August 1 Intuitive Eating Update

Hey Y’all!

It’s a new month and I am ready with some new thoughts, changes, updates, and resources!

First, I’m down five pounds (at least) since my last post nine days ago! Obviously, this is not the thing that matters most, and I’ll get into that more in a bit, but it tells me that I’m on the right track ,and that’s enough to put some wind in my sails.  Also obvious, if you’ve been following my story at all, is that I have no concrete answers as to why. BUT- I have some ideas, and because of Intuitive eating and some new ways of approaching it, I think I can sustain and continue this if I am balanced and intentional about continuing the changes I’ve made, not just over the past week, but since April. really.

But what do I think may have contributed to this turn of the tide over the past week?

  • like i said last week, i stopped eating a sandwich for lunch every day, instead focusing more on a protein source, veggies, and good fats- basically what i know my body thrives on- and plenty of it.
  • i’ve been drinking lots and lots of water, before, during, after workouts
  • I’ve been more intentional about not overtraining on the bike. for the time being, i’m going to try not to double up on rides more than twice a week.
  • I’ve found some structure for my intuitive eating (lots more on this… stand by!) that i feel like is already serving me well.

I also can think of a few factors that will encourage this trend to continue going forward:

  • my period has not come yet- this could theoretically put me back where i was in early May, or better, weight and size-wise. (if it doesn’t, that’s okay. I really just don’t want to trend back in the other direction.
  • the changes and structure to my eating are leaving me feeling really satisfied and energized!
  • the plan and balance i’ve worked to create in my fitness training plan going forward is something i feel like will really serve to not only burn calories but balance my hormones and improve my mental health and sleep quality.
  • i have a vacation/recovery week coming up in a few weeks!
  • After the past month or so of Intuitive Eating, I definitely feel more in tune with my hunger cues than maybe ever before, which is really exciting. I have hopes that that will improve even more going forward!
  • Before I move on, let me share something that I think is extremely important. I mentioned in my last post there would be Olive Garden and cake on Lexi’s Birthday-last Tuesday. There sure was! I had calimari and fried lasagna (what) as part of our appetizer and my entree was cheese filled gnocchi (with chicken and broccoli) Alfredo-not even remotely low carb-and a cuartino of red wine. Then, for dessert, I had a big ol slice of cake. On Wednesday I had another, and on Thursday I had two. And I STILL weighed in five pounds lighter! This is nothing of not proof that one “off plan” meal or dessert-or four?- is not going to make or break you. I’m going to do all I can to remember that and use it to keep me free of fear of enjoying food!
  • So. You may have gathered from previous posts that I’ve been struggling and wrestling with a couple aspects of Intuitive Eating. First, the books (at least up to the point in each that I have read…) stress a lot of ” your weight/size doesn’t matter” and seem to basically communicate that you shouldn’t have goals to change either, but just trust that your body will find it’s happy place if you eat intuitively. Ok, but…yeah, that doesn’t work for me. Here’s why (stick with me): I have a metabolic disorder. My body’s “happy” place is not a happy place for me in any way, either health wise or aesthetically. I am complete on board with loving my body as it is, and that’s something I’m more actively pursuing-and even more than that, I’ve made it a point to not compare. My body is never gonna look like my sisters’-one tall and lean, one short and a runner, the third built like a red-haired Betty Boop, or my cousin’s (she is as willowy and lean as I am curvy-Madison, you are so beautiful!). What I want is to make my body-my own shape-look and feel the best it can. I do have goals, and some of them are aesthetic. There’s nothing wrong with that, but the way these books read for me makes me feel the authors think there is. To be fair, I have not finished these books-and I fully intend to- so, it could be that there is a point at which all this is addressed. I just haven’t seen any of it yet.
  • My other struggle is this: I thrive on structure. I like to have a plan, a strategy, a blueprint. Intuitive Eating, as such, kinda prioritizes the opposite of that-and with good reason! It’s primarily designed to provide freedom from dieting in all its forms, from restriction, from obsession. After all, that’s what drew me to it, right? Except that I don’t fit any of the “types” of dieters they describe, really. I’m not restrictive with my food, I just struggle knowing how much is enough to eat. Because of how I exercise, it’s just eluded me the past few years to answer that simple question, and I have not felt comfortable trusting my body to tell me because I generally have not been hungry except on days I don’t exercise-exercise can actually suppress appetite, and it definitely does for me. With my mental health issues being what they are, though, I found that the same method that worked to help me figure out how much to eat in the past, with great success, became just a constant source of doubt and anxiety, Having no plan, no rules, nothing to guide me except the general knowledge I’ve gained the past sixteen years about nutrition and what my own body responds well to-which is not insignificant-left me with a similar level of anxiety, not to mention, no progress in the direction I wanted-and the advice to not care about that. I needed something else to compliment the principles of IE but give me the game plan -and maybe even permission-to actively pursue my goals.
  • I’ve been following HIITBURN on instagram for over a year, and I love what I’ve seen of Dennis and Kelsey and their workouts and their food and fitness philosophy. I decided to purchase one of their carb cycling programs, and adapt it to what I’m doing with Intuitive Eating. When I did, I discovered they had already incorporated the most useful (for me) principle into their plan:
  • Eat when you’re hungry, and until you’re satisfied.
  • Then Kelsey posted THIS on her Instagram account:
  • https://www.instagram.com/p/Blt28g1Hc8t/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=1rrmtdzed0ibd

    And I knew this was meant to be. I read the guide she mentions, linked here, and was so encouraged-all the same freedom bringing principles of Intuitive Eating but from someone who coaches others to pursue their fitness goals!

    I am so had on myself about so many things-I do not need the burden of shame or “wrong-ness” for having goals. If applied to any area besides weight loss it would be ridiculous-don’t pursue running a marathon, be ok with the distance you can run now! Don’t pursue a job making more money, live on what you have now! Don’t pursue a writing career, be content with the blog readers you have now!

    Or, maybe it’s this- my whole life, I’ve felt I have no say, no agency over what happens in my life-this is a whole other topic for a whole other day-and I feel like being told to just let my body choose its own happy weight and size and shape is taking my agency in yet another area. And I’m not letting that happen. I lived most of my twenties eating what I wanted, exercising some, off and on, and I know where that got me. 220 lbs, tired, sick, infertile, and miserable. Sorry, no.

    I’m not going to be a Victoria’s Secret model. But I AM going to be a leaner, fitter, more confident me. I don’t know exactly how that looks right now, but I look forward to finding out, and sharing the journey of discovery with you!

    So, what is the plan? Well, at its simplest, it’s a 2 days low, one day high carb cycle, that takes 21 days to go through completely, then resets.

    The general food template for each meal is:

    (Low carb day)

    • Protein
    • Veggie
    • Good fat
  • (High carb day)
    • Protein
      Veggies
      Good Carb

    Now, just because high carb days are not explicitly high fat doesn’t mean I’m scared of avocados on those days, it just means they aren’t the central focus.

    And y’know what? Scott’s Birthday falls on a low carb day, and…it ain’t gonna be a low carb day, y’all!

    I’m going to fuse that rhythm with Intuitive Eating as a lifestyle-meaning, I’m not going to outlaw any foods, but I am going to be intentional and strategic about when I eat them-leaving room for spontaneity. The “plan” as designed has a lot more structure available, but for me and my goals, I’m confident that the carb cycle and the focus on eating mostly whole, nutritious, and always tasty foods is plenty. If I were in a place where a timeline was part of my goal, I might invite a bit more structure-and it would be available to me-but, I’m not. I just want steady progress toward my best self with the freedom to have a big ol hunk of cake once in awhile.

    The 21 day cycle works well with my fitness training plan too, which is essentially 6 weeks on, one week for active recovery.

    Here’s what I’ll be doing for my 6 weeks on:

    M/T/Tr/F:

    Ride (plan weekly)

    20 min of strength (plan weekly)

    ~30 min yoga (plan monthly)

    ***optional bonus ride***

    Wed:

    Restorative yoga

    *optional walk

    Saturday:

    30-45m low impact ride

    ~20m restorative yoga

    For my Active Recovery week, all rides will be low impact, and all yoga will be focused on restorative and gentle sessions. That week I’ll also do a more stripped down Whole Foods focused way of eating, feeding my body the best stuff I can to help prepare it to train smart and hard again!

    Lastly, what about vacation? What am I gonna do about all this then, with whatever nonsense food these men decide to surround me with? Well, I’m not carb cycling that week. I’m gonna plan lots of delicious healthy stuff to be in that fridge and for dinners, lots of eggs, bacon and veggies for breakfasts, and I’m also gonna eat some of the nonsense food. Because it’s vacation and when it’s over it’s over-balance. The goal on vacation is gonna be…65/35 maybe? I dunno. I do know I’m gonna be on the beach all I can, and practice my yoga while we are there, so I doubt too much damage will be done. Oh, and I’m gonna not weigh myself when we get home. Ha!

    Welcome to August, y’all! I can’t wait to see all this month has in store?!

    One thought on “August 1 Intuitive Eating Update

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