So who are my allies in this process? Yesterday, I described the ways I can use my diet rebel and nutrition informant; but what about the food anthropologist, nurturer, and intuitive eater (aka me)?
Tribole and Resch describe the food anthropologist as an observer, a scientist of sorts. There are no judgments, no opinions, no rules. This part of my team just notices and takes note. Actions and thoughts are the main focus of the anthropologist. This part of me helps me notice whether I am hungry or full, what I ate, when I ate, and what was going on in my busy brain. The wonderful part of this team member is that, as the observer, they are able to note both the obvious (behavior) and that which is not obvious to the outside world (example, I experienced guilt when I took a second helping of pizza). There are no labels, no shaming, just observations. Tribole and Resch suggest that keeping an Intuitive Eating journal can help this team member by providing additional data. I am going to refrain from this for now because it is likely to feed the obsessive food logging dieter part of me and will give Chatty Kathy additional power. I may try this in a while, just not yet. In the meantime, I plan to give the anthropologist a lot of attention and data.
The nurturer, I think of this part of my team as my Gramma. She is reassuring, never scolding or critical. Examples of her messages are: “It’s okay to have a piece of chocolate. Eating chocolate is normal.” One that I love is: “I over-ate today. I wonder what I was feeling that may have made me need more food to comfort myself?” And of course: “I’m getting more in touch with myself every day.” While I nurture people all day long and try to be nurturing in my relationships, this part of my team has long been overlooked. Because she is quiet, Chatty Kathy has drowned out her voice far too long.
And then there is the intuitive eater – my gut reactions. We are all born intuitive eaters. My intuitive eater became overwhelmed and suppressed by Chatty Kathy (food police and disordered eating champion), James Dean (diet rebel), and Ms. Tattletale (nutritional informant). Tribole and Resch give some examples of intuitive eater messages: “That little rumble in my stomach means I’m hungry and need to eat.” (of course my stomach is rumbling, growling now and I promise to feed her as soon as I finish a couple of other thoughts) She might also say, “What do I feel like eating for dinner tonight? What sounds good to me?” Or, “It feels so good to be out of that dieting prison.” As I nurture her, release her binds and gag, and listen, I will start to hear her more often. She takes information from all of these sources and then helps me nurture my body. She tells me when I am satisfied and can stop eating. She tells me when I am hungry and what I am craving. And I know, as I move through this process, her voice will be louder and stronger.
For now, my intuitive eater is saying that I need to eat..Now!