Spawned from things I’ve been reading on the fatosphere in the past couple of days.
First, I read There are Diets, and then there are DIETS by meowser, who linked to Fillyjonk’s post Stumbling Towards Ecstacy. Both of those articles gave me a lot to think about, and then I read On Diets by Big Liberty, and finally, Rebellion or Restriction? by sassyblonde.
Y’all have said so much and given me so much to think about.
It should be no surprise to long time readers that I struggle with doing IE right. You know, correctly. I wonder sometimes if it can really be as easy as eating what I want, when I want it. And sometimes, I do question if I’m doing it all wrong.
All these posts have helped me to realize, again, I’m not doing it wrong.
But they’ve also addressed something I’ve not seen addressed a lot when people talk about Intuitive Eating. That while a person doesn’t have to restrict any type of food (like they would on a diet to lose weight) there may be other reasons to restrict specific foods, that vary from individual to individual.
I have a sensitivity to carbohydrates which triggers migraine for me. As I also have PCOS, that gives me another sensitivity to carbohydrates, and while I do take Metformin which helps my body metabolize the carbohydrates better, I still have to be careful about how many carbohydrates I eat in a day, and how much protein I eat. The more protein I eat, the more I can eat carbohydrates and not have migraines.
However, there still is an upper limit of how many carbohydrates I can eat, no matter how much protein or exercise I do.
I think I’m starting to get the idea that IE isn’t just about how a person can eat anything they want any time they want, but it’s also about what’s good for each person’s body, and what their body can and cannot eat. Like meowser, I know some people who are diabetics who can have sugar and alcohol. They know their body well enough to know how much insulin they need to take to offset the simple carb ingestion. I also know people who can never eat anything with sugar in it again, due to how rapidly it causes their system to spike and possibly lead them to a diabetic coma.
The thing is, I already know this stuff. In discussions with the MiL recently, I’ve said that what an individual body needs is what they should eat, and that only the individual who is in the body can make that call. We were talking about MiL’s sister, who’s been having some liver problems lately, and been told by her doctors to cut down on protein ingestion. MiL’s sister is also an insulin dependant diabetic, and has been for years. MiL thinks all her sister’s health problems are related to her weight problems (MiL’s sister is obese), and that if she’d just lose the weight, she’d be so much better.
Of course, it’s hard for me to sit here and just listen to MiL decide how much good health everybody else would be in if they just lose weight. So, we’ve been talking about how she doesn’t get to make the decision of what anybody else can and can’t eat. That it’s up to what each individual body needs, and the only ones who can determine what they need are the people living in their bodies.
So, I’ve been saying the right things. I even believe the right things — for other people. It’s just when I am looking at this for myself I find I have problems.
Yes, IE means you can eat whatever you want, whenever you want. As I understand it, IE is about giving up food restriction just to lose weight. But there may be other reasons why a person has to restrict their food intake (like me and my carbohydrate trigger of migraines). It’s still not a “one size fits all” mentality, not that anybody who I’ve heard or read who talks about IE has tried to make it that way.
In a sense, I’ve still got a “diet mentality” that I’m trying to get away from. IE is supposed to be this thing, so I have to do it perfectly, or I’m not doing it right.
One of these days, I’ll really understand it. The fact that I can understand it for others shows me I can understand it for me eventually. And until then, I’ll keep working out the feelings that tell me I’m doing it wrong, and if I just had more willpower/determination/whatever I could do it right. Of course, since there is no right and wrong in IE, that line of reasoning makes no sense.
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