So, my first few weeks of intuitive eating were tougher than I thought. The first hurdle was having huge difficulties trying to rid myself of my diet watchdog mentality and desperately wanting to run back to the bland safety of my quinoa and grilled chicken. Then when I finally did just eat whatever I wanted, I found myself eating way too much of certain things like chicken wings, macaroni and cheese, bourbon sours (well, that’s not a food but I had way too many of them) and ribs. And I don’t even eat pork. So, let’s just say that I went a little crazy for awhile.
But, after a couple of weeks, the novelty of being able to eat and drink whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted finally started to wear off and I began to really listen to my body’s signals. All of a sudden I want the odd carrot along with my cookies. Or the juicy, fresh crunch of an apple instead of the loud, greasy crunch of sour cream and onion potato chips. The novelty of having chocolate every single day wore a little thin until I was completely chocolated out. And, most importantly, I really started to listen to what my body was telling me. And it had all kinds of things to tell me; when I was actually hungry for, let’s say, spinach and also when I was really full, when I had enough to drink or didn’t really want anything to drink in the first place (I never really listened to that signal before), when I just needed a good cry or a chat with a good friend instead of any kind of food, when I was feeling so uptight that it had to be addressed before I even thought about food. And I found out that my body had a bunch of other stuff to tell me as well. Whenever I eat cheese, my face breaks out in a sweat ( yes, my face actually sweats). It’s been happening for years and, other than commenting half heartedly that I must have a dairy sensitivity to whomever may be around to witness this cheesy, sweaty outbreak, I did my very best to ignore the situation. Well, if I’m truly listening and doing what’s best for my digestive system, I can’t really ignore my cheese situation any longer. So for the next while, I won’t be eating any food that my body reacts badly to. As a friend of mine said when I told him about my reaction, the only beings that should be eating dairy are baby cows. Well, if you put it that way…
Also, I’ve become a big social media addict in the past year or so as I mentioned in this post. Studying digital marketing will do that to you. But I’ve realized that it’s time to take a break from my constant Twitter, Facebook, Instagram checking and spend a lot more time in the real, natural world around me, soaking up the sound of the waves, the smell of the trees, lying in a bed of flowers every so often and just being a little more present in my life. Setting my own pace instead of trying to match the sometimes frantic pace of city life. I’ve never understand the great reward of being frantically busy anyway. Doesn’t it just mean your life and the amazing moments in it pass you by while you’re too busy to notice?
So, this is where my experiment has left me right now. And I’m learning to be aware of physical signals that I’m uncomfortable (physically or emotionally) instead of trying to shut those signals up. And I’m starting to listen to what I’m really feeling instead of trying to medicate any of those feelings with food and alcohol. Sometimes it feels like I’m moving very slowly but, even if it’s slowly, it’s in the right direction. And that means a lot.