Leanne Nalani

{March 9, 2014}   Intuitive Eating Isn’t a Cure-All

This has been  a tough weekend with eating. Let’s start with the week’s events: Work has been ok but I’ve been moody about it. The part that has been a positive experience is working with the kids. Everything else has just been crap. I’m sick of all the things we teachers have to do outside of actually teaching. Honestly, I’m pretty sure we spend more time doing behind the scenes stuff than actually teaching. It doesn’t help that I’m feeling distant from the rest of the staff, too. I don’t even want to be around anyone at lunch but I still go and each time I come out of it feeling more distant.

In addition to this general down feeling, hubby went off to have a mini vacation with a friend in California. He left on Thursday and will be back sometime this week. I’m very excited for him to get away and do something fun with his bro! I’m just not used to being apart. We spend almost all our time together so it’s strange being alone in the house. It’s just me and Loki, best of buds.

When I got home from work on Thursday, I found some sweet messages waiting for me as he left to drive down to Cali:

photo (1)Yes, he misspelled it all on purpose.

photoHe got me that teddy bear for Christmas our first year together. That’s his side of the bed.

Why Intuitive Eating Isn’t a Cure-All

Ok, I’m about to get real now. I apologize to my family who reads this because it’s not something I talk about outside this blog – It’s serious and uncomfortable for all parties. I am working on my issues – I’m not in denial and I’m trying to find solutions.

My initial weekend plan was to be uber healthy and get lots of exercise. Why not? There would be a lot of free time. Instead, old habits started to trigger in my head – The kind that never end well. I did some weekend binge eating. The trigger was being alone because it’s easy to secretly eat a lot of food when no one is around. The only person to blame is myself but I still don’t know how to handle getting out of these modes. Once they get triggered it’s pretty much impossible to keep it from happening. It’s like flipping a switch.

This time at least it didn’t last as long as usual. Before, it would last a week or two straight. In fact, it was becoming more frequent and longer. Back in December it spanned almost the entire month. This time it lasted from Thursday night through Saturday. I feel like that’s some kind of progress.

For those who don’t know what it’s like, here’s some symptoms that I’ve personally experienced (for those who do know, I’m sorry because it’s a shitty problem to have):

  • Inability to stop eating even when you’re very full – It’s kind of like being in a shark frenzy where your rational brain turns off completely
  • Stomach pain
  • Constant thoughts about food, especially that of the unhealthy variety
  • Puffy face
  • Lack of exercise
  • Lack of decent sleep

Today is Sunday and I’m back. I feel human again. Rational. I exercised as my FitBit stats will show tomorrow morning. Zumba felt unpleasant yet great at the same time. I ate when I was hungry and waited to eat until I got hungry again. Intuitive eating is helping me get back into things.

Is all hope lost? I don’t think so. Like I said, this may still be progress. It was only a couple days which is probably shorter than it’s ever been. I’m still alone and don’t feel those crazy feelings to secretly binge. I was hoping Intuitive Eating would help solve all my problems, but turns out it’s not a cure-all. I believe that it is genuinely more helpful for me than what I was doing before with tracking food and restricting. Intuitive eating made it easier to get out of the binge-eating this weekend because I knew I could still eat what I wanted as long as I was hungry and ate only as much as my body needed.

In conclusion, I’m feeling much better. The brain-fog is gone and I’m ready to take on the work week.


I’m glad you’re back on track. The no-witnesses thing is a big trigger for me too. I’m sorry you had such a rough few days but glad you’ve got your mind back in a healthy space. Hang in there!

Thank you. It’s been a rough one. I still need to get my regular exercising back in order.

Proud of you for getting back on track. I can totally relate to just mindlessly eating as my hubby has been traveling so much lately. A nice big cookie (or 3) is a nice “treat” to being alone, right? It’s tough, but sounds like you’re pushing through!

Thanks, I’m still trying! Luckily hubby gets home today.

So proud of you for getting back on track! When I was in graduate school the hubby (boyfriend at the time) was back in Az and I was in Cali. My roommates would take off back home to LA for the weekend on Friday nights and I’d be left alone with the cat. Like you I’d get in some exercise and have uber healthy plans on my mind. I can’t tell you how many times I devoured a whole box of crackers or chips, cookies, froyo by myself it, jars of nut butter whatever it was I’d just eat and eat and eat… then feel so gross the next day! I didn’t really get a handle on the being alone thing till I found something that provided a sufficient distraction. Luckily though one night can’t kill everything, you did the right thing by getting back on track!

It’s tough especially when you’re not used to being alone. It almost makes for an easy excuse but in the end I felt so gross that it wasn’t remotely worth it.

This must be the week of true confessions. It feels good to get it off my chest but now it’s time for action. I think you’re right that two days is not the end of the world as long as you don’t continue down this slippery slope. I have the opposite reaction when my husband goes away. I get to eat what I want and I usually keep the menu simple and clean. No fancy sauces, no pasta, rice or bread. Protein and lots of veg. I don’t feel pressure to eat all the wonderful foods he’s prepared. He’s an amazing cook but he doesn’t get that I just can’t eat certain foods, even in moderation. Also when he’s away I keep busy with lots of projects around the house that need to be done. Every time he goes away for an extended period of time he comes home to at least one newly renovated room. Needless to say he doesn’t go away that often or I’d have a completely renovated house. Stay positive and don’t beat yourself up about your slips and falls. You’ve come a long way. Oh by the way I’ve felt the same way about people at work in the past. Changing jobs (schools) might help if things don’t get better. It did for me. Negative colleagues can play havoc with your own mood.

I wish I had a reaction like yours! Then again, I can understand why it’s so hard to control eating when you have an amazing cook at home who is always making something good to eat. My husband and I are both pretty basic when it comes to cooking and making food, although he is definitely a better cook than me.

It’s great to hear from another teacher about work stuff. I have been considering looking into a different school – I’ve been at the same one for about 7 years. Maybe it’s just time to move on.

I agree – that is progress! I’m glad you were able to get out of that before it turned into longer. You’re still inspiring to me. 🙂

Awww thank you. Sometimes I wonder about the times I post about such a serious problem… Like what people thing, what my family thinks, etc. I hate that it is a problem I only recently developed in the past couple years because I don’t know why it has such a hold on me when it never existed before.

I’m sure others would agree, but I definitely appreciate your honesty. This is a lifelong battle and you’ve done really well at keeping your weight off. It would be SO EASY to throw in the towel and gain it all back. But you’re not, and through all the ups and downs, you’re learning a lot. Sharing your struggles and knowledge is incredibly helpful. It gives me major hope. If I could only get in the losing mode… 🙂

Dot2Trot says:

Shark feeding frenzy is a good way to describe it. It feels at times like I’m on autopilot. Don’t beat yourself up but try to learn from this incident. You did make progress — it only lasted 2 days. Good to know that intuitive eating helped right the ship.

Yep, I think about the great white shark in Finding Nemo. Thinking just doesn’t happen once the frenzy starts.

Heather says:

You’re so right–IE isn’t a cure-all. For me, I think it has helped me much more than when I was focusing on calories or eating “healthy” or any number of other things…but it is so hard to shake the old patterns. You described what bingeing feels like really well–even when you’re so full that you feel sick, you still have this compulsion to keep eating and eating. It’s a miserable, miserable thing. I am so sorry you had a rough weekend–being alone or lonely is one of my biggest triggers, too. I’m really glad that you were able to pull out of it and start getting back to normal though–good luck! And keep being gentle with yourself.

Thank you so much, it’s good to know I’m not alone and that you agree about IE not being a fix for this. I don’t know why I thought it might, but I still think it’s going to be useful regardless.

And thank you for the reminder about being gentle with myself – I totally forgot about that and actually have been doing quite a bit of negative self-talk now that I think about it. I’ll probably feel better if I stop and think more positive things.

[…] my last post I’m feeling better. Not a ton better but that’s only because I am still working on […]

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