Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Intuitive Eating Chapter 8

I'd have to say that challenging the food police has been, and continues to be, the most difficult part of Intuitive Eating for me. (It might be a tie between that and coping with emotions without using food). The food police never seem to stop talking and new voices, presenting new ideas, crop up all the time. We are never free of all the messeges out there about food and dieting. I'm happy to say though, the shrill voices of the food police have diminished and quieted over time, leaving my life much more peaceful and calm.

In chapter 8 we learn about the voices of the food police and about the many other voices in our heads that we should use or ignore when learning to eat intuitively. I'll admit that some of the names the authors give to these voices are a little bit corny, but the ideas are good and necessary in learning to eat this way.

Question from chapter 8

1- List 3 ways the Food Police, the Nutrition Informant, and the Diet Rebel talk to you specifically. These should be messages that you hear and accept as true and that effect what or how you eat almost everyday.

2- The Food Anthropologist, the Nurturer, and the Intuitive Eater are all voices that the authors would like us to develop and tune into more often. Do these exist in your mind at all and do you ever base you eating decision on what they say to you? If so, how?

3- The authors point out several ways of thinking that can sabotage our efforts to become intuitive eaters. Pick two from this list and describe how you've seen them in yourself and how they manifest in your eating and relationships with food....

Dichotomous Thinking - all or nothing

Absolutist Thinking - one behavior with absolutely result in another behavior

Catastrophic Thinking - thinking in exaggerated ways i.e. I'll never be thin

Linear Thinking - getting to the goal without appreciating the process

It's really important to become hyper-alert to the food talk that inevitably arises when you approach eating situations. Observe what you're thinking each time you eat. Decide if what you are thinking helps or hinders your ability to eat in an intuitive way.

One last message from the Food Police

Rethinking Thin- Chapter 5 "The Drive to Eat"

Several studies are sited in chapter 5 of Rethinking Thin. The Ancel Key's study (now sited in both of our books) proves very clearly that when human being's cut back significantly on calories and food is restricted, phycological mechanisms kick in to help keep our bodies from starving. When denied energy, human beings will become fixated on food and anything that has to do with food to the exclusion of almost anything else. The study also shows that once people who have been hungry and have lost significant amounts of weight are then allowed to eat again, they exhibit irregular and out of control eating which takes many months to normalize again, if it ever does.

How much do genetics play a role in weight?

Many other studies are sited in chapter 5 that seem to prove irrefutably that a person's weight is much more determined by genetics than any other factor including diet, desire to be thin, or a person's environment. If you really stop to think about it, I'm sure you can find examples of people everywhere who seem to be able to eat anything they want and never gain weight and people who gain weight much more easily. We just assume (falsely in most cases) that the naturally skinny people must just have better self control than the people who are more overweight.

As you read the chapter think about what all the studies combined are telling us about dieting and weight. What do you think the author is trying to tell us about what we know about biology and the generally accepted ideas about dieting and weightloss that are prevelent in our society? How do the scientific studies sited in chapter 5 relate to what we are learning in intuitive eating?

A last cartoon for this week:

Monday, February 2, 2009

Intuitive Eating Chapters 6 and 7 - Rethinking Thin Chapter 4

I have a fun cartoon that I think applies very well to chapter 6 which is about honoring hunger. The idea is that if you don't keep you body fed biologically with adequate energy and carbohydrates you can trigger a primal drive to over eat. All you have to do is think about how you feel when it's time to eat after a long fast Sunday and you'll know what I'm talking about. This guy here is so hungry he can't think of anything but food......

Intuitive Eating - Chapter 6

1- When you have dieted in the past did you experience anything similar to the men in the Dr. Ancel Keys study? When you diet do you find yourself more preoccupied with food or less?

2- The authors state that the hunger drive is truly a mind-body connection. Have you experienced the hunger drive with both mind and body. If so, how?

3- How often would you say that you eat in response to the internal cue of gentle hunger and how often do you eat or not eat in response to other internal or external cues such as emotions, time of day, social situations or self imposed rules? Do you eat only when you're ravenously hungry or are you one who stays fed to the point that the feeling of hunger is rare in your life? Maybe you're somewhere in between these two?

Intuitive Eating Chapter 7

1- I'm sure most of us have experienced psychological deprivation and can attest that it's a powerful and real thing. How have you experienced psychological deprivation, even outside of the food arena?

2- Feeling deprived in other areas of your life may lead to heightened feelings of deprivation when dieting or restricting food. Have you experienced this?

3- Have you ever experience anything like the story of Heidi and her chocolate as described on page 76-77?

4- Have you experienced "last supper eating?" If so, how?

5- Refer to the list of subtle forms of rebound eating described on pages 78-79. Do you see behaviors of your own in any of these descriptions? Which ones?

6- Have you ever experienced the see-saw syndrome as described in chapter 7? If so how?

7- When the authors suggest giving yourself unconditional permission to eat, and you imagine yourself doing this, what are your feelings? Do you believe that you would eventually experience food habituation like the authors say that you would?

This week, make a list of foods you enjoy but don't keep around the house, don't allow yourself to eat, or eat, but feel extreme guilt when you do eat them. This list will include foods that you feel you would never stop eating if you gave yourself unconditional permission to do so. If you feel brave enough, go ahead and try an experiment. Pick one food from your list, keep it around, give yourself unconditional permission to eat that food, and see what happens.

Rethinking Thin Chapter 4

1- Dr. Stunkard has proven pretty clearly that being overweight is not a result of psychological issues. Have you blamed any of your weight problems or issues with food on psychological factors? Do you believe there are certain behaviors that separate fat people from skinny people? Do overweight people bring their weight problems on themselves?

2- Carmen mentions in one of his diet classes that he believes the theroy that a person is only as fat as they want to be. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Why or why not?

One favor this week..... I find that I'm basically writing the questions and posting the only comments, with the exception of one or two others. If you are still reading with us will you let me know. Just say something like, "I'm still here." I don't expect people to answer any of the questions, but it would be nice to know that I'm not the only group member left. Thanks gals!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Video to Share

I saw this segment on the Today Show awhile ago. I thought it was very relevent to what we've been reading and discussing. Take a look. What do you think? Click here to open the video.