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Health at Every SizeThis follows on from a  previous post as I go through HAES.

Eat Delicious Food

Enjoying the food that you eat allows you to stop eating when full and doesn’t cause you to overeat. I can do this with some foods (chocolate) but not with others although I am learning. I don’t think I’m enjoying enough foods at the moment to really let this happen intuitively.

Pay Attention When You Eat: 30-40% of your total physical response to a meal occurs during the “cephalic phase of digestion”

This refers to the time you spend seeing, smelling and tasting your food. Digestion actually becomes a lot less effective and metabolism slows down. So focus on eating. This is something I don’t do. I invariably eat in front of the television or the computer, and don’t concentrate on my food. I’m already cringing at the thought of spending time just on eating, time that I could be doing something useful in. I don’t value that time spent on eating. Maybe of course if I spent more time preparing food that I was going to enjoy eating I would value that eating time more.

Satisfy Your Hunger

Eating when you’re hungry will help your senses enjoy the taste, smells and feel of good food and means that you feel satisfied with a lot less.

Filling in an Eating Journal that documents the degree of your hunger and how you felt before and after eating. Note the moods and energy. This I need to do, despite it feeling foolish. Homework for next week.

Tackle Emotional Eating

If you fulfil your emotional needs more appropriately then you don’t need to eat due to emotional hunger. Simple to state but harder to follow. So take mini-steps:

Thank your appetite.
Question yourself before you eat.
Sit quietly.
Feel those emotions.
Take care of yourself.
Show compassion to yourself.

Having an appetite and responding to it is what stops us from wasting away and should be acknowledged. Intuitive Eating refers to questioning yourself as “Eat when hungry” with the corollary, if you’re not hungry then recognise that and try to satisfy that need some other way. I have tried to ask myself the question. Sometimes it’s needing a break from work in which case I’m getting up and spending five minutes doing something physical; sometimes I’ve eaten anyway but recognised that hunger wasn’t the cue. Sitting quietly when hungry and naming the emotions goes along with this. Expressing those emotions, whether verbally or in writing is something I’m trying to address, both in conversations with BFF1/2, counselling and in writing here. Taking care of myself is something I’m struggling with but determined to do more of. Being nice to myself and not judging or blaming myself is again something I’m struggling with but getting better at.

…experience your emotions, rather than numbing them with food…

Quotes are taken from “Health at Every Size” by Linda Bacon