Savor Until Satisfied
By Kate G.
Last Wednesday morning, a clever individual at Trader Joe’s chose to warm up cinnamon rolls at the sample station, knowing full well people cannot resist the delectable aroma of puffy bread covered in sugar.
Just one bite won’t derail me, I thought. And that bite was as delicious as I imagined.
Ooooh, but I’ve been counting points using Weight Watchers for the last month and I felt “bad” for eating such a sweet food so early in the morning. I had broken my healthy rule about not eating highly sugary foods early in the day. Now my pallet was all off kilter and I wanted more, more, MORE.
I’ll just buy some trail mix for healthy snacking, I thought, as my two-year old and I glided past the nuts.
The boys love yogurt covered raisins, I thought, as I snatched a container of the shelf. It’s a special treat for later, I chirped.
Once I opened those packages at home, what usually happens, happened: At first, the raisins tasted fabulous, and the trail mix was so satisfyingly salty. I won’t count these points! I’ll start doing that again next week! I’ve lost a few pounds. I deserve a break!
Within two days of consuming these “bad,” heavy foods, I felt sick. I became driven to finish them off almost entirely by myself whether or not I was hungry or if they tasted good anymore. I felt bloated, sad, and pathetic.
I AM SUPPOSED TO BE WORKING ON INTUITIVE EATING, DAMMIT!
And so on Saturday morning, I dug out a book I bought about ten years called Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program that Works, and skimmed through its main tenants.
For the rest of the weekend I chose to focus on two principles:
- Feel Your Fullness
- Discover the Satisfaction Factor
No more counting points. No more designating foods as good or bad.
I also listened to my body regarding workouts: I ran a little over seven miles one day because it felt good, and the next day, I tried a new dance workout DVD to interject some fun into my triathlon training. (Have I mentioned my upcoming race? No? Well, I have an upcoming race.)
Every time I felt physically hungry—when my stomach growled or I felt light-headed—I ate something. And I ate whatever I wanted.
We went to a street fair Saturday night and I had a chicken salad sandwich on a croissant. I never choose a sandwich like this because OMG mayonnaise?! Buttery croissants? So bad! I discovered that the chicken salad was outstanding. But the bottom half of the croissant was soggy and cold and it tasted gross. So I peeled it off and did not eat it. Let me repeat that: I DID NOT EAT IT. Why? Because it wasn’t satisfying.
I drank only half of my Stella Artois because after several sips, the flavor no longer appealed to me. I didn’t finish the beer just because it was there. Then I shared a fantastic cup of local, organic vanilla ice cream with my son and enjoyed every lick.
On Sunday again I enjoyed whatever I wanted when I was hungry and was surprised to learn that I sometimes don’t need an afternoon snack. While our dinner of shrimp and garlic broccoli over quinoa was tasty, I only ate half of it because I was full.
This morning I weighed a pound and a half LESS than I did last week.
Intuitive Eating = Enjoying food again without guilt.
Next time I go to Trader Joe’s I intend to eat the sample cinnamon roll if it really appeals to me. And I’ll savor it and move on.
What about you? Do you allow yourself to eat what you want, when you want it? Are you able to eat mindfully and stop before you’re too full?
Tags: intuitive eating