Healthy Eating: It’s Personal!

By Marsha Hudnall on 09/10/2008
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I’ve got all kinds of appointments today and, of course, haven’t planned ahead on what I will post about today. So I was perusing old posts to see if there were any gems that deserved a little more attention, and came up with this one, slightly modified. It’s about how we can successfully make changes in our eating to achieve our health goals, something that is always a challenge in a healthy weight loss program. The challenge comes about because we generally follow ‘rules’ of the weight loss program instead of listening to and trusting our bodies to tell us what makes us feel well. And when we’re feeling well, we’re moving towards health and healthy weights, if we’re not there already.

I recently took part in a listserv conversation that suggested one way we could effectively make changes in our diets. Of course, it had to do with mindful eating, or intuitive eating, whatever you want to call it. Mindful eating is all about listening to our bodies, and making choices based on how a food makes us feel. The listserv conversation had to do with how to stop eating things that don’t make us feel well, not how to eat things that we think we ‘should.’ For many people, those foods include things like chips and candy; others can’t tolerate milk products. Actually, for every food, there’s probably someone who can’t tolerate it.

For people who’ve struggled with eating, it can get a little confusing figuring out what makes us feel well, and what doesn’t. On her excellent website Body Positive, Deb Burgard has an exercise to help people when they’re having trouble deciding. It’s called “Every Body Part Gets a Vote.”

The point is, when we clearly know a food affects us adversely, it’s up to us to decide if we really want that food badly enough to suffer the consequences. It becomes a personal decision motivated by what our bodies tell us – intrinsic motivation — not one that’s driven by an attempt to meet healthy eating guidelines (an external driver). And intrinsic motivation is what really works.

If you have trouble hearing, understanding or trusting your internal cues that tell you what, when and how much to eat, consider a visit to Green Mountain. That’s the focus of our healthy eating, fitness and weight loss program. The good news is, it’s liberating and even fun to let go of all those rules and start doing what feels good! And add your story to the many permanent weight loss success stories of the women who come to us.

The leaves are turning fast here, promising to bring us another colorful fall. Join us to see for yourself…and end 2008 on a fabulous note…and start 2009 on one, too!

3 Responses (Add Yours)

  • Definitely a gem. It’s amazing what your body tells you when you start really listening. :)

  • Just_Kelly says:

    You have a PCOS program? That is awesome! I’ll have to look into. PCOS makes weight loss seem so much harder. Even when I feel as though I’m doing everything right the scale barely budges. I’d love to learn how to manage my PCOS through nutrition.

  • Marsha says:

    Hi, Kelly,

    You are so right about PCOS making weight issues more difficult to manage. Insulin resistance has a lot to do with that. The good news is that a healthy lifestyle is a great attack on insulin resistance — eating balanced meals with moderate amounts of whole carbohydrate foods and plenty of physical activity. What’s even better news is that this type of living feels great and can be a lot of fun if you get into learning how to cook and finding physical activities that push your button. PCOS management may require other interventions, too, but a healthy lifestyle is an absolute must…really for all of us, whether we have PCOS or not!!!

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