So the last post and some of the comments on it combined with what is going on in my life right now, made me think about some things.
I have a new eating plan, which I am calling a “diet,” although I’m not doing it for weight loss. It’s more like a “Hey-let’s-see-if-I-can-keep-my-blood-sugar-from-spiking-and-dropping” diet. And it’s a little weird, because I hear “diet” and my inner teenager hollers, “HOORAY! WEIGHT LOSS!” and then I have to patiently explain to her/myself that no, this is NOT about weight loss.
“No. It’s about taking better care of myself.”
“Yeah, yeah. Will we lose weight?”
“Um, I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe not.”
“But there are certain foods we’re eating less of?”
“Well, that’ll make us lose weight!”
“Like I said, maybe, maybe not. Weight-loss isn’t the point.”
“Why are we eating less of certain foods if it’s not for weight-loss?”
“Because it’s healthier.”
“But it’s still a diet.”
“WOO-HOO! Weight loss!”
It doesn’t help matters that I took what my nutritionist said, and since I was having a hard time changing my diet on my own, I looked around for an ACTUAL diet to follow/modify. I got her seal of approval for the South Beach Diet, with a few modifications: only full-fat dairy (no lowfat or non-fat crap, yay!) and a wider range of protein options. (Specifically I’m under orders to keep eating liver. The “official” South Beach guidelines are that liver is too fatty, but I like it, and it’s really high in B vitamins, which I am really deficient in – score one for Intuitive Eating! – so it’s staying in my diet.) But the disconnect is that it’s primarily used as a weight-loss diet by most people (it was originally designed to be a diet for heart patients, but . . . ), so I’m having a little bit of a hard time disconnecting the association of “diet” and “weight-loss.”
Not to mention that cheering teenager in my head who WON’T SHUT UP.
Also, a mini-rant: while I was still researching various eating plans, I logged into some South Beach forums to ask about the dairy, and do you know what someone told me? That SB might not be for me because “the number of contradictions” (that would be ONE) might keep me from doing it “appropriately.” Seriously. “Appropriately?” WTF? That right there is a BIG reason that people go crazy on diets: “If you can’t do it right, don’t do it at all.” Now this person knows NOTHING about my eating habits, but because of the milk thing, this isn’t the thing for me. Um, ok. I’m of the opinion that if you want to be heathier, then something is better than nothing, but whatever. (Point of victory, though: I did manage to keep Crazy Bitch from derailing the whole thing, based on the fact that I couldn’t do it “right.” Woo!)
I’ve also been thinking a lot about Intuitive Eating and how to apply it when I have dietary restrictions that seem to run counter to what I “want.” And I think I have to remember that as long as my Intuitive Eater is speaking in the voice of a 7-year-old on Halloween (CANDY!), it doesn’t get a vote. Or maybe it gets half of a vote. Because lemme tell ya, that kid is GONE right after the fun ends, and I have to deal with the sugar hangover for the next three days. The little brat. I also think it’s important for me to distinguish between something I WANT and something I NOTICED. If I want a donut, I’ll think about it more than once, and probably over a couple of days (since I don’t usually have them in the house, and will have to go get some). That’s something I want. If I’m driving home after work and I’m kind of hungry, and I pass a donut shop and think “OO! Donuts!” that’s something I NOTICED (there’s that kid again: OO! SHINY!). Things that I happen to Notice don’t really fall into the realm of Intuitive Eating, at least for me. (Funny how even though I love vegetables, I never happen to Notice them. I only Notice junk food. Ahem.)
Actually, that is probably the distinction I hadn’t really drawn before just now, and is a big part of the reason that as much as I love Intuitive Eating, I find it really frustrating. The thing I’ve been going round and round with in my head is, “Well, should I eat junk food if I want it? What if I want it every day?” But maybe that’s not the issue. Maybe what I really need to pay attention to is what I Want vs. what I Notice, and then eat what I Want and skip what I Notice (since it’s always what I Notice that makes me sick later, anyway).
[“Ooo, if we skip food, we’ll lose weight, right?”]
[“Shut up, shutup, SHUTUP! Jesus!”]
I have to admit though, that I’m not so enlightened on the FA path as to not care if I lose weight. I’ve been culturally indoctrinated enough that I really, really hope I do. But I also know that if I don’t (and I might not – my eating habits are pretty good already), I’m not going to go do anything crazy about it. I’m not going to restrict or start eating non-fat dairy or exercise for an extra 90 minutes a day or any of that. (I will especially not count Points. Ahem.) But I can’t lie and pretend to be more ok with myself than I am. I’m still working on it – and in point of fact, I’ve come a long way, since I’m not going to actively try to “lose weight.” But . . . the part of me that wants to be culturally acceptable? Really hopes I lose weight as an ancillary benefit. (I don’t like that part of me much, I have to admit, but there it is.)
And during ALL of this, I have to remember to watch out for Crazy Bitch. The LAST thing I need to do is turn her loose with a “diet,” even if it’s a health-based diet. (Not a weight-based diet. I have to keep reminding myself of that.)