DebraSY

Intuitive Eating: Part II, and Over the Top

In Weight-Loss Maintenance on December 28, 2010 at 12:08 pm

Trigger alert, my size acceptance friends. I’m about to get into some of my techniques. I want to compare notes with my maintainer friends. I’ll also welcome your thoughts too, but you may not wish to read further, and I’m cool with that.

It was four days ago. I casually took my empty wine glass with me to the bathroom. I suppose I could have troubled my mother-in-law for a measuring cup (or just gone to the cupboards and found one myself), and she wouldn’t have thought me odd. She knows I work at weight-loss maintenance. I have bemoaned it to her before. She’s heard the “it’s-not-a-lifestyle-it’s-a-job” shpiel.

But I knew I didn’t really need a measuring cup, and I am self-conscious about drawing attention to my weight-loss maintenance unless someone else brings it up. Actually, even if someone brings it up. (It starts a whole it’s-really-more-complicated-than-women’s-magazines-make-it-out-to-be monolog, that I find embarrassing for its self-centeredness. And it’s nearly impossible to not sound braggadocios.) So rather than be caught using a measuring cup by some other family member, I used my other method.

I closed the bathroom door, filled the glass with water to the point that my father-in-law had filled it with wine. I took a deep breath, exhaled, and then . . . Gulp. Gulp. Gulp. Gulp. Gulp. Gulp. Gulp. Seven ounces. Here’s something I know about myself: one hearty-but-even gulp in a series equals an ounce. (Had the final gulp been a partial, I would have rounded down, but it was, indeed a full gulp.) Multiply that by 23 calories. My glass of wine had been 161. Round to nearest ten: 160. Reset the day’s total: I’m at 1660. Use the john, and rejoin the party.

Is that body wisdom or just body knowledge? Since I hide in the bathroom, is it a sign of disorder? I think it’s just being polite. When people see you pull out a measuring cup at a party, it can be interpreted as a judgment of their consumption. Or it looks like an invitation: “ask me about my weight-loss management.” I know that.

Am I ashamed that I do this? Not really. But I’m not proud either. I’m not ready to write a best seller, The Human Measuring Cup Diet, because I don’t trust that something isn’t wrong about this. Who knows, maybe this technique is already in someone else’s best seller. Right next to the technique where you hold your knifeful of peanut butter next to your thumb or you compare your mashed potatoes to a tennis ball (techniques that I use as well). But there is something different about this. And I’ll enjoy your commentary on precisely what that is.

I came about this particular piece of body wisdom/knowledge by accident. One hot day I downed an eight-ounce glass of milk in eight gulps and thought, “hey.” A little later, with some private experimentation, I confirmed my suspicion and perfected my technique. I can unwittingly get more than an ounce in a gulp, if it’s an isolated gulp. In a series, I can get less than an ounce if I don’t get in a good inhale/exhale before I tilt the glass. I know how to do this just so. Is this a good thing to know?

I trace the motivation for learning my funny technique to the “intuitive eating” class I described in my last post, a class in which I was encouraged to be self-indulgent in terms of learning my body’s relationship to food. While we were encouraged to reject the “diet mindset,” it really wasn’t a huge stretch to turn our pursuit of body wisdom into its own diet mindset. I merely started tying quantities to body cues.

Long before I learned how to measure liquids with my gulp mechanism, I taught myself how to count calories in reverse.  That is, I ate when I was hungry, just barely, at the 4.5 level (as defined clearly in my intuitive eating class). This way I wasn’t distracted by the hunger, or pushed by it to eat more than I would choose, just informed by it. I ate until I was satisfied but not overfull. The trouble with satisfaction is that it has a broad range, at least for me. A 100-calorie banana could (and still does) quell my hunger immediately, and not to any over-full point, but so too could a 450-calorie turkey-and-cheese sandwich, or any number of food choices.  And I couldn’t discern any difference between a level five or seven satiety.  If I ate an enormous, Thanksgiving-sized meal, I might suddenly find myself at a miserable “ten” without benefit of any numbers in between. 

So instead of trying to “get” satiety, I accepted that my cues were broken in that regard, and I simply noted the number of calories I took in, then I paid attention to when my hunger cues resurfaced at the precise 4.5 level. Handy for me, 100 calories (of nutritious food) equaled one hour to the minute. Two hundred equaled two. All the way up to 600 calories, which equaled six hours.

But then my experiment faltered.  I learned that over 600 calories my results would be inconsistent. Sometimes 700 calories would equal seven hours, but sometimes it was only six and a quarter. I don’t know why this is, and I decided it was okay anyway. I cut my pursuit of body knowledge short. The inconsistency probably has something to do with food composition. Too many carbs versus too little protein/fat probably affects the time factor. Missing macro- or micro-nutrients may also cue my body to eat again before the clock would predict. Who knows? Personally, I wasn’t willing to control my food composition so tightly to make the equation consistent. I was, however, willing to accept some unknowns and work within a 600-calorie frame, as long as it maintained my weight loss and allowed me a fairly normal life.

This is why I call myself an intuition-assisted eater. I often use the intuitive eating scale to cue me to eat. (But I don’t wait till I reach level three. Body wisdom has taught me that now that I’m weight reduced, “real” hunger at a level three and below, may result in a cavalcade of “eat” impulses to follow for days, like aftershocks from an earthquake.)  In homage to intuitive eating, I also eat what I want, which most of the time is healthy and balanced against other things I’ve eaten recently. Wanting (mostly) what my body needs was probably a gift that happened as a result of practicing intuitive eating, so I dutifully tip my hat.

However, I also eschew intuitive eating much of the time, since it is impractical (and selfish) for me to eat only to my own cues and ignore my family and work obligations. In the comments on my last post, two people talked about Ellyn Satter’s Eating Competence model, which, appears much more realistic than pure intuitive eating. (Thank you, Living 400 lbs, for the link, if you happen to be reading now, which I doubt.) I’ve heard good things about Satter, but I am unqualified to address or recommend her protocol.

I find many aspects of pure intuitive eating discomfiting. Tribole and Resch, as I mentioned before, have succumbed to the diet promotion model (the word “Revolutionary” in their book’s title is an example), but they deny it. Even if Tribole, Resch and other HAES/Intuitive Eating proponents make no weight-loss promises (or only modest ones), they also provide no protection from those who would use their work to make those promises. They tell us to “throw out the diet books and magazine articles (except for theirs) that offer false hope,” but they remain silent when their concepts are used to offer false hope.

Moreover, and more importantly, they need to look at their core beliefs critically. What they advise by way of “mindfulness” is clearly capable of crossing the line and becoming a diet mentality (or worse). By not acknowledging this they create room for the same blame-the-victim guilt that we recognize from weight-loss diet culture. Diet culture tells us “it’s your own fault” if you cannot lose weight or maintain your losses. Intuitive eating tells us “it’s your own fault” if you can’t get in touch with your body wisdom enough to recognize your cues.

I proffer the following example of “blame-the-victim” absurdity:  A few years ago, I contacted a popular HAES proponent with a recognized program. I wanted to show her DVD and make available some of her printed materials on International No Diet Day at my YMCA. She tried to sell me on becoming a “certified” counselor for her program. I was flattered, but I admitted to her that I could never fully embrace intuitive eating. I explained that among other reasons, my satiety cues just don’t work properly. As knowledgeable and masterful as I am at this stuff, I still can’t stop on a dime at a specified satiety cue. She told me that I just hadn’t been instructed properly, and my cues would become clear if I gave it another try using her program. She was as willing as any other diet promoter to dishonor my experience (Me! The HUMAN MEASURING CUP!) and try to persuade me that it’s my own tenacity or knowledge base that is broken or lacking.

Well, perhaps I do have a splinter in my eye. I’m willing to accept that I’m disordered even. But intuitive eating proponents have some logs in their own eyes they need to address.

Maintainer friends: weigh in. Are you, too, human measuring cups? Do you use and abuse intuitive eating or other techniques? Should I go ahead and write The Human Measuring Cup Diet? Will it be a best seller?  (Note to Debby, I know you’re off on adventures.  When you return, feel free to comment.  I’ll wait patiently for your response.)  Other people, if you’re still reading, does the intuitive eating crowd have an obligation to protect its franchise against weight-loss promotion?  Or do I just need to go get some, er, personal counseling.

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  1. I got nothing on this one… at Christmas at my mom’s house I had my measuring cups out and was not ashamed to use them on the mashed potatoes, etc. I don’t, on the whole, drink beverages with calories… but I had actually planned to have a cup of egg nog on Christmas (I ended up trading it out for pie), but I would totally have measured it in a cup.

    In addition, I have a scale at home so I can be precise in how much I am eating.

    But then, I also have a monitor strapped to my arm to tell me how much I am burning… I have no pretensions that I am now or ever will be an “intuitive” eater.

    The longer I hang out in ED and Body acceptance spaces, the more I realize that my own personal disorder is not, actually an ED, it’s merely a serious control issue that manifests itself through food. (well, maybe that’s splitting hairs, but whatever). Years ago I would try to express control over my environment by giving the finger to anyone telling me how to live and eating huge amounts of whatever I wanted. Now the control issue expresses itself through careful scientific measuring of what I burn and how I replace it.

    Tonight will be a little different… I have “Christmas” at the in-laws tonight. My family is well used to disordered eating and doesn’t bat an eye at a measuring cup or mention of calories (my sister also has ED issues), but the in-laws, well, they are not a people who have ever struggled with weight issues, so my attempts at maintenance often mystify them… “But you LOST the weight! Why can’t you just eat what you want now?” that kind of thing.

    So rather than get into all that, I just try to be a little discreet in noting what I eat. I’ll eyeball the measurements (the old deck of cards, pair of dice), and log them in my blackberry as though I am checking my email.

    Discretion sometimes being the better part of valor in trying to not derail the entire celebration into a discussion of how much cheese I am eating. (or not).

    But I have no tricks in the realm of using my body to measure how full I am or how much I have consumed. If left to my own, uncounted, devices, I will go from “I am hungry” to “Gah, soooo full” with no stop off in between.

    • Hope In-Law Christmas went well for you. Ironic, isn’t it, that when people have lost weight, outsiders don’t understand why we don’t just live “normally” now (since it was presumed that before we lost the weight we were anchored in front of the TV eating like lumberjacks). Then, if we regain the weight, they’re the first to say, “Well, she just didn’t get it was a “lifestyle” change.” Yeesh. We get it all right. It’s a change in lifestyle to something that may dance within inches of disorder. Not everyone likes it, but we “get” it.

  2. Thanks for this. I feel entirely unqualified to comment. In my opinion, measuring (whether by gulps or with a bona fide measuring cup) is just what you have to do to achieve your goal. When another, say an athlete, has to do something like run a stadium, in order to achieve her goal, is she “stair climbing” disordered?

    I think you should write the “human measuring cup” diet. That would be cool. I’d really like to know how to judge hunger cues. I can let myself go far too long without eating…and then any thought of even eating sensibly goes right out the window. How does one even begin to eat according to what the body needs and wants? I’m unable to do even that. I think that’s “disordered.”

    • Alana, you make me think. Goals. We venerate them so. It’s the American way. It’s the Developed World way. And yet goals DO turn into disorders. What is Anorexia if not a twisted and extreme goal-oriented mindset? I am not Anorexic because I don’t have the BMI. Therefore, whatever I do is just what I gotta do. I’m still on the right side of the line.

      But lines toward goals get crossed so subtly. You mention athletes. I think of the athlete who first accepts vitamin pills from a trainer (with or without reading the label), then a “vitamin” shot, suspecting there may be other substances in it, but it’s okay since the athlete’s not sure, and she doesn’t really want to know, and, lo, it does get her to another goal. Then she finds that, indeed, what she suspected was true — she was doping — and if she has any soul at all, she won’t blame the trainer exclusively. She’ll question herself.

      If I do write The Human Measuring Cup Diet it will be with some sense of irony and questioning. In this blog, I’m questioning myself. I’ve never read of anyone else gulping water from wine glasses in bathrooms. Is it okay or is it over the line? People do a lot of things in bathrooms that we’d rather not see (or hear) in the kitchen, and that’s okay. People also practice their disorders in bathrooms. And that’s not okay. Hmmmmm.

      With regard to your own situation, I think I’d try the Ellyn Satter route, rather than the “intuitive eating” route. There really aren’t “safeties” built into IE, and the Satter route presumably does help you figure out how to eat what your body wants and needs. It’s also good to just read dietician’s books that are not concerned with weight loss. Try foods that provide nourishment, without regard for their weight-loss properties, and you will eventually crave them. I crave many of the anti-oxidant foods now, for this reason. I introduced them, my body liked them, and now I desire them. Same for avacados. Yum.

  3. I am shocked at the twisting of haes eating for dieting. I honesty had no idea.
    I have been thinking about what you said about modified intuitive eating, and I feel like I for non-weightlost reasons use a modified haes/intutitive eating model, that is “eat food, stuff you like, as much as you want” to deal with disordered eating but adding in stuff which is good for my health, like extra fiber.

    • Cheshire, you sound like the picture of health. You mention dealing with “disordered eating.” Did it ever get to the diagnosis, or did you just realize you were heading down a bad road?

  4. Very interesting, as always, Debra! I’m now going to write too much. 🙂

    I was very interested in IE when I first started seeing stuff about it circulating blog land. I didn’t read the IE book, but I did read parts of the book “Savor” (mindful eating) and listened to Geneene Roth’s “Women, Food, and God.” I also read a lot about it online, including bits of the Tribole and Resch site. The premise was interesting, but how applicable would it be for someone like me, with a medical condition that, uncontrolled, would send false hunger cues?

    I found that Tribole, anyhow, seemed to agree with me that truly “broken” cues need to be addressed first. Evelyn Tribole’s “Nutrition Info 411” site had several Q&A articles in which she recommends a more clinical approach (help from doctor/nutritionist) if one’s hunger/satiety cues aren’t functioning properly due to medical conditions. In particular, there’s a Q&A about whether IE can be used to treat diabetes and bulimia; she responds that “Intuitive Eating was not implemented [with patients] until both the bulimia and the blood sugars were stabilized, and it was a gradual process,” because these conditions (when untreated) further skew one’s satiety cues. (Hunger, for example, can be a symptom of high blood sugar – how screwy is that?)

    Did I change anything after my reading about IE? I did stop counting calories for awhile, but tracked by taking photos of my food instead, and I still do some portion control techniques on carbs and proteins (not so much on the veggies and healthy fats). I don’t feel like I can really judge its effectiveness one way or another, though, because I didn’t really try implementing the “hunger scale” part of it…I’m pretty comfortable with my more structured approach (3 meals, 1-2 snacks depending on activity, about the same macronutrient breakdown per feeding), that it almost seemed too labor-intensive to try it, if that makes any sense. I do try to honor what I think is the most important principle, to “honor your body’s health,” so that makes answers to questions like “should I eat this planned fuel item during this really long run, even though I don’t feel hungry right now?” kind of obvious. (Um, this principle didn’t really help when faced with homemade holiday baked goods and the like. *cough*. I did break out the meter and tried to indulge responsibly, but that’s about as far as it went.)

    Hmmm…as for worrying about being a “human measuring cup,” it seems to me that you’re more attuned than most, actually, to how your body responds to various calorie levels and signals. But I’m not sure how using portion control techniques, such as measuring cups and “eyeballing” serving sizes-or even things like the “plate method”, can be considered “disordered eating,” when they are often the very tools used by nutritionists to help patients. I suppose, like any tool, they can be used to either used or abused; but if they are working to “honor your body’s health,” isn’t that the main objective?

    Lastly, I found it kind of ironic that an IE person would be so insistent that you’re “doing it wrong,” because it does seem like such a subjective methodology.

    • You know, Pubsgal, I probably need to cut Tribole and Resch a little slack. Yes, I think they need to be clearer in their writing — state emphatically WE DO NOT PROMOTE WEIGHT LOSS, IT IS ONLY A POTENTIAL SIDE-EFFECT AND WE DO NOT ADVOCATE OUR PROGRAM BEING TWISTED THAT WAY — and they need to lose any and all “Revolutionary” language. That said, I think I may be their version of Frankenstein’s monster. I was the early experiment who now doesn’t know quite whether she’s gone awry. I’m sure they’ve tweaked the program since my day.

      In terms of “broken” cues, I would argue that one doesn’t need to have a diagnosable condition or disease to have broken cues. We really don’t understand the complicated endocrine dance that happens within us and may be programmed by genetics that do not understand our modern world. Things can be awry sans bulimia or diabetes or even high blood sugar.

      I agree with you that it was ironic for an IE expert to tell me that I was doing IE wrong (and without even asking me HOW I’d learned it — other than she knew it wasn’t her program). I’m not sharing her name, because I still like her materials and have no interest in sabotaging her, and it was a private conversation and she could have been having a bad day, but it just goes to show that we all need to wrestle this issue a little more deliberately.

  5. My first exposure to intuitive eating back in the olden days was through the book “Overcoming Overeating.” I was never able to get the hang of it or rather to free myself from all of my food hang-ups, but I loved the authors for pointing out that food problems are essentially political and for blaming our messed-up culture for food obsessions (i.e., cultural expectations for women’s bodies and women’s eating habits create disordered eating). To this day, I believe they are right.

    • I just Googled “Overcoming Overeating” and got to the website. They date themselves back to 1970. (Actually, the website looks like it was created in the days of DOS, so I believe them.) Yeah, it’s good ol’ comforting anti-diet language (that does battle in our gray matter with the rest of the garbage we pick up).

  6. I’m really old. I tried to control my weight for years by eating in a set “pattern”. I’d eat the same thing for breakfast, and then a “pattern” for lunch and supper. As in a salad, a meat and a vegetable. I had figured out what to eat at each of the places we’d frequent for eating out. And I didn’t weigh, ever. And I didn’t drink water. At all, ever. And I’d slowly get heavier. I remember the times when I’d try to put on a piece of clothing and it wouldn’t fit. Horrible revelations.

    Then I got weighed at a Curves place. I was horrified. I decided to do the Curves diet. I needed a way to count calories and nutrients so I put something in Google and found SparkPeople. It worked for me. And I drank a lot of water. That put me to the place of maintaining.

    I had been exercising for years. I still do the same exercises.

    For a good three years now I have been there. Reading blogs daily and blogging at times, though not much. I discovered Barbara Berkeley and her primarian diet. Then I was consuming way too much artificial sweetener. Which I have cut down on drastically and then I started with the water again. I can’t believe how much better I feel when drinking water.

    Now I mostly eat in a pattern again!! If it’s this time I eat this, sort of thing. It’s working for me. I just stayed away from all “trigger foods” for this holiday and that worked fine, too. I sort of like that thing where you just imagine the taste of the food. After all you know what it tastes like and you are never disappointed!! And after you have eaten whatever it was all you have is the memory of the taste – and a desire to eat more – and maybe a stomach ache.

    So all this measuring is foreign to me. I have measured. And weighed. Weight Watchers scale and all. But I would measure or weigh for a time and then just eyeball it. (always adding a little more, of course).

  7. I hope you’re old, Mo. I’m hoping you help me get through Menopause.

    You’re also an example of the person who’s tried everything, it seems.

  8. Perhaps the idea of “training oneself to eat intuitively” is an oxymoron. To my mind, something done intuitively is done without conscious thought–it is automatic, natural, for lack of better words. Infants are the very model of intuitive eating: they eat when they’re hungry and stop when they’re full. Since they are too young to have eaten anything but breast milk (the formula vs. breast milk debate is best left for another discussion), they also eat exactly what they’re supposed to eat, enjoy it immensely and don’t crave garbage-food.

    Then we grow up and the trouble begins.

    People–and in particular Western women–are subject to such pressure to conform on all levels (both physical and intellectual) that they almost always lose their natural, intuitive ability to self-regulate, especially food-wise. We starve ourselves when our bodies are legitimately crying out for food; we overeat either consciously or without awareness, more often than not for reasons that have nothing to do with the food itself; we develop a pathological fear of food, be it “clean”, “healthy” food or junk food. I think the vast majority of people (and virtually all women–at least at some point in their lives) are disordered eaters. Is your “gulp test” an example of disordered eating? In my opinion, yes, but it’s not going to end you up in hospital with an IV drip of nutrients as full-blown anorexia would. Measuring food, photographing food, calorie-counting, general obsessing over it are all manifestations of disordered eating. It’s all a question of degree. I think the sniff test would be what my Jewish-Russian grandmother (deceased in 1960) would have thought of any of these behaviours. To her, I’m sure they all would have been “meshugeneh” (crazy).

    I think I suffer from a certain degree of disordered eating, so please don’t think I put myself above either Debra or any of my fellow readers here. It is the price we all pay for growing up in our world at this time in history.

    This long preamble leads me to say that once we graduate from our mother’s breast, our intuition slowly but surely becomes so damaged as to be rendered inoperable.

    Where does that leave us? In a bind, that we all try to cope with as best we can. As I’ve said before both here and on my blog, I now prefer the word “mindful” to “intuitive” since it recognizes how damaged my intuition has become. In the past two years, I have become much, much more mindful of my eating. I now actually can say that I’ve had enough and would rather save that special treat (piece of cake, cookie, cheese) for later when I’ve actually got the room to enjoy eating it. But it’s a conscious act on my part and doesn’t always occur at the exactly correct moment. This means that quite often, I eat a bit more than my body really needs.

    I know that Debra’s 100 calories = 1 hour of satisfaction (up to 600) just doesn’t work for me.

    I know that sometimes putting off eating is the right thing to do and sometimes it’s exactly the wrong thing to do because I get ravenous.

    But most of all, I know that my psyche can’t take anything remotely like dieting anymore. I have just lost the ability to do anything but be mindful anymore. I often look at calorie counts on packaging, but how can I count the calories of everything I eat without severely limiting the types of food I eat to an easily countable repertoire? A case in point: Last night, my foodie husband grated together some left-over baked potatoes and some cheese with chopped onion. He formed the mixture into patties and browned them in a non-stick pan with a small amount of olive oil. The calorie count for his wonderful (non-Jewish) version of the latke cannot be found in any calorie book I know. It would have taken a fair bit of work to do the calculation and really know how many calories were in the average patty. And much of the pleasure of eating this wonderful dish would have disappeared before it even left the pan. My approach was to eat one patty, along with one slice of ham (sorry, babba) and a nice green salad with grated carrot and my homemade dressing. I could have eaten more, but it was enough, mindfully enough–though clearly too much by any dieter’s standards. And yes, a few hours later I was hungry again, ate two mandarin oranges and then overindulged with a handful of sliced almonds.

    After a lifetime of (sublime to ridiculous) dieting, I no longer have the mental fortitude to count calories or diet in any way, shape or form for even a day. I’m mentally exhausted. I just try to be mindful and not hate my body, as “imperfect” (read: overweight, not to mention arthritic) as it is.

    Thanks for accepting such long-winded responses, Debra!

    • Jewish people have the best words! Meshugeneh! I’m so glad they let gentiles like me borrow them.

      I probably am meshugeneh, but you’re right that I won’t end up on an IV drip. Some people find Yoga, Tai Chi or tap dancing meshugeneh. Meshugeneh is as meshugeneh does, I guess. I think the sniff test is when something brings you pleasure (in a law-abiding way) and honors your health, as Pubsgal points out, then it ain’t disordered (but may still qualify as meshugeneh). When it stops honoring health and bringing pleasure, it’s a problem. You have recognized the problem with dieting, NewMe, and you wrap words around it very well.

      I feel a bit selfish that I have turned this blog post into a psych session — with me on the couch talking to a half dozen or so Freuds. But I do appreciate all the insights here. I don’t know that being the human measuring cup brings me pleasure, but I do find it interesting, still, in some odd way and it doesn’t dishonor my health and, in fact, has likely improved it. There may come a point that I get fed up, but until then, I shall continue onward.

      One thing I do know, I would NEVER suggest that my life is something to be emulated. It works for me. That’s all. That’s enough. And I think it is instructive to those who would claim that “anyone” can lose weight and maintain loss, if they want it bad enough. Just ain’t so. I am not bragging, but I am odd and extraordinary.

      • Happy Holidays! This is my first big maintenance test and my approach has been to try and maintain routine, whilst allowing a couple of meals “off the leash”. I’ve still counted (and probably forgotten a few things along the way), and there have been 2 complete disaster days. I refuse to flaggellate myself about it too much. I pick myself up, dust myself off and keep on countin’. Is that wrong? I guess the proof will be in the scales over the next little while. So far, I’m holding within a pound or so.
        Do I think your gulp method is disordered? Nope. I think it’s entirely rational and adapted to need. To me, knowledge about what I’m consuming has given me enormous power, and the capacity to achieve weight loss I never dreamed possible. While ever that knowledge continues to assist me in that way, I will do whatever I need to do to

  9. Thanks for the Ellyn Satter recomendatuion. I have read her material (I have a son who is also over-weight) and I think it is a sane approach. Your example of the baby on the breast is interesting to me. When he was born, my son nursed for 6 hours the first night. As you can imagine, I was exausted–and worried. The midwife reassured me he simply wanted to continue sucking–not eating. So, in spite of my best intentions, we got him a soother–and had to figure out when he was full. I nursed *on demand* but it was h*ll. The sleep deprivation was simply outrageous. So, perhaps “intuitive” eating–as something that we are all “born with” is another generalization. If eating in any other way than this is to be labeled “disordered” (and I really don’t think it should be) then perhaps NOT to be disordered is an impossible ideal in our culture: it’s just another stick to beat oneself up with.
    As for athletes: it was the second example which came to mind. The first was a fish. Is a fish disordered for asking, “Am I wet?”

  10. You are right, Alana. There is no such thing as normal.

  11. Hmmm. Techniques? Limit calories and grains (especially no wheat), but otherwise eat what I enjoy. I eat popcorn and chocolate every friggen day. Also, Dreyer’s Ice Cream (no sugar added.) I usually eat bacon every day (but not always.) I make whey protein shakes with Hershey’s cocoa and frozen berries. I partake of almost any kind of cheese, as long as it contains full fat. Also I enjoy cashews and macadamia nuts.

    As for what constitutes *healthy eating* I direct you to the following study, which suggests that we know sh*t about science, particularly research findings related to the field of medicine and nutrition:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1182327/

    In addition, I am inspired by the following film clip, from “Sleeper”, a movie about a health food store owner who is cryogenically frozen then thawed out 200 years in the future.

    I guess I became suspicious of scientific research at least 20 years ago when I studied the philosophical foundations of capitalism. Much later, in nursing school, when I realized that doctors can’t cure toenail fungus (without compromising the patient’s overall health) and can do little for chronic hemorroid sufferers and insomniacs (other than prescribing the typical changes in diet/sleep hygiene, or potentially dangerous drugs, leaving the patient feeling responsible for their own malady), and furthermore that diagnostic tools & techniques used in most exams have not changed for over 100 years, YET doctors claim to successfully treat many kinds of cancer, I became increasingly skeptical about the current state of human knowledge.

    So now I listen to my intuition. Mostly. When it comes to food, that means I eat stuff that satisfies me and keeps me from feeling deprived. I listen to my body. I notice things. For instance, when I increase calories too high, or too quickly (say, I go from eating 1200 to 2000 from one day to the next), I pay the price in hunger. It can take over a week of enduring intense hunger before my brain understands that more food is not on its way. Then the impulses and hunger lay low.

    The biggest impulse trigger, though, occurs when I compromise my integrity or sacrifice my needs in the hopes of controlling the outcome of some process. Like if I stay up crazy late to pick a friend up from the airport when that friend can afford a cab, and I do it because I’m hoping the friend will love me more or help me find a job. LOL. Seriously. Internalized oppression is the worst. If a binge impulse strikes, I can bet that I’m trying to control something that is beyond my control.

  12. Oh, if one prefers not to wade through the first nih link, above, Jonah Lehrer summarizes the findings quite nicely in his New Yorker article, “The Truth Wears Off: Is there something wrong with the scientific method?” in the Dec. 13, 2010 issue or online here:

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/12/13/101213fa_fact_lehrer?currentPage=all

    Happy reading!

  13. Whoa, RN, what an article. I may have to blog on that — they conveniently left out our central cause here, so we may provide it, no? Love the New Yorker.

  14. Rats – hit the wrong button. Meant to end with “I suspect you too have found your rational means for ensuring what you think you know about your intake is correct.”

  15. Ah, Ali, how many times has this blasted computer messed with me! Wish I could control it with the kind of mastery that I can count ounces of liquid with my silly throat.

  16. I must say, I have l less disciplined eating habits than pretty much anyone else who’s spoken up, some of whom are heavier than me and are just (I assume) trying not to gain weight. A handful of almonds in the afternoon? I wouldn’t even give it a thought. That’s why I really, really hesitate to mess around with restriction. I’ve never dieted and frankly, this is why I never intend to.

    Right now, my body will fail to absorb all the calories from what I eat and send out really clear satiety cues if I’m about to gain over my maximum weight (around 220 pounds, if anyone cares). It will actually defend my setpoint from weight gain. This is SO NICE. I feel like a normal person. I was at a lower point in my set range for many years, and this didn’t happen. I’ll admit that I like the way I look better when I’m 20 or 30 pounds lighter than I am now, but not having to watch what I eat may be worth it.

    I hope my posts aren’t triggering, but I’m kinda enjoying my freedom.

    The price of this? Well, no non-car accident related health problems so far (I’m 41) and I doubt that I’ll have any before I’m in the usual age range. I don’t know what I’d look like thin, though. I’ve literally never worn anything smaller than a US 14W/16 misses or weighed less than 180 pounds for more than a few months (after being on an IV for two weeks). Until I moved to the UK, I’d never – not even as a teenager -been able to shop in a normal clothing store.

    Of course, I’m in paradise now. I wear a UK 20, and most regular shops carry that size. Also, the clothing here is proportioned for short, curvy women and fits me pretty dependably. I can walk into almost any high street store, pull a 20 in any style I like off the rack, and it will probably fit and look good on me. I’d have had to lose 50 or 60 pounds to be able to do that in the U.S. – and that might not even work. The lighter I am, the bigger my hips are in proportion to the rest of me, and the harder it is to find clothes that fit properly.

  17. Oh – and the wine glass full of water thing? I sometimes do that at parties (minus the gulp counting) to avoid accidently drinking too much wine too fast, becoming dehydrated, and ending up with a hangover. People would probably just assume you’re doing that if you drink the water in public.

  18. Hey, DeeLeigh, thanks for visiting on a post such as this. That’s interesting about Canadian clothes. I visited a couple of times when I was bigger me, and I bought coats and sweaters, and you’re right, in addition to being warm they fit better and were better made too. I just assumed it was because you guys know how to do cold (I, personally, wouldn’t call it paradise) and I’d gotten lucky on the size.

    I, too, alternate water in my wine glass at parties for the same reasons you do. If I did the gulp thing though, it would . . . well. I have a stance I take, and, er, I used to be able to chug beer in college (my sorority’s champion, in fact), which informs my technique. That’s the look we’re talking about here. Picturing a 51-year-old at a party doing that. Glug, glug, glug. A crowd gathers. Glug, glug. The horrified looks. Glug, glug, glug. I tip the glass upside down over my head to signal my win! No one claps or cheers. Just horrified looks and silence. I saunter away, “Eight ounces, for anyone else who’s counting.” I think this will remain my secret. Just me and the blogosphere, of course.

  19. Actually, I found that Canadian clothes were similar to American ones, when I lived there. Maybe a slightly better fit and better quality, as you say. Not a good selection at all, however. I live in the Scotland now. I’m talking about British stores.

  20. This may or may not have much to do with the topic at hand (as with most of my comments!), but something came to mind. It may have nothing to do with “techniques”. It wasn’t intended as such…

    When it came to pass that TV in this land was no longer “free” (when one had to buy a new TV, or install converter thingamabobs, or get cable), I quit watching it. Thus, other than external food cues in my home (my husband buys whatever food he likes, and I know where it is all stored thoughout the kitchen, which means I’m never suddenly accosted by treat phantoms, unexpectedly), I almost never see stray images of food.

    Many people (even in this day and age) watch dozens of such images every evening in their living rooms (pizza commercials on giant screen TVs, Big Macs 2 feet tall, ice cream sundaes the size of cats…). Commercials ARE designed to entice, after all, and not everyone has built in immunity. So maybe seeing fewer food images IS a kind of technique in that it assists mindfulness or intuition or whatever. 🙂

  21. RNegade,

    I certainly think what you say is true for many people. A number of weight-loss bloggers, especially those who see themselves as addicted to certain types of foods (another discussion entirely), swear that seeing ads for foods like McD, or Sara Lee, etc. just make them want to spring out of their seats and gorge themselves.

    Personally, food ads don’t seem to have much of an effect on me, but I admit to being taken in or at least mildly influenced by ads for other products on TV. (Hangs head in shame.)

  22. RNegade, how we deal with imagery of food does, I think, speak to the topic of “intuitive eating.” One of the precepts (at least according the hospital course I took) is that your body will crave healthy foods if you (re)train it. You introduce healthy foods, read and acknowledge your body’s positive responses to them, and vice versa you note and acknowledge when unhealthy foods leave their less pleasant calling cards. Essentially, you train your intuition to want healthy foods more than unhealthy foods. As you train your body, you do gradually start to “see” food imagery differently. The NWCR two years ago did experiments where they looked at MRIs of some of their maintainers (not me, however) and compared them to a control group. Presumably (if you can believe the research, and we know that’s dubious from your prior post), maintainers’ brains show a less favorable response to fast food and other junk food imagery. My personal experience would confirm this finding. I get a mild gag response when I see some of those fast food commercials, or Little Debbie boxes filled with perfectly square dough bricks made of chemicals, sugar, fat and low-quality flour and wrapped in plastic. Ewe.

    NewMe, I already have two friends who are QVC addicts. Do I need to claim another such friend in you?

  23. It’s a home shopping network. I guess it’s just a US thing.

  24. I think that your measuring efforts are perfectly reasonable. You know your body and you know what works for you, and what works for you is being very regular with your calorie intake. I think that if you get too far away from that you will start to get very anxious which will throw off the endocrine/emotion balance.

    I’m a very numbery-measurey person anyway. I measure my finances very exactly. I measure foods when I cook a recipe. I measure fabric when I make curtains. I counted my Christmas cards and matching envelopes to make sure I had enough of both.

    I think it’s awesome that you can measure liquids the way you do. You know your body well and you obviously trust it.

    And I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had to stop running, I know how important that was to you.

    • Hey, there, Teri, welcome to my blog! Do you still work with all those dietetics and weight-loss scientists on the other side of the state line? I’ll be really interested to hear your thoughts on future posts (or past — I get an email alert).

      Yeah, knocking out running has put a serious hole in my life. Bummer.

      • Yes, I’m still there, and they’re still working on it. The thing that’s getting the focus now is diets that include pre-packaged meals, the studies show that people are more successful with one or two meals a day pre-packaged, becuase they are already portioned out and they don’t have to think too much about it. I think there are some merits to that, but finding healthful and joy-making pre-packaged meals is not really reasonable.

        I lost 30 pounds in 2008, and put it all back on in 2009, and then in 2010 put on another 15. I had been aiming for 80 pounds, so I didn’t realize the blessing that I had when I lost 30, and just frittered it away (slacked off on exercising and then slacked off on healthy eating). I touched 199 – the first time below 200 in 22 years – and celebrated, and slacked off and the ski lift whisked me back uphill.

        The 15 this last year was partly in response to my mother’s severe illness and then death in August, a distinct lack of joy in my life.

        I feel like I’m in a more joyful place now, and so have done that most hackneyed of things, made a New Year’s resolution, but I have a plan, and I think I can pull it off. . .

        Your blog is helpful to me, because I see that really, truly, maintenance is just as much hard work as losing weight is. I always paid lip service to that, but now I really know it. It’s like planning for retirement in a way, planning for maintenance at the beginning of planning to lose weight.

  25. And I should say, I’m not aiming for 80 this time, I’d be happy with 40. Or 30, or 20, or even 10 . . . just so that my clothes are comfortable again and I could reach to clean the delicate parts . . .

  26. Ah, Teri, I think you are wise to set NO number goal. Let your body take you only to place you can maintain, and keep balance and sanity, given your complex life. AND, whatever you do, ignore your scientist friends’ current experiment. Wanna know what they’ll find? Lo, people DO lose weight on prepackaged plans. If there is anything the diet industry has taught us is that any idiot can lose weight, and pre-packaged plans take that annoying thinking part out of the equation. While we know that any idiot can lose weight, we know that only 3% figure out how to maintain losses for five years (and who knows what happens after that).

    Instead of using packaged foods of unknown or unknowable ingredients, do as you’re suggesting here. Lose weight with maintenance as your first thought, not an afterthought. Use the loss phase, before your endocrine panel changes on you, to start learning about your body’s natural reactions to specific foods. Some people process grains better than others, for example. Some people find that certain grains (wheat) are more troublesome than others. (And sensitivities can develop over time, so that people who could process grains earlier in life find that they experience side effects from them as they age.) Beyond grains, become aware of and grow an appreciation for those foods that truly nourish you and contribute to your sense of well-being. Take a bite or three of your husband’s dear British breakfasts, but counter with foods that will make you feel well. And be aware. And quantify. And analyze. Stuff you already like to do. I know that about you. Otherwise I’d be encouraging you NOT to attempt weight loss at all.

  27. Thanks, Debra. I’ve been working the past several months on really appreciating what I’m eating. You had a post a few weeks back where you said the first bite and the last bite taste the same. I found that I would taste the first bite, and then get to the last bite and find that I hadn’t been paying attention to the bites in between, so I completely missed on enjoying the taste and texture, and naturally wanted more. So I’m trying to pay attention to each bite, to enjoy it and appreciate it, and take it slowly so that the last bite doesn’t come too soon. I’d say that I manage this about a third of the time right now, up from zero.

    Interestingly enough, the family moved away from the British breakfasts. First Young Han only wanted the eggs, then he didn’t want any of it, then Mihan only wanted the bacon, and then she didn’t want any of it, and Jason only wanted the bacon from the beginning. So I was just fixing it for Graham and myself, and then after a while he said, “You know, this is a nice treat, but they don’t even eat British breakfast in Britain any more because it’s too high in fat. So let’s not have it every week any more, ok?” Life is funny, isn’t it?

    • Actually, they do still eat full British breakfasts in Britain, mostly on special occasions. Here in Scotland, they consist of eggs, regular sausage, Lorne sausage, black pudding, bacon, baked beans, potato scones, toast, fried tomatoes, and fried mushrooms. They’re very heavy and very greasy.

      People do, however, eat a smaller, less greasy version of this pretty regularly. My husband’s family will often have two baps (rolls) each, one with bacon and one with an egg, for a regular weekday breakfast.

      I prefer my native midwestern brunches, personally: homemade omlettes and hashbrowns or pancakes and eggs, for example, and always with fresh fruit. Nice and solid and not so greasy.

      Oh, and British bacon is like thinly cute pork chops – much less fatty than the American style stuff. I’ve been eating bacon a lot more often since I moved to the U.K.

  28. Hi, Dee. You should know that Teri becomes more American with each passing day. Despite a British spouse, she’s trapped in the heartland of the US of A, as am I.

  29. Can I just pop back in here really quickly and gush about how much I *love* both your blog articles, Debra, and everyone’s insightful and civilized discussion? Thank you all so much!

  30. I’m curious if anyone has tried intuitive eating while excluding *most* carbohydrates? Obviously, the majority of intuitive eating enthusiasts or advocates might argue that excluding an entire food group IS not an intuitive approach. But why wouldn’t it be if, for example, a person find that her body’s unique response to that food group is detrimental to her health? For instance, someone who is allergic to wheat, corn, soy and dairy (among other things) can still eat intuitively while eliminating those problem foods from her diet. (I use this example because it describes my daughter’s need to severely restrict several foods that are normally considered important nutrients.) She has never dieted to lose or maintain a particular weight, yet her weight is very stable and she eats any amount desired with the exception of foods to which she is allergic.

    When I tried to lose weight while eating a so called balanced diet with whole grains, several servings of fruits and vegetables, etc, I was often hungry and weight loss was incredibly slow in spite of calorie restriction. After doing much research, I switched to a paleo style way of eating that focused on fat and protein. I included nuts, but kept an eye on the carb tally of those. Hunger was almost entirely eliminated, I ate to satiety, and weight loss became easy.

    After losing about 80 lbs, I began reintroducing small servings of fruit (berries), then 90% chocolate, popcorn, and so forth. I began focusing more on caloric restriction than on low carb…hunger and non-hunger eat impulses gradually returned. Weight loss slowed dramatically. Once, I accidently ate a couple of protein bars that contained wheat (didn’t read ingrediants closely), and the urge to binge became shockingly powerful…which I attributed to something psychological. Old habit. O lord.

    Anyway, I guess I’m suggesting that an intuitive eating approach appears to assume that all food groups (and all kinds of food) are appropriate to choose from. I would like to argue that, for some people, most carb-heavy foods are as detrimental for those folks as alcohol is for an alcoholic. Yes, some alcoholics can learn to drink in moderation, at least for a period of time. But it is simply much easier, and makes more sense, to eliminate alcohol as a choice and thus not rely on intuition to inform whether a particular drink will trigger urges.

    Anyway. I am curious if there has been any credible research (or anectodal evidence!) about the hunger/binge impulse (re: endocrine responses) when carbohydrates are kept very low. I’ve heard that people who have WLS often do well (low hunger, low binge impulses) until they learn to tolerate more concentration of carbs.

    Thinking out loud here. Feel free to return to regular programming. 🙂

    • RNegade, I would be interested in the research on endocrine responses when carbs are kept low too. I think the paleos have done some, but I will have to search (someday) to find it. In my case, radically cutting the grain based carbs hasn’t helped assuage my impulses (and at one point I was off them cold turkey), but I have heard others say that cutting the grains and other starches (legumes, roots) helps them manage hunger. This is an area for more research.

  31. RNegade, what is a non-hunger eat impulse? Is triggering an urge to eat really as bad as triggering an urge to drink alcohol? I can understand that being thinner makes life easier in this society in many ways, but is it intrinsically healthier? (And, given all the confounding factors of prejudice, how could you even tell?)

    • Mulberry, I think RNegade is referring to my lingo. (Which flatters me, because it means it rings true to someone else.) I talk about binge impulses and eat impulses, because there are times when we do eat (or binge) on an impulse or series of impulses that we cannot define clearly as hunger. Nevertheless, I feel strongly that these impulses are “real” and compelling, and driven by our endocrine. I’m disheartened that their power over us has been marginalized by a current pop psychology that tells people that they are merely mishandling their emotions if they eat when they aren’t hungry, and they simply need to get on top of their emotions. Well, sure, many people could stand to get on top of their emotions, but that won’t stop the “eat impulses” and they’ll just feel more guilty for continuing to “overeat” or “binge.”

      For more clarity, you might read my posts here or here or here.

  32. When I was growing up, an allergy was something that gave you hives, or constricted your airway–it was obvious that that product or food was producing a serious and sometimes life-threatening reaction.

    Today, so many people talk about being “intolerant” to gluten, lactose, sugar, etc. etc. that it makes me wonder whether we’re not just looking for a convenient scapegoat. Instead of saying “I like sugary foods”, they now become “triggers” that send us over the edge.

    The same applies to the nightshade family of vegetables that’s supposedly so bad for arthritis sufferers. It all depends.

    I used to be extremely intolerant of the intolerance crowd and had a lot of trouble believing that it wasn’t all in their heads.

    Before anyone blows their top, I just want to say that my intolerance has diminished greatly. However, I feel that some sound, relatively scientific experimentation is often called for.

    So, RNegade, I would have to answer yes to your question. If you have a legitimate allergy or intolerance to certain types of foods, you can eat intuitively while leaving them off the menu. The intuitive (or mindful) part comes into play with respect to how much or simply how you eat the foods that do agree with you.

    I hope I haven’t blown too many stacks here. We should all just do what’s proven itself to be best for us.

  33. Mulberry, Debra has nicely answered your first question. Strangely, even my husband, who doesn’t think twice about eating whatever he wants whenever he wants it, understands the concept of eat impulses and often identifies his strong urges to eat (especially “treats”) as unrelated to hunger. His metabolism revs up, apparently, to compensate for these frequent episodes (which for me would be considered all out *binges* because of the consequences…unpleasant bloating and giant spike in weight.) When he has gained weight in the past (maximum gain was about 20 lbs on 6’2″ so he noticed but others probably didn’t) it seemed mostly related to excessive drinking and being immobilized (day and night) after various injuries.

    Last night, for instance, we were getting ready for bed when he announced he was “still hungry”. I had just watched him eating snack after snack for the previous two hours while we watched a movie. So I said, “Are you serious? Hungry?” (Yeah, I’m rude like that sometimes.) He said, “Well, all I had for dinner was bacon and eggs”. So I said, “And toast. Then cashews. Plus popcorn. Ice cream. Brownies. More ice cream…” He grinned a bit sheepishly and said, “I guess I’m not hungry. I just want something.” He then made, and ate, two burritos. Satisfaction achieved. He could then become sleepy. This is his typical behavior, btw, I generally don’t comment on it.

    My point is: at worst he may experience indigestion from following his frequent non-hunger urges. I, on the other hand, would be yo-yo-ing quickly back up in weight if I followed similar impulses or attempted to eat the percentage of carbs that he routinely consumes.

    Unlike him, when I have an overwhelming eating impulse, not related to hunger, I now eat bacon. Or cheese. Or whipped cream. Anything that is super high in fat (without carbs). Impulse ends quickly. Life goes on. No harmful consequences.

    Being thinner may not be healthier (in fact I have NOT seen evidence to convince me that thinner, other things being equal, is any healthier), but remaining thinner after significant weight reduction, rather than yo-yo-ing, may indeed be healthier if the person tends to gain VERY rapidly under certain conditions (extreme stress, for instance), or if that regain is also accompanied by depression. Not to mention costly (new wardrobe).

    Yeah, I don’t recommend that other people attempt to lose weight to get healthier.

    But there are other benefits to being thinner, which may not be valued by a lot of people but are beneficial to me. At over 300 lbs I held my own quite nicely until I hit my 50s. Exercise helped somewhat, but mobility for my newly chosen career, stamina, and (sigh) credibility were constantly at risk. I found it quite difficult to maneuver around in small hospital rooms and examination rooms, for instance, and at the end of the day my feet hurt like hell. The only footwear I could wear without being in agony were Crocs (yay for crocs, btw), yet many employers do not allow Crocs as professional footwear.

    Deciding to attempt yet another weight loss crapshoot involved a long process. Deciding to continue the process, after experiencing some success (reduced pain), was also difficult. *long sigh*

    NEW ME: I used to feel similar skepticism about “allergies” and “food sensitivities” before I watched my daughter go from an active, happy, college student to a young woman with chronic gastric pain (undiagnosed for months). She made the rounds of doc after doc, only to be given a catch-all diagnosis (IBS), and no helpful remedies. Over a year passed. Then I saw her start to eliminate suspicious foods, do her own extensive research, & take charge of her own health. Finally I watched her slowly return to vibrant health and happiness. I’m a believer. 🙂

  34. Okay, I fully admit to being confused over what hunger is or is not. I know it has different levels of pain or intensity, but even at a lower level, isn’t it still hunger? I generally trust that if I eat more at a certain meal, maybe because the food is especially delicious, then there will be a longer period between that meal and the next one, so things will eventually balance out.
    Did your feet get smaller as you lost weight? I’ve never tried Crocs; not sure I want all that plastic on my feet. Are they more comfortable for extra wide feet, as mine are?

  35. RNegade: Interesting about your daughter. I’m certainly happy she feels better. That’s why I say, in the final analysis, you have to do what’s best for you and doctors (or naturopaths, or best friends for that matter) be damned.

    Mulberry: Crocs are divine, especially for wide feet. I even think they’re cute.

  36. Debra, Mulberry’s confusion emphasizes an important issue that isn’t completely addressed in this thread, or elsewhere, regarding hunger, and I think it warrants a fuller discussion at some future time, if you’re game. I know you talked about it before, but I’m not sure I was ready to examine my assumptions more closely until very recently. You have encouraged much of my thinking on the topic of endocrine reactions, and the way we refer to them by the same kinds of words even when they are quite different–not merely in intensity but in quality. (*Head* hunger vs. *true* hunger as a typical cultural trope for instance, as if the former were somehow purely psychological, aka self induced and/or controllable with mind power) while the latter is true or valid. No, of course I’m not saying Mulberry is making this *mistake* but Mulberry’s confusion is completely understandable given our culture’s social and linguistic limitations for discussing a topic related to eating, fat, weight, etc.

    When I saw the doctor this week about my osteoarthritis, and inquired why the deterioration accelerated so quickly during the past year, he calmly said, “It’s all endocrine related” and then explained the role of hormones, stress, and so forth in a matter of fact way. Later, I thought about the way we assume, in our culture, that emotional issues often drive *overeating*, and I thought to myself that it would make as much sense to say that unresolved emotional issues has made my arthritis so much worse! As if I could have prevented my current diagnosis if only I had worked harder, or stayed longer, in psychotherapy. Umm, or just used some will power/self analysis. Grrrr……

  37. Indeed, RNegade, I think we’re exploring new linguistic/semantic territory with regard to weight management here, and we need to revisit it, try to hone it. Ultimately, I would like to see these ideas make their way into more recognized, erudite, scholarly, scientific discussions.

    We’re all hog-tied, even the scientists, by a language of judgment and condescension. Not just regarding “emotional eating,” which is probably often endocrine-driven eating, but even the labels on the BMI chart are horribly judgmental, and other phrases bandied about carelessly, such as “healthy weight” (like there is one). We maintainers may have just a bit of credibility to push the conversation.

    I may be in left field with regard to my perceptions and experiences with endocrine and how I, in practice, cope with them, but I think they deserve examination and testing by people smarter and more papered than I.

  38. Wow! 51 responses–you definitely struck a cord! Don’t have time to read them all now, but thanks for the personal invite to respond!

    Love the Human measuring cup thing–gotta check that out myself. I also liked hearing about some of your personal ‘techniques’ for maintaining.

    Most of all, I agree with your statement that your satiety cues just don’t work properly–that defines more clearly for me exactly what doesn’t work for me (in intuitive eating.)

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