My journey to intuitive eating
I am not going to tell you that I had/have a hard relationship with food. That is simply not true. What I will say instead is that I always was a fussy eater. From the very young age I did not enjoy a lot of foods which frustrated my parents a lot. It was not until a lot later when I was started eating more and more of what I used to neglect. Can my parents thank internet for that? To some extent. And also puberty.
As the years went by I started researching nutrition. It was not a major research, rather just some suggestions on what is beneficial to eat and what not so much. Because of the subjective resources, I did not take much of it into consideration. I continued to not thinking what I consume and how it affects me. I would call it a mindless eating (is there such a term?). There were no specific reasons for eating habits except for the fact that I was always skinny (with a bum though). Skinny runs in my family thus my state of mind was stable and glad that I was free in my eating choices.
Coming back from States a couple of years later (in September ‘16, to be exact) I realized that my scale did not show the same numbers anymore. I also felt a lot bigger than what I was used to. Keep in mind that previously no matter what I ate did not make me gain much weight. My instant thought was to get rid of this uncomfortable feeling I had with the help of gym. I purchased a gym membership the following month and was determined more than ever. Gym made me loose two to three kilos and I was somewhat content with my body. My newly found passion for yoga probably contributed to it as well.
Fast forward a year later to another adventure in States and yet another weight gain. This time around I did not panic and even got to work out several times during the summer (it did not last long though since working 15/24 hours does not leave you much time for anything). By the time I got back home a new half a year gym membership was purchased. I was getting more and more into eating healthy. With the already expired membership I was determined to be on track with my eating habits. No medication treating my acne became the culmination point influencing my decision.
At the beginning I intended to cut out both meat and dairy out of my diet. Do I need to say it was a bad idea? It was about time I discovered the amount of products containing dairy and meat in them, and decided to take it easy. For meat never played a big role in my diet, I stuck with occasional chicken meals. My relationship with dairy did not let me cut it out completely, but I made sure that my cow milk and cheese intake should decrease to just a couple of times per month. From this point on I was a regular grocery shop customer with my own canvas tote bag.
What about now? Well, I consider myself having quite a balanced diet as of the past five to six months. Water became my best friend. I incorporated a lot of nutritious foods in my diet such as nuts, grains, salmon, avocado and a ton of fruits and vegetables. I also fell in love again with oatmeal breakfasts packed with fresh berries, peaches and bananas. I found zucchini and eggplants very appealing to my taste buds and thus cooked many dishes with them. Beans, tofu, sweet potato and mushrooms became my go-to foods on my grocery shopping list. There was also an abundance of pasta dishes with tomatoes and tuna in the last three months.
I will still have occasional dairy and meat products, although I started listening to my body a lot more and eating strictly when I wanted to. The “it is time for dinner” thoughts disappeared as I ate dinner whenever I felt like it. I quit the mindset of having to finish every single meal even if feeling full. In case I did overeat (and that happens too), I would not blame myself. I also created a home workout routine for myself that actually works and makes me feel leaner and stronger. The combination of both resulted in clearer skin and healthier lifestyle I embarked on and am still enjoying.
There is still a long way for me to go. I would like to cut out animal products completely out of my diet, but I will not rush into it until I am fully ready. The bonus part is that this journey of mine helped me become a better cook and better understand the needs of my body. There is no doubt that I am the most content with my body and am glad to see fruits of my labor.
Image credit: elumina