Wednesday, May 11, 2016

May 11th, 2016 One Of The Golden Keys

May 11th, 2016 One Of The Golden Keys

I've had a couple of questions lately about intuitive eating. I suppose it was on my brain--because when the topic of mindful eating came up within a support exchange, I confused the two! I'm human!

As a good friend and loyal-longtime reader of this blog later described (after my confusion), mindful eating is critically important--and completely different from intuitive eating: "...mindful eating is taking the time to eat my food slowly, savoring each bite and not rushing through my meal, turning off the TV, thanking the people that brought the food to you...being conscious of what you are eating. I sometimes find that I get full and don't even eat all my food." 

Spot on! Mindful eating has played an important role in what I do, too. I can't count the number of times in my past when I consumed something so fast, I didn't even realize what I was doing. Ever inhale your food? That was me most of the time, as if I was in a race of some sort. Have you ever inhaled macaroni and cheese? Dangerous and painful! Mindful eating--yes, yes, yes...very important!

My reply incorrectly used the term "mindful eating," instead of "intuitive eating," two very different things!

As I often do, after investing some thought and energy into writing something elsewhere, I'll bring it here as a topic. So, with a few edits--and some additions, I'll share it tonight.

The questions I've received lately about intuitive eating were both very similar, one asking my opinion on the topic and both asking essentially the same main question: Will I ever transition into more of an intuitive eating program?

The simple answer to that, for me, is--without hesitation: No. 

Here's why:

It never worked for me. Believe me, I wanted to be an intuitive eater really really bad--I tried it after my initial 275 pound weight loss and gained a lot of weight. I wanted to be that kind of "normal," mostly because, deep down, I always resented and resisted my truth.

My normal and my truth is: I must make the effort and set the boundaries in order to lose weight--and also to maintain, where I am now. If I could intuitively eat, I don't think I would have successfully gained up to and maintained a 500 pound weight for nearly twenty years.

Now, I'm not resentful or resistant--I found acceptance--and took it further, to a full-on embrace of my truth each and every day--and instead of a drag, it's a beautiful experience--giving me a tremendous amount of life and freedom. And it isn't just because I'm measuring and weighing the food--logging everything and maintaining the integrity of my plan. The source of this life and freedom is bigger than that. It is, because I'm living in harmony with my truth, my "normal," and that is, in my opinion--one of the golden keys to this deal.

Intuitive eating works beautifully for some! It's simply one of those self-discovery things--it's the whole "finding what works for you," deal.

My word of caution is simple: The important thing is to maintain a higher level of awareness so you can honestly recognize the signs of whether it's working or not working. If chaos, instability and struggle keep interrupting your consistency--then it might be time to reevaluate. That was my biggest issue at one point during relapse/regain--I kept pushing ahead, insisting I could do it, while everything kept falling apart over and over again.

Today was a really good day. I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget, I remained abstinent from refined sugar, I met my daily water goal, I had a great workout tonight and I jazzed up my food a little bit. It was solid. I'm grateful. I'll aim for another one, tomorrow!

Today's Live-Tweet Stream:

Thank you for reading and your continued support,


  1. Intuitive eating for a food addict is like an alcoholic just having a drink now and then. It just doesn't work. Now mindful eating is something we should all do. Thanks for clarifying the difference.

  2. Great post Sean. I find this topic very interesting. I am a firm believer once I kicked my sweetness addiction where where food no longer controls me 24/7 it was not until then I could even practice mindful eating. Now when I eat for example my venison meatloaf, fresh side bacon, butternut squash with tomato juice for lunch I mindfully think what brought that food to my plate. I remember going out hunting and processing my own deer, planting and canning the tomato juice. Also remember the meat locker there quality standards how they go about presenting there fresh uncured bacon for purchase and picking out my butternut squash at the store. Being more involved, thinking about the food you eat, where it comes from accelerates mindful eating at a level of appreciation and more enjoyment out of food you eat. Mindful eating also encourages me to eat much more healthy, just thinking about some of the processed foods how they are manufactured do not make the very appealing to me anymore.

    I also believe intuitive eating works for short periods of time well for me as long a I am always practicing mindful eating. Being gone for weeks on vacation not tracking the last 2 & 1/2 weeks, yet loosing another 10 pounds that time, it obviously works for me if I set my mind to mindful eating 24/7. But I am not very far removed from my poor eating habits 2 & 1/2 years ago, I have to still track my food at least 75% of the time to avoid weight loss plateaus. However I am hoping one day in the distant future I can maintain weight with mindful eating combined with intuitive eating 50% or as high as 75% of the time. Biggest thing about tracking accurately for me is about portion control, not making your meals too big. Being able to manage CB correctly by end of day.


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