What a week.
Don’t ask. It’s over and that’s all that matters. In positive news, my ipod that mysteriously refused to turn on miraculously turned on. In worse news, my engine may be shitting the bed. Not sure yet. The family mechanic (true story, he was a mechanic before he was a lawyer) found a troubling lack of coolant fluid and no leaks or loose hoses seem to be responsible. Sometimes that means you’ve blown a head gasket. But the car seems to be okay. So if you pray for first world concerns like that, please add my little car to your prayers. Otherwise, please just continue to pray for orphans and end to war. <3
So I got a lovely and thoughtful question from a reader last night and I felt bad for not addressing it earlier. I had thought about addressing it and decided, eh, no one cares. But evidently people do, so here’s the question and my response.
Anyway, I am a big supporter so I hope this doesn’t come off the wrong way, but what happened to intuitive eating? How do you feel the detox will fit in with that perspective? I have considered many detoxes and even tried a few, so no judgment, but I thought your posts on IE were really cool and I loved that you were embracing your body and turning away from dieting – I can relate to the pressure of always feeling like I have 5 lbs I would like to do away with. It sort of seems like the allure of the detox is it will help you do away with the vanity pounds… I guess what I’m trying to say is you look great now, if the detox makes you FEEL good then that’s awesome, but I hope you are still letting yourself feel as beautiful as you are!
I will be honest, getting rid of vanity pounds IS alluring. It always WILL be alluring. It’s something also that I struggle with while intuitive eating… man, I’d like this way of eating so much better if my thighs were just a little less… thigh-y. So yes, it is easy to turn the detox into “WEE! LET’S GET SO SKINNY WE LOOK LIKE CRACKHEADS!” Just like it’s easy to turn intuitive eating into a diet.
But I do know that the slightly underweight physique only comes from 1) using crack or 2) having certain genetics or 3) severely restricting your food. Since none of those apply to me, any vanity pounds I lose on the detox will, alas, come right back. We all know that. People who have more weight to lose will probably keep more of it off, but detoxing is not a great way to lose vanity weight.
But there are health benefits to detoxing in a way that prescribes the types of foods I’ll be eating. I’m hoping to re-train my body to crave natural foods. Intuitive eating is great and has served me well but certain foods do not lend themselves to eating intuitively. These are highly processed foods that are very sugary, salty or involve alcohol. This topic is addressed a bit in Sheryl Canter’s Normal Eating. While these foods aren’t “bad” to eat and shouldn’t be off limits, you should acknowledge that when you eat Oreo’s, your intuition will be less involved and your lizard brain (or the Lizzie brain) gets involved. And that’s the brain that is so delighted by the man-made miracle of cookie that it will keep eating after it’s had enough.
This is the flaw in intuitive eating — it is difficult to eat junk food intuitively. But since, no food is off limits, and I want it, I eat it. ANd round and round I go in the cycle of junk food mania.
But now I don’t want to want it anymore. Does that make sense? I want my lizard brain to shut up. I know I can eat cookies and it’s fine and eventually I’ll stop and everything will go back to normal but I’d really rather not keep dealing with that up and down. A lot of times, the desserts I eat don’t even taste as good as I remember them tasting. But I eat them anyway. Even though I don’t thoroughly enjoy them (although, yes, sometimes I do enjoy them). Even though I feel not good afterwards or it interferes with my physical performance in class.
What does that sound like to you? To me, it sounds like addiction. It sounds like I need to knock that shit off.
The foods I plan to eat on this detox (which I’ll be documenting here) I’m HOPING will help me get rid of this jones I have for sugar. Some people can eat a little bite of sugar and be fine with it. I cannot. Wish I could. I’ve tried and tried and tried. In the early days of intuitive eating I was able to leave desserts unfinished occasionally. But the more often I have sugar, the more likely I am to want it more often and to eat it in larger quantities when I have it.
I think that a detox of this nature where there’s a set meal plan naturally violates the rules of intuitive eating. But I am doing this program because my intuition tells me my body needs to do this. My body needs to kick its reliance on stimulants like coffee and sugar. Also, the glass of wine I loved to have once or twice a week? Is now a 4 times a week habit. Come home, shower, pajamas, food… then relax on the couch with a glass of wine. I’m looking forward to forming NEW habits in these 21 days where I really don’t have a choice but to change my behavior. I probably could have gone about it in a less drastic way, but the lizard brain is stronger. Oh, what’s ONE little glass of wine? What’s ONE little morsel of cheese or chocolate with your wine? You don’t want to restrict yourself you know!
So there’s my explanation, or rationalization, if you prefer. I still think intuitive eating is the best way to live and I wish I’d not gone so crazy with eating junk food “because I can.”
Hope you guys have a great weekend and I’ll see you Monday for Day 1. <3