Friday, July 16, 2010

Eating safety net

After breaking up with Weight Watchers, counting Points bothers me. I have been calorie counting in one form or another for years. I'm sick of looking at food and seeing numbers. I need a mental break.

As a child, I ate when I was hungry and stopped when I was full. I was very in tune with my body's needs and wants. When I didn't want to eat something, there was no making me consume it (there were many untouched broccoli florets in my childhood).

Somewhere along the way I lost the connection to my body. I started eating what the latest fad told me to eat – low carb, fat free, no sugar added. I consumed a specific number of Points or calories regardless of my hunger. Some days I ate when I wasn't hungry just to meet my caloric goal. Other times I went hungry because I was out of Points for the day.

When I started my elimination diet, the nutritionist wanted me to give up counting and start listening to my body. Over the two months, I was more aware of my body, but I still diligently counted WW Points. My brain couldn’t process the concept of eating without restrictions.

I may be sick of Points and counting, but I'm not sure I'm ready for full blown intuitive eating. Ultimately I'll get there, but I need a stepping stone. Truth be told, I actually need a safety net. I don't trust myself to honestly evaluate my eats if I can't see them in writing. No numbers or measurements - just the time of day, my hunger level, and what I eat in general terms.

It’s scary to give up counting after so long. I’m afraid that without the self-imposed limitations my eating will get out of control. It’s ridiculous that I don’t trust myself to know when I’m full. It’s so simple in writing. Ask myself if I’m hungry. If the answer is no, put down the tasty treat. No problem in theory. Now let’s see how it goes in execution.

SOTS wonders… does intuitive eating scare or exhilarate you?


  1. GREAT POST!! I'm so glad someone feels the same way about this as me. It's something I've been struggling with for a while because like you say, intuitive eating is a little scary! I'm pretty sure I have a larger appetite than most, and having lost 60lbs in my late teens, I sometimes think that not having the control of counting is going to make me wind up exactly where I was before. There's a lot of security that comes with calorie counting, and I got so used to it. However, I think I've overcome this. (Part of this I attribute to food blogging). I don't count calories any more and haven't for over a year (actually, I did for a while, but that was for weight-gaining purposes). I assure you, you're not on your own on this one!

  2. I`m so happy you wrote about this. Reminds me of points we talked about not too long ago. I`m on the same boat, I haven`t tracked in a month now and I feel great. It`s true though I`ve thought of points and thought of how SAFE they were but it`s NO way to live life! We need to find the connection within our brain and stomach and listen to what our body is telling us!!! WE CAN DO THIS!! It will take time but in the end we will be glad we did it

  3. Hey there,

    I am an intuitive eater after years of dieting and binging, and am now and intuitive eating health and wellness coach as well as the author of Honoring Health, and intuitive eating blog and I think you might relate to this post:

    Please let me know if you have questions.

  4. EatSpinRunRepeat - It's very reassuring to know that I'm not alone in this. It's only been a few days, but I feel great. I like this intuitive eating thing!

    Jess - This post and my decision was entirely inspired by our discussion. We absolutely can do this!

    Christie - Thanks! I'll definitely check it out!