I am still on vacation so today’s post is from a reader of mine whom I have never met in person but I dig her energy and spirit. Here name is Erica House and she writes about health and wellness at her blog www.EricaDHouse.com. Erica is talking to us today about “Intuitive Eating” and the fact she was able to lose 50 pounds by learning to listen to her body and feed it what it really needs.
Here is a photo of Erica before:
And this is what Erica looks like now—wow!
Here is Erica’s story in her own words:
I never thought I was overweight. Becoming morbidly obese just snuck up on me one day. I was a chubby kid in middle school but thinned out due to exercise and better eating habits in high school. After I started college and turned 21 I slowly started to pack on the weight. Within 2 years I gained 60 pounds. On my 5’2” frame that was enough to put my BMI at 31.5 and my self-esteem at 0. Finally, after years of loathing my body and trying extreme, unhealthy, dieting I decided I needed to make a total lifestyle change if I wanted to get rid of the weight once and for all.
It started slowly and it took just as long for the weight to come off as it did to go on. Now, 4 years later, I’ve maintained that weight loss through the classic formula of eating less and moving more. I don’t eliminate any food groups from my diet, I try to eat as many servings of vegetables and fruits a day as I can stand, and I limit drinking my calories to a few glasses of wine a week. I exercise 5-6 times a week and love challenging myself with new fitness goals to stay motivated.
My transformation started when I realized I was eating my emotions away. Once I realized that food should only be used as fuel for your body I began looking at what I was putting in my system more critically. A few months ago I read the book Intuitive Eating and I remember crying in the break room at my work because I realized I had been torturing myself with guilt over food and counting calories for years.
Here are a few basic tips on how to become an intuitive eater:
• Honor your hunger: Eat when you’re hungry and eat what you’re craving. You may find yourself eating more ‘junk’ food that has been ‘off-limits’ to you in the past but eventually, if you listen to your body, you’ll find that it tells you exactly what it needs to stay strong. It took me a while but I’m finally one of those people who actually crave vegetables!
• Eat Mindfully: One of the biggest mistakes people make is eating in front of the TV or computer. When it’s time to eat sit down somewhere, focus on your food, and truly enjoy the experience of eating. You are more likely to overeat when you’re not focused on your food.
• Cope with your emotions: Many people, particularly women, eat out of boredom, depression, anxiety or loneliness. When you find yourself reaching for something to snack on stop and listen to your body to make sure your feeling hunger pains and not trying to fulfill an emotional need. Make a list of activities you enjoy doing to keep near-by that you can do instead of eating. Read a magazine, go for a walk, or talk to a friend. If your still feeling hungry after, than eat!
Bio: Erica House has her Masters in Psychology and has been teaching at the University level since 2007. She is certified as a Personal Trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine and recently became a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor. After maintaining her own 50 pound weight loss she is passionate about helping others on their journey to lifelong happiness and wellness.
Thank you for posting today Erica!