Updated: Mar 7
I’m about 4 months into my Intuitive eating journey, I feel like things are starting to click now, I’m starting to really understand and I'm able to follow all the principles of intuitive eating pretty well, apart from one. Principal number 6-Feel your fullness. I fully understand it but for some reason I just can not seem to always adhere to it. It has been my biggest struggle with IE. If I am able to trust my intuition by honouring my hunger, why am I struggling so much to trust my intuition when it comes to feeling full? Why am I unable to observe the signs that I am comfortably full and its time to stop eating? Without looking at the hunger scale I have learnt what being at a 3-4 feels like, I know then it is time to eat. I will try and avoid getting below that, I am not the best person to be around when I'm hangry, my kids are like mum are you hangry because you keep moaning at us and my poor husband hides in another room! But I can easily get to 8 maybe even 9 when I'm eating, I just ignore it, then I hate how uncomfortable I feel and end up in a massive shame spiral.
Its not something I am really willing to let continue, its something I am determined to conquer, its just taking me a while. I'm fully aware that in order to do that though, I need to stop stressing about it, which I must admit is a lot easier said than done. I've had countless conversations with my sisters about this. Both of them follow intuitive eating, one started over a year ago, my other sister about a month before me. Every time they tell me stop stressing, the instinct to stop eating when you are full enough will come its just taking time for you to adjust. They remind that for over 20 years whenever I had a meal, I would have been planning every part of that meal, probably thinking about it for most of the day and really looking forward to it because I was always hungry! Whatever was on my plate I would most of the time finish it regardless of if I was full halfway through or not because every calorie was precious, it was stopping the hunger and god forbid I wanted to eat something else later on in the evening! When I would give myself permission to eat something other than a salad, I wouldn't eat it slowly and savour it, I would devour it! I would always finish it, there would not be a crumb left because I did not know when I would let myself have it again. After 20 years, getting out of that habit and mind set is not going to be easy. It will take time and patience. I'm not the most patient person in the world, I'm happy to admit that I want this to happen now, I want to be at a 7 when I stop eating like yesterday but like every other aspect of this journey it is going to take a bit of work and time.
So on my sisters very good advice and so I stop driving them crazy by going on about it, its time to strip it right back and start again with principal number 6. From now on I will make the following promises to myself:
That when I am eating my meals I need to slow it right down.
Be more mindful
Listen to my body
Savour every mouthful
Think about how I feel after each mouthful
Ask myself has that mouthful filled me up?
Can I have another one or will that make me feel uncomfortable?
Remind myself I do not need to finish what is on my plate!!
I know I want to finish my meal when I'm around 7-8 so it's recognising what that feels like. I wish someone could tell me what that feels like so I get there quicker but that will feel different to all of us. I need to be way more mindful when I'm eating and not get lost in my own thoughts, at least until I am able to recognise being at a 7-8 without even realising it. The biggest thing I need to overcome is being able to tell myself I don't need to eat everything that is on my plate! It is ok to leave some! If I am hungry again in an hour or two, I can eat! I can actually eat and no one is going to judge me, no app is going to scream at me that I have gone over my calories for the day, there is no guilt anymore! Maybe I need to write that down, laminate it, put it up on my wall and read it continuously until it completely sinks in. It was suggested to me to print off a copy of the hunger scale so I can refer to it as I am eating a meal, the purpose being to recognise the feeling of each number on the scale and acknowledge it as you eat, so I will give that a go as well and hopefully by doing all this it wont be long before I have nailed principal 6 and I can stop the stressing. That would most definitely be a win!
If you have any other tips or advice you think may help please tell me in the comment section below. I need all the help I can get and I'm sure anyone else struggling with this will appreciate that to.
Thank you for reading, stay safe and happy eating.