24 Jan 2011

Unconditional Permission to Eat

I don't know about you guys, but sometimes I still find it hard not to obsess about food (and by sometimes I mean most of the time, if I'm honest). Even though I'm managing to obsess about calories and weightloss food much less, I still find that thoughts of food dominate a lot of my day. And, even though I'm no longer worrying quite so much about calories and fat content, my thoughts about food are still often very  anxiety-ridden. For example, I often find myself worrying if the meals I'm planning are nutritious enough or if I'll get enough protein that day etc. Other times, I'll worry about when I'm next going to eat, whether I'm going to get hungy before dinner because I didn't have a big enough snack or whether the meeting will overrun and I'll end up ravenously hungry because my lunch was delayed etc, etc.

It seems like such a shame because I've made such progress in terms of not worrying about calories and weightloss so much, yet I still have these annoying, obsessional, food-focused thought-patterns. Does anyone else find this? Or is it just me?

Anyway, this evening I decided to flick back through Intuitive Eating to see if it shed any light on the matter and it made me wonder whether I'm still obsessed with food because I haven't really made peace with food yet, in the way Tribole and Resch describe. According to Intuitive Eating you have to make peace with food first in order to truly be able to eat intuitively. (For those of you who don't know, eating intuitively means deciding what/when/how much to eat by listening to your body rather than following a set of external rules). Making peace with food means giving yourself unconditional permission to eat what you want when you want without compensating by denying yourself later or punishing yourself at the gym. Tribole and Resch acknowledge that, if you've been retricting yourself for a while, you'll probably go a little crazy when you first give yourself unconditional permission to eat, which can be scary.  But they say that, once you've gone through the experience of eating all of your 'forbidden foods', your body and mind will learn that they are freely available and therefore won't crave them so much. This means that, after a brief period of indulgence, you'll settle down to a more normal eating patter. I suppose I haven't really done this yet. It seems a little scary to me, and I don't really think I feel ready to commit to doing it forever, but I've decided to at least give it a try. So tomorrow, I'm going to experiment with giving myself unconditional permission to eat. Its all about baby steps......

1 comment:

  1. You're right- babe steps... it's hard to break a habit-actually I think habit is the wrong word- it's hard to break a routine that we've had for so long in a short period of time. Small steps to get there and you'll get there. I still obsessively think about food and I know other "recovered" also still obsess over times but they just don't act on it.

    Hang in there, stay strong