Intuitive Eating

Redefine Your Relationship with Food

Making the changes to lose weight is obvious–it’s something everyone can see as we shrink in size. But making the changes inwardly to make sure that this isn’t a yo-yo experience is much harder to do.

I think one of the hardest things about losing weight for some people is addressing their relationship with the food they eat. In this day and age we’re kind of disconnected from the whole process–myself included. As a former vegetarian, I try not to think too much about what that piece of chicken used to be. But is that the healthy mindset to have? Probably not. We don’t grow our own food, we buy it at a store. Our food comes in boxes, frozen and mysterious looking with unrecognizable ingredients.

For so long, food was the enemy for me. It was what I was addicted to, it was the thing I couldn’t resist and couldn’t stop when I started a binge. Food was the source of all of my problems, or so I thought.

The key to losing weight and keeping it off is changing your relationship and attitude towards the food you eat. It took me a LONG time to figure this out. While I was losing 100 pounds I still saw food as the enemy. It was something I had to restrict, to measure, to count, for convenience. It was something I had to deny myself.

Once I’d kept the weight off for a few years, I started to evaluate my relationship with the food I ate.

Do I eat because it’s mealtime, even if I am not hungry?

Do I overeat even though my body is telling me it’s full?

Do I eat to feel better when upset?

Do I vow to “never eat ____ ever again” and then do it again?

Do I punish myself by severely restricting my calories after I overeat?

Do I eat snacks from the bag in front of the TV without counting out a serving size?

Do I eat in secret?

Do I enjoy the food I eat, savor and taste it, or do I shovel it in my mouth?

Can I recognize REAL HUNGER?

My answers to those questions were revealing. Yes, I was an emotional eater. No, I couldn’t recognize real hunger. For too long I’d been eating all the time. It was a learning process.

Change Our Mindset and Our Vocabulary

Food is not the enemy. I have to remind myself of this periodically, even to this  day. And most importantly: I shouldn’t punish myself for what I do eat!

Food is fuel. It’s the gas that makes the car drive from one place to another, without it we’re stuck on the side of the road not going forward. Once I made the connection that food was fuel my body needed, I started to think about what KIND of fuel I was putting into my body. Was it healthy? Was it “premium” or the cheap stuff just to get by? Does my body feel good when I eat this food? Is my performance improved on the bike or running when I eat certain foods?

Food is not “good” or “bad”. Eat in moderation. Follow the 90/10 Rule. Remind myself to eat what I want in portion sizes and not beat myself up about slip ups. I’m not on a diet.

Do Something About It

Grow your own food, cook your own food. I feel so much better after I started phasing out the processed foods. They aren’t completely gone from my diet but eating a lot of veggies and good proteins makes me feel so much better!

Keep a food journal. Recognize when you eat, why you eat, what you eat. Is it for the right reason or for emotional reasons?

I don’t know that there is one answer to this question. It definitely takes time. Like I’ve said before, the longer I maintain my weight the less I think about it. It’s just second nature to workout, count my calories, and live healthy. It may not always be easy, there are definitely bumps in the road, but with practice and time I have improved my relationship with food.

QUESTION: Have you redefined your relationship with food? How did you do it?

Body Love Week: Structure, Perfectionism, and Authentic Living

This week on 110 Pounds, we’ll be discussing the important topic of Body Loving. Here is the first post to kick off the positive body image week. Enjoy. -Lisa

Structure, Perfectionism, and Authentic Living

Guest Post By

Mara Glatzel

I have this thing about routines.

When I was a compulsive eater, it often looked like this: there is absolute chaos around me, I am exhausted, have been eating food that doesn’t work for my body for far too long, and I can’t remember the last time I got up and moved. I remember reeling as though I would do almost anything to just pull myself together.

So then, I would dream up a little structure for myself. Spoiler alert: it was rigid and filled with steadfast rules. Spoiler alert no. 2: it always always ended back up in chaos. And I would be disappointed in myself. Again.

Then the cycle would repeat itself.

I was really good at dreaming up the routines. I was so good, in fact, that they were air tight, with little room for actual real life. I would suddenly find myself at a party or out of the house for 12 hours, and my routines would come crumbling down all around me.

It took a long time for me to realize that crumbling into chaos wasn’t mandatory, that I could slip, altering my steadfast routine, without chucking the whole thing out the window. It took a long time for me to realize that every second was a second to turn it all around.

Every bite was a second to turn it all around. A moment to make choices that were better aligned with those things that make me feel good.

It took me quite some time to realize that I deserved to feel good, that “treating myself sweetly” did not mean “treating myself to sweets.”

It was during that time that I realized I needed just a handful of rules, let’s call it a gentle structure containing things that I worked to maintain in my daily life, even when I was too busy for everything else.

My baseline.

The few things that I needed to do consistently to keep myself operating on an even playing field.  And even these rules were made to be broken – sometimes.

Even when we can acknowledge that there are certain things that we need, say 7 hours of sleep, 8-10 glasses of water, or some semblance of vegetables in every meal, we have to allow ourselves the opportunity to color outside the lines. If we can find a way to approach ourselves with relentless compassion instead of brutality or negative self-talk, it is possible that we can head off a tailspin back into our more chaotic behaviors. If we can find a way to make space for the life that we like living somewhere within the matrix of our necessary rule set, it may be possible to strike a comfortable balance between authentic living and teetering on the brink of personal disaster.

Not everyone will understand this feeling, but when you are someone who has recovered from a lifetime of any sort of disordered eating or problematic relationship with food, we have to re-learn how to trust ourselves. We have to take precautions in order to safeguard our new found feelings of self-worth and self-love.

I have found that it will become easy over time, natural even, but in the interim, it is important to be very kind to yourself. You will mess up, you will make mistakes, you will be disappointed in yourself, but it is crucial to take a moment to remember that you are doing the best that you can.


Bio: Mara Glatzel is a self-love coach and author of the body image + authentic living blog, Medicinal Marzipan. If you enjoyed this post, catch up with her (almost) daily body-loving antics and general rabble-rousing on facebook,  twitter, or shoot her an email.

QUESTION: Do you have compassion for yourself?