Monday, June 02, 2008

Intuitive eating and the not-so-weird ex-boy visit

I'm inspired! I'm inspired to lose my obsessive attitude towards food and to become relaxed and, dare I say it, intuitive about eating. I have a resistance to the words intuitive eating because I have known individuals that translated the practice into 'eat any old crap, for any reason, any time'. Those individuals were fat and unhealthy, but it was a legitimised version of fat and unhealthy because they were eating intuitively. My version of intuitive eating involves putting together a usually (but not always) healthy meal when I'm hungry and eating until I feel like I've had enough, then forgetting about food for a while. There is some pre-planning, so that when I'm hungry, I've got the right stuff on hand, and there is even some eating when I'm not hungry. Like, if it's 12 noon and I'm not hungry, but I'm going to be in a meeting from 12.30 to 3pm, then I'll eat pre-emptively. I've found that eating a lot of junk really screws with the process because my hunger signals seem to misfire when I'm full of sugar. I can get away with fairly frequent indulgences, but most of the time I have to be eating the good stuff, full of nutrients. I think, this way, eating real food, intuitive eating works for me. If I want to eat a lot of sugar, intuitive eating would make me fat at approximately warp speed.

The reason I'm heading this way in my mentality is because I've been figuring out how to eat, now that I'm not structuring my food around a calorie limit. Brad Pilon (Mr Eat Stop Eat) has been talking a lot about 'OCE' (obsessive compulsive eating) over on his blog and I'm beginning to understand that most of my attempts to control my eating and lose weight have just resulted in further permutations of my own OCE and this is why I've found it hard to get the fat off long-term. Everything I do just makes me focus too hard on what I should eat. It's time to let go. I know what to eat. The 'what to eat' is no longer the issue. The 'how to eat' is what I need to master and that involves a whole lot of relaxing about food, and life.

Today was an Eat Stop Eat fasting day and I did 20 hours easily. I slept in, did my Turbulence Training Bodyweight 750, ate some oatbran, eggwhites, berries and yogurt and then headed off with Jase to visit the ex-boy in hospital. I felt a bit nervous, after all, I haven't seen him in years, he is coming to terms with legs that no longer work, and I had Jase in tow. A nice little mish-mash of potential issues. It was a relief to realise that the ex-boy was as nervous as me. The thought of my visit had driven him to smoke three cigarettes, when he had actually given up smoking already. In actuality, it was just not so weird, it was ok. For a start, his computer had broken down, which gave Jase something useful to do. I got an insider education into what happens when you become paralysed and I got to see the most scary MRI pictures I've ever seen in my life. Apparently the most common way to break your back is to fall on your ass and the T13 vertebra is quite vulnerable in that position. In the scans that I saw, the ex-boys T13 had basically collapsed and a big, sharp fragment of it had severed the spinal column completely. When that happens, there is more to worry about than the fact that your legs no longer receive any motor signal. There is lower abdominal organ function to consider, and the ever present possibility of a fatal blood clot forming that you would not feel. All these things, and more, that I have never thought about whenever I see someone wizzing around in their wheelchair - which is itself an interesting device to master. Who knew that in the rehab centre there is a ramp where new wheelchair users get to practice wheeling themselves up without tipping backward? It's expected that a new paraplegic will land on their back at least once, it's practically a right of passage. Lots to think about.


  1. Huzzah! Good for you. It will be a long process, one that's not easy... but once you get it down and trust yourself, you will never look back. :) I can bet that those sugar-snarfing emotional eaters aren't really doing intuitive eating. Your body doesn't really want that crap all the time, but your head might, at first.

    The pics from your party are great! Looks like y'all had a fab time. Happy belated!


  2. Folks in wheelchairs are awesome - I chatted to a lady once who was zipping around in her chair and she told me that when she was younger (and a lot more foolhardy), she even used to tackle stairs - down, not up, of course. Ramps? Pfft.

    Great for upper body strength. Not the ideal way of developing it, though.


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