One of the hardest parts of intuitive eating is sitting with an emotion. The emotions vary from fear, worry, anxiety, anger, stress, and even startlingly, happiness and contentment. Asking myself, am I hungry? What am I hungry for? So many times in a day keeps me in the moment, in today, rather than starting over tomorrow…again.
I’ve found that emotions really are not as strong as when I try to bury them. They become less powerful when I let them flow out. Usually they are fleeting and normal and I remind myself of that. It’s funny how more vivid life becomes when I just feel.
When I start a new diet, I’m trying to tackle it all at once: stop overeating, feel emotions, don’t eat when not hungry, eat super healthy, calculate it all, write it all down, 150+pounds, how fast?, exercise a lot, stop eating dessert, less flour, more protein, less butter, more vegetables, more fruit, more whole, more ethical, more green, more responsible. I would be new, super human, super healthy. A bright and shiny version of myself. I would diet into a swan.
I liked to pretend that dieting would transform me into a better person. A newer version of myself. A version whose hair doesn’t tangle up at night, doesn’t work in her pajamas until noon, doesn’t kill plants, doesn’t ignore emails and keeps an always tidy house. I always felt, deep down, that a diet would make me a whole person. Fix all my problems. I was setting my goals for someone else, someone who isn’t me. Whose life looks nothing like mine, even on the really good days. And therein lies the problem:
When I couldn’t change everything in an instant, I must be a failure. No will power. No drive. No determination. That must be true right?
The process is much less complicated now.
The steps are starting to look like this for me:
step one: feel the feelings. write if you need to.
step two: overeat/binge less. stop feeling guilty about food.
step three: exercise to feel good.