1,350 calories (because that was all I was hungry for) and, after having eaten breakfast, lunch and dinner today, I’ve still only had 1,185 calories. Is this just part of intuitive eating and how people don’t gain weight? Or, is there a bare minimum of calories I should eat, regardless? SO MANY QUESTIONS.

Also, I haven’t really come into a situation, yet, where I’ve been hungry and not had enough calories, and I feel like that’s where I’m going to struggle. But, I’ve been counting calories or Points for almost six years now, so I guess I shouldn’t expect to get over all my anxieties/attachments overnight.

P.S. – It is really annoying when, during final exam/essay season, your roommates think the best idea in the world is to play their music really loudly. It is like, this is what headphones are for, and just because you really like your music doesn’t mean I do, too. Personally, I’m one of those people who likes TOTAL SILENCE when working. Regardless, I should really tell her to turn it down or just shut up about it, but no one wants to be the complainer, you know?

Struggling With Being Social

So, I’m back up at the school (for what is—hopefully—my last five weeks as a college student) and according to my scale, I’m 0.2 of a pound heavier today than I was yesterday, so contrary to my initial belief I’m thinking my scale weighs me the same as my home scale. But, regardless, I’m not going to flip out if I get home and find after a few weeks of maintenance I’ve been maintaining a weight of 129 rather than 128.

Anyway, as the title of this posts suggests, I’d like to discuss combining healthy eating/dieting with having a social life heute.*

Recently, a friend invited me to go out next Friday and, realizing how non-social I’ve been lately, I agreed to head to a movie with him. Then, panic set in:

“Whoah, that is a late movie. What if I need snack? Oh, man, I might be starting maintenance that day; what if I have get too hungry while I’m out and I totally lose it and set myself back? THIS IS NOT GOING TO WORK.”

So, I called and cancelled. Ridiculous, right? Of course, this isn’t entirely due to my weight-related fears; I’m also graduating soon, and I’m a) overwhelmed with work, which makes me hesitant to go out and stressed, and whenever I’m stressed my other anxieties are amplified, and b) I’m just not very motivated to hang out with people I’ll probably never see again after the next five weeks and who I’m not very close to. But, definitely most of my social anxiety can be traced to food-related issues.

I’m not nearly as obsessed with the number on the scale as I used to be, but I feel as though I’ve been counting calories so long that the idea of being out and forced to eat something that I don’t know the EXACT calories of wigs me out. Yes, I know no one is going to force a Vermonster down my throat and there are plenty of healthy options out there, but I’ve developed some OCD tendencies, it seems. And, I really don’t want to get into the same social rut after I graduate that I seem to be stuck in, now. So, my question to you all, is …

For those of you who have had a long anti-social streak due to dieting/food anxieties, how did you break out of this mindset?

Yep. Personally, I’m thinking I’m just going to have to take baby steps (i.e., making sure I go out at least once a week, etc.), but I’m hoping once I start maintenance/realize I can splurge a bit at my goal weight I’ll be more confident and prepared to venture into the world. For the next few weeks, though, I’m going to give myself a pass and let myself concentrate on school.

In other news, I totally lost my shit this morning at the gym; I was on the treadmill, rocking my last mile when this girl tripped over my cord and unplugged my machine. When I realized what happened, I turned to her and said, “Dude,” … but not the reason why I was addressing her. So, basically, I just said “Dude” to some random chick at the gym this morning. But, five minutes later, I also dropped a hell of f-bomb when I knocked my iPod off the treadmill panel and onto the belt while it was going seven miles per hour. Yep. What, I just wanted to be done AND THERE WERE SO MANY DELAYS SUDDENLY I JUST FLIPPED.

Gah.

* Yeah, that’s German for “today.” That’s right, I threw some foreign talk into this post, and I am totally helping you learn new things.

Product Review: Kashi’s Sweet and Sour Chicken

Product Description: “Sliced chicken with roasted green beans and yellow pepper, red pepper, crimini mushrooms, onions and edamame (soybeans), served over Kashi® 7 Whole Grains Pilaf, and topped with a light, tangy sweet and sour sauce.”

(Source)

As a college student, approximately 90% of what I consume probably contains chemicals.

Diet Coke/Aspartame for an afternoon pick-me-up? Yes, please!

Sucralose-laced yogurt for dinner, because you are too lazy to actually cook something? OK!

Gum with Sorbitol for those days when brushing your teeth is just too hard? Sure!

OK, no, not that last part, really. I always brush my teeth, do I look like a hobo to you? … Don’t answer that.

… OK, do I look like I want to spend money on fillings when I could spend it on candy, instead? THAT’S RIGHT.

But, in all seriousness, most foods peddled by my school’s convenience store aren’t exactly all natural. Hell, even the Tums the store sells have fake sugar in them. So, when the opportunity to purchase a vaguely healthy, chemical-reduced meal arises, I generally snag it due to the suspicion that—even though science hasn’t confirmed it, yet—all those unpronounceable ingredients are going to leave me with no organs, one day. They’ll just have … evaporated.

Anyway, I recently had the opportunity to buy such a meal, that being Kashi’s Sweet and Sour Chicken. I picked this one off the shelf mostly due to the meal’s low sodium content (380 mg., which is pretty damn low for a frozen meal), since my college chemicals usually come with a bounty of salt, too. Plus, the rest of the nutritional statistics on this dish are impressive, too: 320 calories, 3.5 g. of fat, 6 g. of fiber and 18 g. of protein. Not too shabby, no? Also, the vegetables were pretty colors:


(In case you are wondering, no, you will never see a more beautiful picture of a Kashi frozen meal taken with Photobooth, so stop looking.)

As you can see from my lovely picture, not only were the vegetables pretty vibrant, but there was a decent amount of chicken and other goodies in there, too. For reference, though, I took out the green beans and mushrooms (as they are foods of Satan, which wouldn’t really stop me from eating them except they also feel weird in my mouth), but these ingredients were present, and in a decent quantity, too; it took me a good MINUTE AT LEAST to pick them out, goddamn them.

However, how did this dish taste?

The vegetables and the chicken had a texture akin to something that had just been prepared; there was no odd, crumbly feel, and instead the meat was tender and the vegetables had a nice crisp bite to them. The grains were pleasantly chewy, too, and the whole meal seemed very fresh. My only qualms, really, were with the sauce. For, although the chicken/veggies had a nice flavor, themselves, the sauce was a bit lacking and so the meal was ultimately somewhat plain. Not bad at all, really, but the sauce didn’t really taste like a well-developed “Sweet and Sour” sauce so much as it did a less-tangy, thinner version of the stuff they give you at Wendy’s to go with your chicken nuggets.

Regardless, this meal also had great staying power: I ate it for dinner at around 6:30 with some carrot sticks/hummus, and I was still full at 8:30. Nice job, Kashi, and thanks for helping to keep my organs in my body!

New Beginnings

Hey, baby … It’s been awhile.

What? No, it wasn’t another blog, I … OK, could you just let me finish a sentence?

WHY DO YOU HAVE TO BE LIKE THIS

OK, yes, I did say I was going to update you, then I didn’t, but …

OK, if you’re going to be like this, I’m not even going to talk to you right now.

Alright, that’s enough of that.

AHEM.

a) My apologies for dropping off the earth. After my last post, I stumbled into my final semester of college, and between job hunting, considering a job in the military and temporarily training for one, and classes, I just didn’t have time to maintain a blog. But, now I have some time, kind of! Alright, I still have no time, but I am procrastinating right now, so … yes.

b) I got a job for after I graduate! AND IT’S IN MY FIELD, surprisingly, what with the economy how it is right now; the majority of my graduating class is taking internships/jobs not in their field do to the lack of options, so I am eternally grateful. Basically, I am going to be a radio anchor/reporter. Neat, no? First step to AIRWAVE DOMINATION.

c) I haven’t binged in five weeks, as of this Sunday (Of course, this is my cue to binge and RUIN EVERYTHING). And, in the last ten weeks, I’ve binged only once. I’m still counting calories and trying to take off those last holiday pounds, but I’ve gotten some good momentum going and it feels great to know I am capable of self-control. At some point, I may write a post about how I beat bingeing, which leads me to my next point …

d) I’m not sure what to do with this blog. I like to write, but I feel like a food/diet is unhealthy for certain internet perusers, which is also why I stopped writing for a bit. Now, I know I’m not the Web Nanny, but I wonder if writing about what I eat/how much weight I’m losing/etc. is encouraging disordered thinking among readers. Sure, there are those just looking for tips about how to lose weight, but what about the people obsessed with dieting, size and the whatnot? I feel like I’m just feeding into the mentality that “Dieting = Life” by writing about losing weight, sometimes, rather than how I feel great after working out and beating the binge and whatnot. So, I’ll kind of leave it to a vote (Not that there’s really anyone left to vote, anymore, but still, I’ll check back after a week and the consensus): Is it helpful to have someone detailing their diet plan? Is my writing too diet centric? Should this just be a food review blog? I do love to foist my opinions on the world. Should I write a “How I Stopped Bingeing” post? Should I write about another thing, here? The journalism realm, for instance?

LET ME KNOW. LET US JOURNEY FORTH, TOGETHER. Or “sally” forth. Whichever you prefer.

No Weigh, Jose

HEY! I wrote a review of the film (Untitled) over at my school newspaper. You should go read it, even though you will probably never see this film.

Click heeeeeeeeeeeeere.

Anyway, I was very tempted to weigh myself this morning. I was getting changed into my Yoga clothes and thought, “Well, I’m already almost naked, I may as well step on the scale,” (because this is how my mind works) but decided against it. I’ve been on plan and, thus, really doing the best I can, so why weigh myself right now? If I were out of control, I’d think it necessary to weigh in-in order to shock myself back into a state of behaving well. But, I’m not eating poorly (at the moment, at least), so why stress myself out with a number when I have so many other lovely things to stress about right now?

Liiiiiike …

1) My video project due Dec. 1!

2) My final paper on women in Greece and Rome that is also due Dec. 1!

3) My 15 – 20 page paper on my summer internship due Dec. 7!

4) My final article for my Journalism class that is due Dec. 7!

5) My paper on Journalistic ethics that is due Dec. 7!

6) My Political final on Dec. 8!

AWESOME! Also, you may be saying, “Girl, all those things are mad far away! Why be you worried?” Well, next week is Thanksgiving, and while I can work while I’m home, I won’t really have the time or the resources to. So, that’s four/five days out of my schedule. Also, I have to read entire books to get some of these papers done. Oh, and I am reliant on other people for some papers: To write my final article, I can’t start until I’ve interviewed members of the Brandeis religious community, and who knows who long it’ll take for them to get back to my requests.

/dies on inside

I will be so glad when this semester is done, though I’m not sure if I’m more excited about having time off from schoolwork or access to a kitchen for a six weeks.

Anyway, I’m enjoying not weighing myself (kind of—one part would just like to know the number so I stop analyzing how doughy I look), and I’m thinking of establishing a “get out of weigh-in” system; that is, if I stay on plan (or don’t binge, at least), I don’t have to weigh myself again until I start my “post-holiday diet” after Christmas.

How are you handling weigh-ins this holiday season? Do you find you’re more likely to stay on track if the number on the scale is front and center?

Weigh-In Day: Week of November 3

/Cue ‘Jaws’ music.

Baaaaaaaaaaah-dump.

Baaaaaaaaaaaah-dump.

Bah-dump-bah-dump-bah-dump-BUM-BUM-BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

Last Week’s Weight: 129.6

This Week’s Weight: 132.7

Loss/Gain: 3.1 pounds

Average Daily Caloric Intake: No clue!

Excercise:
11/3: Yoga
11/4: 6.5 mile run
11/5: 30 minute elliptical session/40 minute treadmill session (approx. 6.25 miles)
11/6: 6.5 mile run
11/7: 30 minute weight lifting session
11/8: 1 hour weigh lifting session
11/9: 6.5 mile walk/run

Bleeeeeeeeeergh. Well … 3.1 pounds isn’t terrible, but it isn’t great by any means. I’m hoping some of this is just water weight, but it probably isn’t. I’m a little disappointed; I was hoping I’d be around 131 to 132, and then if I only lost a pound a week I’d still be in pretty decent shape by the time Thanksgiving rolled around. I’m going to count calories in between now and then, but I’m also not going to starve myself trying to get into my 120s. At this point, I’m just concerned with keeping my weight at a reasonable level throughout the holidays.

OK, that’s a lie: I’m going to be really disappointed if I’m not in my 120s by the day I go home for Thanksgiving. We’ll see!

But, now it is time for Yoga. I’m in the middle of another tiredness spell, though (I slept 10 hours the other night! WTH?), and I really just want to go to bed. There will probably be a hiatus coming up soon, too; I’m eying my syllabi (hur hur, rhyming), and I have four final papers due in three weeks, and they range in length from 6 pages to 20, so I’ll need to get cracking on those ASAP, particularly since I also have a video project due and a final exam in Politics around that same time. Be glad you are not a college student, unless you are a college student, in which case it sucks to be us, amiright?

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for … Yogurt?

Happy Halloween! Personally, I’ll be dressing up as “college student stuck working in the media lab all day” for the holiday. How about you?

Man, I wanted nothing more than to sleep in today (I have been exhausted the last few days, and so has everyone else, it seems; a lot of people I’ve talked to report being mad tired), but I just could not stay asleep; I woke up at 5 a.m., then again at 6 and finally relented and got up when I woke up 7. Ah, well. We only have one functioning washing machine in the dorm right now, so my early-riserness actually worked out well as it allowed me to get some laundry done while everyone else was still asleep/not using the washing machine for once.

Have you ever tried peddling backwards on an elliptical? I gave it a go for the first time yesterday (it’s a Cardio Week, and I decided to swap out my “Free Runs” for “Free Choice” cardio sessions; I missed including different equipment/tapes in my regular workout cycle) when I spent a workout switching off between the treadmill and the elliptical, and it was RIDICULOUSLY hard. Originally, I planned to do 10 minutes forward-peddling followed by 5 minutes of backwards-peddling, but I could only go backwards for a minute! It’s nice to feel challenged, though, and now I have a new excercise with which I can measure fitness improvement. Woot. Today, though, I am definitely going for a walk: I don’t think my thighs could tolerate anything else.

I’m down seven-tenths of a pound today! Come on, body! Two more pounds and we’re back in the sweet spot.

In other news, Allison over at Balance in Bites is giving away Greek Yogurt! Mmm, greek yogurt … So high protein, so tasty. Also, so expensive, so it’s certainly worth your while to enter this contest and potentially score some for free. To enter, just head on over to this post and leave a comment telling Allison your favorite way to eat yogurt.

Let’s Get Our Bloat On

Does anyone else just have no motivation lately? Yesterday, after my midterm, I was going to do all the things that got put on the back-burner on account of the fact that I needed to devote all my time to studying, but instead I just ended up crashing and eating a bunch of junk food. Speaking of which, it’s interesting that when I was eating intuitively, the day following my splurge I tried my best to eat light to make up for it, but yesterday, when I was “starting my diet,” I ate a bunch of junk “because I had the calories for it.” And now, I’m up another half a pound. If this isn’t mostly water weight and I’m not back down in my 120s by next week, I am seriously going to flip my shit.

Seriously, though, I could really just use a day to get things done, but of course today is mad busy. Also, I’ve been so tired lately. What’s the deal? Usually I look forward to Tuesday morning yoga, but I just want to go back to bed. AND, even though I don’t have to go for my run for 24 hours, I’m already dreading it.

I Overate For a Valid Reason: Exhibit A

I’m really fuckin’ tired, and that never helps when I’m trying to eat well. And, as proof of this sleepiness, I present the definition for Jakarta (one of the terms I need to know for my South East Asian Politics midterm taking place tomorrow) that I wrote this morning:

“Jakarta: The capital of Jakarta.”

I am going to do so awesome on this test. Also, I am aware that Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia, and that it was known as Batavia during the Dutch occupation; I just become dyslexic when I’m really, really sleepy.

COMING SOON (PROBABLY TOMORROW, WHEN I AM CAPABLE OF WRITING SOMETHING COHERENT): A reflection on that time I ate cookies for breakfast and ice cream for lunch and was too lazy to microwave a Bagelful, i.e., today!

History Repeats

Ugh, I had another splurge last night, and I’m not that proud of this one; I was doing great all day, eating intuitively and the whatnot, when after dinner (which I waited until I was hungry to eat, around 7:30 p.m.) I was struck by the worst craving for something sweet. Well, I indulged it, and this would have been fine had I stopped with the one indulgence, but in addition to my ice cream/warm delight combo I also downed 3 Reese’s sticks and 8 Newman-O’s (which are very tasty, by the way). Granted, after I tallied up the damage I found it wasn’t as bad as last week’s splurge and I can still meet my goal of an 1,850 calorie average for the week, but only if I eat approximately 1,550 calories per day the rest of the week. Now, I would have much rather have had those calories I spent tonight spread out over the week—particularly since I was doing so well eating intuitively—but I just got into such a frenzy. And, I really have no idea why such an intense need to feed came over me all of a sudden. Alas. Now, I’ll have to count calories, because I really don’t want to see another gain this week.

I’m hoping the gains I’ve seen thus far while maintaining are just my metabolism readjusting to more calories (I have to remember that I’ve more or less only been eating 1,600 calories per day for the past year, and then some) and that soon maybe it’ll pick up.

I’m still sad, though, that I chowed so much when a normal person would have stopped at one treat. What came over me? Lesson learned, though; I can’t have things like cookies and whatnot in my personal space. I bought the Newman-Os last week and had been just letting them chill out until I could eat more than a few (I didn’ want to open the bag just to eat one and have the rest of the bag go stale), but I think with stuff like that I just end up only eating them when I get into a frenzy like I did tonight, rather than in moderation on a day-to-day basis because, really, I know I can’t enjoy just two cookies; that’s just not enough for me come snack time.

ARGH ANGRY. But, I’m not going to beat myself up about it; I have a midterm coming up tomorrow and had two essays due last week, and I think the stress is just catching up with me. That, and I’m wondering if I’m missing something in my diet; when I spoke to the nutritionist about cravings for sweets, she said that is generally a sign that your body isn’t getting enough fuel. And on the one hand I think, “Well, I’ve been pretty satisfied each day!” But on the other hand, I did run over 6 miles yesterday morning and I haven’t had any lean protein (unless you count eggs, hotdogs or the roast beef/tuna I put on my sandwiches) since my first week of school. Maybe I should just bite the bullet and go to the cafeteria/order something from a local restaurant for a protein boost. I’m also P.M.S.-ing, though, and I feel like a large meal would send me over the edge eating-wise, and I don’t want to have to diet next week! Though, I have a feeling I’m going to have to, if only as a preventive measure on account of the wedding I’m going to on the 7th of November—I’d hate to get on the scale the Friday before and be outside my goal range, and thus feel like I couldn’t enjoy myself at such a special event. This is really a bad time—what with the holidays coming up and a stressful schedule overall—to try and learn intuitive eating but, if not now, when? Regardless, I woke up this morning with a horrible appetite; maybe I should just eat what I want today without going overboard and start my diet program tomorrow? I don’t know what to do!

Edit: I just demolished six cookies before breakfast. This day is not heading anywhere good.

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