Turn around? Or a different route to the same destination?

Published February 19, 2011 by Crystal

An awful lot has gone through my little head over the last few weeks. A few realisations, that while on the surface may seem contradictory to many of my previous though, are leading me to take a different route along the food and diet path.
For 3 years I have been learning and following the ideas of intuitive eating. For me it came out of needing to deal with bulemia and to heal the issues I had with my body, and with food, and generally how these affected my relationships with other people.
Intuitive Eating has given me alot in terms of strength of character, self believe, knowing that foods are NOT good or bad, they just are. We label them to suit our psyche. BUT as time has gone on I have learned that food choices affect my body. Heavy, stodgy puddings will leave me tired and drained, fruit salad leaves me light, cream laden foods sit in my stomach for a long time, stir fries don’t!
It’s all pretty much common sense, and in my experience the foods that are naturally lower in fat are the foods to leave my body singing. But, and here is the big but, it has taken me 3 years and several stone to get to this realisation, and I’m at a point where emotionally and psychologically the biggest issue bothering me is my weight. It tires me, leaves me uncomfortable. It’s like being heavily pregnant, day in, day out, with no chance of losing a stone overnight. I want to be able to slip on some clothes and feel comfortable all over, I want to be able to walk into any shop and not have to head over to the plus side section for the tent like items that designers seem to assume we’ll want to wear! I want to Zumba my heart out for hours and hours, feeling like a bird and not like a sack of ungainly spuds (I may never be a gainly bird, but atleast a bird can fly!).
There were many times in the last 3 years where I heard the discussions starting with the words “Diets don’t work!”, and how they set us up to fail, because they’re impossible to stick to, they leave us feeling the failure because we don’t fit into the mould that must be a “diet dummy (I mean mannequin)”. And yes, there is an awful lot of truth. How many of us diet, only to regain the pounds or stones? How many of us feel restricted, and cheated during our endless days on diets?
But now I’m starting to feel a very conflicting message as I travel down the intuitive eating path. I’m starting to feel that it is I who is failing because I can’t follow intuitive eating in the way that makes it work. My eating is far more in tune, I exercise in a way I enjoy, I don’t comfort eat to any major degree anymore, but I’m not losing weight and I feel it’s my fault.
So now I’ve decided to head to what I call “the dark side” and join Slimming World. If I’m going to overeat, atleast I’ll be eating on lower fat foods! And actually it’s had a positive effect this last week because I feel I’m doing something for myself, I don’t feel like the failure I was feeling not dieting, and actually for now I don’t really feel like it’s dieting. OK, I am keeping within syns, but it helped me realise how much I actually drink some nights!
And now I am coming to it ignoring the good food bad food messages that go with diets, and I am not in a majorly depressed state where I believe my whole life will be perfect if only I lose weight. I don’t put life on hold like I did before I started my intuitive eating journey. But I do know my quality of life in terms of health and vitality will improve. And I am looking forward to a slimmer summer!

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