For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been completely swamped. Last week I was in Las Vegas coordinating our group (for Major Movie Studio) during the ShoWest convention, and the week before was a whirlwind of how-to’s and last-minute planning. And on top of that, I really haven’t had much to say. I still don’t feel like I really have any coherent thoughts to be honest, but I’ve been waking up at night feeling anxious, and I think it’s because I have a lot on my mind – it’s just that what’s on my mind isn’t coherent. If that makes any sense. 😛
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about Intuitive Eating vs. Habitual Eating vs. Eating-Because-My-Inner-Brat-Wants-It-NOW-NOW-NOW! Ahem. I started thinking about it more over the last few days because of a post where the author mentioned using FitDay software to track her nutritional intake. (I’d link, but I don’t remember where I read it, to be honest, and I went back through the fatosphere posts and still didnt’ see it. So, meh.) She decided that she was eating a little too much fat: didn’t like the percentage on the FitDay pie chart, and she already had avocado on her sandwich, so she decided to stop using mayonnaise on her sandwiches. She said she didn’t miss it. (That part’s important.) There were a couple of comments that made me stop and think though. One person asked if the poster wasn’t just caving in to “conventional wisdom” about fat being BAD. But I couldn’t help thinking, she’s still eating avocado on the sandwiches, so clearly it’s not that fat=bad. And frankly, unless she’s making her own mayo at home, she’s probably better off leaving that chemical-laden crap OFF her sandwiches, anyway. I couldn’t help wondering if the commenter would have had the same reaction if the poster had said she was ADDING fat to her sandwiches: telling her that she should just be eating intuitively, and if that means mayo on the sandwich, then just eat the mayo.
And THAT got me to thinking about Intuitive Eating vs. Habitual Eating. Frankly, I put (preservative-free, eggs-oil-and-lemon-juice) mayo on most of my sandwiches, but if I think about it, it’s not because I WANT the mayo, which is the point of IE: eating what you WANT. I just put mayo on the sandwiches, because . . . well, because I’ve always done it. But in point of fact, I could happily eat a turkey sandwich with avocado (for the fat), lettuce, red onion, tomatoes and mustard – and no mayo. On the other hand, if I eat an egg salad sandwich, part of what I’m craving is that creamy, mayonnaise-y goodness. I would never leave mayo out of an egg-salad sandwich, because the mayo is part of what I want. Does that make sense?
I just have a hard time with the idea that if you’re eating intuitively, then you’re ONLY eating what you really want. What if your mom always made cookies with egg whites and so that’s how you make cookies? Are you craving egg whites, or could you use whole eggs and never know the difference? What if you grew up eating meatloaf with ketchup in it? How do you know you want the ketchup if you’ve never tried the meatloaf without it? (My mom never put ketchup on meatloaf, and since having had both, they aren’t interchangeable for me: sometimes I want ketchup, and sometimes I don’t.) See what I mean?
And I’ve been trying to learn to love myself EXACTLY the way I am. But . . . I work in film. When I’m 20 pounds lighter than I am now, I work TWICE as much. If I’d lose 40 pounds, I’d work all the time, but I’m not sure I can do that without being crazy. So I’m trying to eat Intuitively, and trying to love myself – and at the same time, I’m back to trying to lose some weight. I’ve already noticed that I have to keep an eagle eye on the voices in my head: the voices that think eating fewer calories is a game and that if I could eat NOTHING and still exercise, I would win. 😛 I have to watch them, and make sure I keep refocusing them. I find myself constantly having this conversation:
Voice 1: “I want that chocolate!”
Voice 2: “NO! That will make you FAT! It’s BAD and YOU will be BAD if you eat it!”
ME: “Chocolate is not ‘bad.’ You can eat it if you want to. You can eat whatever you want, whenever you want it. The only reason you’re eating more carefully is because you made a conscious choice to play someone else’s game by losing weight, but your weight doesn’t affect your worth. Do you want that chocolate? You can have it.”
Voice 1: “It’s not bad?”
Voice 1: “And I can have it later if I want?”
Voice 1: “OK. I don’t want it now. I want acting jobs more. But I might want that chocolate later, ok?”
ME: “Sure thing.”
Living in paradox is freakin’ EXHAUSTING.