5 Surprising Lessons Intuitive Eating Taught Me About My Weight

After spending most of my live living under the impression that I had control over what I weighed, learning to let go of that control was not that easy.   Pancakes for breakfast, wouldn’t that lead to weight gain?  A Pina Colada on vacation, wouldn’t a vodka club be the better choice if I didn’t want to gain weight? Letting go of all the rules of what I should & shouldn’t do was hard when I felt like some of those rules were keeping me from gaining weight. The problem was though that when I worked hard to weigh less, it sucked most of fun out of life, & it was a little frustrating to be the one who never missed a workout & always said no to dessert, but still never felt happy with how my body looked.   The top 5 things I learned by finally letting go of rules were…..

  1. The amount of time & energy spent trying to control my weight yeilded a TERRIBLE return on investment.  All the desserts I wanted but skipped, all the days I wanted to sleep in but forced myself out of bed to run, all the times I wanted chips but settled for carrot sticks & when it was all said & done my body is not noticeably different now that I stopped doing all of that.
  2. My body is much better at balancing it all out than I am. There were so many times I forced myself to exercise to make up for a “bad” day of eating or planned to eat “less later” so I could eat “more now” & ended up feeling overly full & miserable because I felt like I had to take full advantage of the opportunity. Now, I may have days where I eat a little more but there’s no need to go overboard anymore, the foods not going anywhere & I can have more when I’m hungry again. Plus the days where I eat a little more usually lead to less hungry days where I eat a little less, but it’s because my body knows what it’s doing & not because I’m trying to make up for anything.
  3. Time where I thought my willpower was good & would lose weight or time where I thought my will power was bad & I would gain was really just my body’s way of letting me know it was ultimately in control. I see the same pattern of being more or less hungry during different times of the month or year now. It’s my body’s way of getting what it needs which for me seems to be a little extra weight during the colder months & at certain times if the month.
  4. A smaller body made my life less happy, not more. Putting so much time & effort into weighing less made it so I constantly judged how my body looked & because there was always something about it that I thought could be better, I was never happy. Meanwhile all the food rules & exercise goals were stealing the happiness that comes from the enjoyment of eating a satisfying meal, or connecting with friends & family over food & drinks. Instead of enjoying those experiences I would feel stress & anxiety for how to navigate them without too much damage & how to make up for the damage later with less food & more exercise.
  5. There are all kinds of advantages to working out but weighing less is not one if them. When I used to live life with strict food rules & exercise goals, any deviation from those rules would lead to immediate weight gain making me feel that exercise was a mandatory requirement, even when I was sick, injured, or on vacation. Now that I’ve let go of those rules I can skip days or weeks & not notice any difference in how my clothes fit. Once I was at my set point weight, I didn’t have to try to keep myself there.

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