Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Intuitive Eating Review – Eat sitting down in a calm environment

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. Having said that, I’m now moving on to Rule 2: eat sitting down in a calm environment.

Rule 2: Eat sitting down in a calm environment

When eating, make sure you are sitting down. If you are eating (even if it is a box of Oreos) in front of the fridge or the pantry, make sure you are sitting down. And even though you are sitting down, the car does not count. Eating in the car is not allowed.

The purpose of this rule is to become a mindful eater. Geneen explains it best on her website when she explains what the title of the book When You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull up a Chair.

Most of the people with whom I work "graze" at the refrigerator while standing up. They pretend they are not really eating, they just happened to pass by the fridge on their way to the phone and thought they'd check if the contents have changed since the last time they looked.

My message is: If you are going to do something, bring all your attention to it and enjoy it for all it's worth! Pleasure is good! Stop sneaking around. You wouldn't think of inviting a friend over for dinner and standing with her in front of the refrigerator picking out of Tupperware containers with your fingers--there is no reason to treat yourself that way either. Also, people eat MUCH less when they allow themselves to focus on, taste and enjoy their food

I’m not a refrigerator grazer, but I do graze the pantry: a handful of chocolate chips, animal crackers, Cracklin’ Oat Bran (when it’s around, they don’t sell it in Canada) and on occasion, I’ve even made a batch of graham cracker crust to munch on with a spoon and bowl.

Eating in the car is another story. I’ve had many binges and episodes of overeating in the car. It’s private, you have access to any food you want with minimal contact with your supplier (fast food restaurant, corner store, grocery store) and you can easily dispose of any evidence.

This was an easy enough rule to follow. I believe this rule can help anyone become a more mindful eater. However, once I left the intuitive eating support group, I no longer cared if I was standing up, sitting down or driving my car. Car eating and pantry surfing started again.

Following this rule on its own isn't going to make you an intuitive eater and not following it isn't going to break you from becoming an intuitive eater. Following (or not following) did not contribute to why intuitive eating did not work for me.

Quick link to Rule 1 - eat only when you are hungry

Tomorrow Rule 3 - eat what your body wants

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