Rule 5: eat in full view of others
The complete rule is eat (with the intention of being) in full view of others. This doesn’t mean that you require an audience to eat, it just means that if you decide to eat chocolate for breakfast, you won’t hide said choice if your husband/mother/child walks in the room.
When I was participating in the intuitive eating group therapy sessions in 2001/2001, I was living at my parent’s house after graduating from school. One morning I decided that my body really needed to eat chocolate eggs for breakfast. So armed with the intention of eating with full view of others, I ate a handful of the Easter treats in front of my Mom and Dad. I can tell you that my Mom was not impressed by what I was learning in group therapy; I can still picture the WTF look on her face.
After I left the intuitive eating group, I made an effort to follow the spirit of this rule. I was more successful at home than at work. My hubby was understanding; I knew that he would not say anything to add to the guilt and shame I already felt after eating a bag of Oreos in a day. Work was a different story. Routinely, I ate a package of chocolate wafers, or a bag of Oreos or Reese peanut butter cups on the sly. There was no way I was willing to come out of the food cupboard to announce, hey – I’m bingeing, look at all the crap I can consume in an hour.
I’ve been on the receiving end of some embarrassing comments throughout the years and there was no way I was going to open myself up to more. A university friend gave me a loaf of her Mom’s Italian Easter bread (sweet, braided with an egg in it) and went on and on about how I ate it in two days, “OMG I can’t believe you ate all of it already!!!”
Of course, if I had been eating the healthy food that my body wanted, eating only when hungry and until I was satisfied, I would naturally have no problem with the eat in full view of others. Nonetheless, I was proud of the fact that I was able to be myself at home, which helped alleviate the tension and anxiety with food. I believe that hubby’s support and openness made me feel comfortable to seek the help of a cognitive therapist.
Disclaimer: I should tell you that I no longer have my copies of Geneen Roth’s earlier books on intuitive eating, Why Weight? A guide to Ending Compulsive Eating and Breaking Free from Emotional Eating and I have not read her popular, Oprah-endorsed book, Women Food and God. I haven’t picked up new copies to recall the finer points of each rule. My analysis is based strictly on my memory from 2001/2001 when I participated in an intuitive eating support group in an attempt to resolve my eating issues. In this particular group, we followed Geneen Roth’s seven guidelines for intuitive eating.
Rule 1: Eat when you are hungry
Rule 2: Eat sitting down in a calm environment
Rule 3: Eat what your body wants
Rule 4: Eat in until you are satisfied
Note: tomorrow I’m off to the Rock to visit my MIL and FIL. They live in a scenic town called Norris Point, which is located in Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland and Labrador. I’ll also be visiting L’Anse aux Meadows where the Vikings first landed in North America. Therefore, the intuitive eating review will continue on when I am back from my vacation.
Check back here for Newfoundland temptations, traditional Newfie foods prepared on the island. And let me tell you, fresh vegetables are scarce in this land of salt water, salt fish, tuckamore and rock.