Thursday, June 24, 2010
Instinctive Eating & Why I Won't Ever Pay Attention to Numbers Again
You know my feelings about numbers when it comes to weight scales, and now I have some things to say about calorie counting. A couple of weeks ago, before Scottie Cat was sick, I came to some realizations that I have been wanting to share.
I've long understood that to get in really great shape, to seriously increase my fitness level for dancing, I have to eat enough -- not cut how much I eat.
If I don't eat enough, I simply do not have the energy I need to dance hard almost every day or to lift weights or to focus on whatever physical skill I am currently focused on.
Yet, thanks to my past filled with disordered eating and body image issues, I also have this nagging desire to just get thin, damn it.
I am constantly struggling to keep all of this balanced in my mind -- to remind myself why I am getting fit and how it has nothing to do with smaller clothes. Though I am human (and female and American) and I enjoy those smaller clothes no matter how much I try not to.
Back to a couple of weeks ago: I realized that I do not have any freaking idea whatsoever of what "good and proper" eating amounts even look like. I have no clue how much I should be eating to eat enough to workout as much as I do.
I decided, in my limited wisdom, to start counting calories. But! Wait!
I explained to Marcy that I was counting for good reason! I was counting to make sure I ate enough. She was not convinced at all and went into some (annoying at the time) speech about how this was still representative of my warped relationship to food and that if I would just listen to my body...
Blah blah blah!!!
I was convinced I was right. And that I was "good." I would count calories for a few weeks until I learned again (or really, for the first time) how to eat correctly.
It took me a couple of days (as usual...sigh...) to catch up to Marcy's Wisdomosity.
It happened while I was dancing. I realized that because I have a great diet in terms of content (we are very "clean" eaters) and because I am so physical every day that if I would just trust my stomach and my body, I could never really over eat.
Sure, I splurge like anyone. I eat chocolates and goodies but they are high quality chocolates and goodies, and if my body wants those things there is a reason...and I listen closely enough now not to eat them until I could POP.
This is my New Lesson: Intuitive Eating.
I have never trusted my body and this is another way to learn to do that.
Our bodies know best.
Our brains get in the way of that so we end up relying on external things like calorie counting and scales.
Those numbers are not the solution because they are part of the larger problem of disconnect.
Our disconnect from our needs and our mistaking our wants for needs...that is the core issue.
Now I just ask: what does my body need? Is this food making me feel good? Is this intake giving me the energy I need to dance? Is it satisfying my basic human sensual needs?
Part of a good "diet" is appreciation. If we would just become connoisseurs of excellent food and drink, we would never put junk in our mouths. If we would just let ourselves be playful in this life, we would never again have to exercise.
No more numbers! Listen to your body and your heart and have fun and ENJOY!