I Can Has Food?

Lately, I’ve been trying really hard to do the “only-eating-when-I’m-hungry” thing in an effort to move from calorie counting to intuitive eating. And, it’s a nice thing to get back to; I loved just listening to my body when I had my first whack at maintenance, and I can totally relate to a point Quix recently made in a blog post regarding how she’s “tasted freedom” and having difficulty going back to calorie counting and not just eating the food she wants/feels is necessary to nourish her body. When I gained back the weight after my last maintenance stint, it felt totally unnatural to be eating according to my “diet style.” And, my body wasn’t too keen on the practice either and essentially turned into a screaming toddler for the first few weeks of the next dieting attempt.

Body: “HAI AN EGG SAMMICH IS WHAT WOULD FEEL GOOD IN MY TUM LET’S EAT IT.”

Me: “No, sorry, we have 280 calories scheduled for breakfast and that means cereal.”

Body: ” … But I want an egg sammich. RIGHT NOW.”

Me: “Sorry, dude.”

Body: “SAMMMMICCCCCCCCCCCCH.”

And, so on.

Anyway, while I know all the intuitive eating guides say “ZOMG ONLY EAT WHEN YOU HAVE A HUNGRY,” I’ve been having difficulty shaking a few non-hunger-oriented eating habits. But, I have to wonder; is it OK to eat when you’re not hungry, sometimes?

At this point, I’ve gotten to be pretty good about lunch and my snacks (I eat breakfast right after exercising regardless of whether I’m hungry, because I know I need the fuel), in that I wait until I’m hungry to eat lunch and I don’t snack even if I feel I “can” have one but I’m not hungry (yesterday, for instance, I waited until 1:30 p.m. for lunch and when I became hungry at 5 p.m. I just had an apple to tide me over until dinner). But, I still eat dinner at a scheduled time regardless of whether I have a hunger, which according to intuitive eating’s principles is TEH BAD. But, 6 p.m. is just dinner time for me, and I don’t like to eat a heavy meal too close to bed. Likewise, I don’t like to eat dinner before 6 p.m., even if I am hungry, because I don’t like to eat that early (Does anyone else feel that way about meal times? I postpone lunch sometimes, too, because I just don’t like to eat a lunch before noon). That, and I have always an evening snack at 8:30 p.m., again, regardless of whether I’m hungry, because I don’t want to wake up mad famished.

Am I doin’ it wrong? Do I always need to be hungry when I decide to eat, or are these practices OK? It’s not like if I’m not super hungry I chow down on a gabillion calorie snack at the end of the day; most of the time, I nom something like yogurt. And, even when I am hungry but wait to eat until a scheduled meal time, I don’t usually wait for more than a half an hour. Also, should always eat a certain amount of calories a day (e.g., my BMR) so I don’t get my fainting on?

I should probably invest in some kind of nutrition book, but I’m cheap. Regardless, I’m trying to get away from eating a certain food because I have a certain amount of calories, but this is the diet habit I’ve had the most trouble kicking.

In other news, don’t you hate it when you have a day to sleep in, and your body decides it just doesn’t want to do so that morning? I definitely didn’t have to get up until 7 a.m. today, but at around 5:45 a.m. my mind just went “I’MUPUPUPLET’SWORKONESSAYS!” and then when I actually tried to work on my essays this early in the morning my mind was all, “Oh no my bad I’m not actually conscious enough to do this right now lol.”

For those of you who have/are making the transition to intuitive eating, do you have any tips? Did you have difficulty kicking certain “diet habits”?

Weigh-In Day: Week of November 24

Well, let’s see where we are one binge and six days of clean eating after my last weigh-in day.

Last Week’s Weight: 134.2

This Week’s Weight: 131.2

Loss/Gain: 3 pounds

Average Daily Caloric Intake: 2,245 (This takes into account the binge I had Tuesday in addition to all the days I stayed on plan.)

Excercise:

11/24: Yoga 
11/25: 8 mile Easy run
11/26: 3 mile Easy run/30 min. elliptical session
11/27: 30 min. elliptical session/1 hr. weight lifting session
11/28: 6.4 mile Quality run/30 min. elliptical session
11/29: 20 min. upper body workout/4.6 mile Easy run
11/30: 6 mile Tempo run

Well, seeing as how I binged the day before my weigh-in and it was also the week of my lady times, most of this loss is probably water weight. But, seeing as how I also binged the day of my weigh-in, this isn’t too shabby. Of course, now the key is to not put an intense amount of pressure on myself to be under 130 by the time I go home for break. Here’s how such situations usually go:

“Hey, hey, listen! If you eat really, really low cal. for the next week maybe you could be [insert certain weight here] by [event/date]!”

“Whoah … you really think so?”

“Yeah, totally!”

“LET’S DO THIS.”

Five days and 6,000 calories later …

“OhmyGodIamsohungry.” /cue binge

“Well, that was counterproductive.” 

We don’t want that. This week, we just want to keep eatin’ healthy and feelin’ good and not bingin’, ’cause then I’ll do better handling stress and doin’ my end-of-the-semester work. Yeah! Even if I don’t lose this week, I’ll still be at a really good pre-holiday/going home to indulge weight. I’m hoping that come January 1, I won’t be above 135, so we’ll see.

This week, though, I really want to step on the scale just this once. Yes, after my initial weigh-in day, my binge on Tuesday prompted me to weigh myself daily this week, and it definitely affected my eating habits. But right now, I need to listen to my body, NOT watch the number on the scale, and because of where I am psychologically it’s difficult for me to do both at this point in time. When I start my post-holiday diet, though, I might start taking my measurements; I used to do so back in high school, and it’s really a good way to track your progress. For, even though I weigh 131 at the moment, I feel … toighter (like a toiger) than I did the last time I was 131. But, do i really need to include more numbers in my life?

Eh, I hate it when you can’t decide whether you’re actually hungry. I just chomped some pre-Yoga almonds, and I’m not sure whether I still have the hunger. Hm.

Happy December First, everyone! Let’s make it a good month.