Saturday, August 25, 2007

A Week of Intuitive Eating

I’ve been reading “Breaking Free From Compulsive Eating” by Geneen Roth, which I heard was an older edition of “Breaking Free From Emotional Eating”. Actually, I started a while ago but dropped it because of several reasons:

1) I had started reading it during my despair period when lost faith in myself, but I had gotten over it and no longer needed outside wisdom.

2) I had come across activities that the writer wanted me to complete. Because I tend to be exacting, I had wanted to do each activity before going on to the rest of the book. But I found the activities to be too demanding and overwhelming.

3) The new Harry Potter book came out, and I wanted to devote my reading time to that instead.

I continued reading “Breaking Free…” on Monday. Last week there were tons of family in town, therefore there were tons of get-togethers. I noticed that meal times together were scheduled later than regular times. Lunch at 2pm. Dinner at 8pm. This is probably because they were all waking up late from going out and staying up late every evening. As a highly regimented individual, this put me off, but I decided that I wanted to be more flexible and accommodating. Come Monday, after our last late-night get-together, I found myself eating breakfast at 10:30am! I had thrown myself off, but I couldn’t wait until an “appropriate” time. I told Ly of my dilemma and he said, “Why don’t you eat when you’re hungry?” What a concept, huh? And I started to think about Intuitive Eating and how Ly was a natural at it and how I wanted to live my life more like him and everyone else. So flexible and unrestricting. That was when I decided to continue reading “Breaking Free…”

That and because I had no idea how hunger felt like at its beginning stages and I was hoping that the book would describe it to me. Nope. She’s into the whole discover-things-for-yourself method. Which is not surprising coming from a be-in-touch-with-yourself technique like IE. She did, however, described methods of being more in tune with your hunger, which I tried to follow.

This time as I read the book, I decided to not follow it exactly. Instead I wrote down all the activities that I would someday like to do. Other than that, I was doing what I felt comfortable doing at the moment. I’m sure Geneen would have wanted it this way.

The most challenging concept was to remove distraction when eating. I found it easy to not watch TV or read when the family was in the house, because they were naturally distracting with their demands during meal times. And when they weren’t being distracting, it felt like a welcomed relief to not think of anything but my food. It was the day when the kids were at my in-laws did I found eating without distracting myself a challenge. It was lonely, and I couldn’t handle it. How pathetic, huh? There are others out there whom live alone, and I couldn’t handle one day of a quite house while I ate. So I sat myself down in front of the TV and watched until the loneliness went away. It was then that I was able to eat the rest of the meal in silence. Maybe someday, I will be more comfortable feeling the loneliness.

Last night, we had dinner at my in-laws’ and I discovered that practicing IE has helped me reach some kind of Zen-state when I ate. Things that made me react in the past didn’t this time. For one, I didn’t react to Linh noticing my eating habits. Normally, I would try to eat like everyone else when this occurs, but then I thought that she probably doesn’t think anything of it, because she has often embarked on her own eating habits. This was what was strange. I was able to think this all at the moment when usually I needed to reflect after the fact. It was as if time froze.

However, Ly’s incessantly offering me food did eventually bother me. There’s only so much Zen I can maintain. But I think I still did well, and I was more understanding of Ly’s behavior when in the past I would get angry with him. I was sitting and doing nothing for long periods of time, because the conversations at hand did not include me. It felt uncomfortable, and I would have been eating to fill it up but I was practicing IE. Ly probably felt uncomfortable at my discomfort, which was probably why he kept bothering me with food. This I was able to see, and I wouldn’t have if I hadn’t tapped into a different plane of eating.

1 comment:

TrixieBelden said...

It sounds like you are discovering things that you have never saw before. That is terrific. I have been trying to eat at my regular meal times, or only when hungry, and it is difficult if people have planned to go out later than you usually eat. I have been eating smaller amounts at my regular time and during the meal out so that I feel like I'm participating, but I have a friend who will go out with a big group of people and just order tea if she doesn't want to eat. I say try to do what you think will make you most comfortable in the situation. You will find out if it does make you comfortable, or if you need to find something else. Good for you for discovering new things about yourself!

I fear no one’s opinion! I am knowledgeable, focused, and efficient. I make this priority and build from experience. I do this for my children and myself. Supported by love, I will persevere.