Friday, May 27, 2011

Using your Intuition

in·tu·i·tion noun \ˌin-tü-ˈi-shən, -tyü-\
1: quick and ready insight
2a : immediate apprehension or cognition b : knowledge or conviction gained by intuition c : the power or faculty of attaining to direct knowledge or cognition without evident rational thought and inference

The above definition was taken from Let's take a look at it a little closer, shall we, as I am a bit confused. And I love to share my confusions with others (don't I, Sweetie?). To me, "quick and ready insight" means that it takes little or no time or thought to figure something out. Like when you walk into a room and open the door REEEEEAAAALLLY wide because you just know' that your little sister is there, ready to pounce on you like a panther sprinkle you with glitter. With all of the 2a-c, that part of the definition is really lost on me (i am from the backwoods of Vermont, remember) and it doesn't really impact my rant explanation of my confusion. Just wait and see...
I bring this up because of some recent attention to "intuitive eating" (IE), both in the blog world and IRL. Seriously. Strange tie-ins like that have been happening all week. I overheard some people at the grocery talking about it, read the transcript from #fitbloggin, and have had some personal experiences with intuitive eating. Or so I thought. The name is catchy, for sure, but i've oft wondered if it was the best term to describe it. As my lovely wife can attest, i am a stickler for the correct use of vocabulary, (especially by others!), so I have been mulling this over for a while now. The time, i feel, has come to investigate. All in the name of #nomorebs.
My understanding of IE is that you eat what you know agrees with you so that you don't feel sluggish, bloated, hyper-motile (not hypermoBILE. that's ok. hyper-moTILE isn't always good), etc. etc. I first heard about it while running through the woods listening to @twofitchicks podcast about a year or so ago. Miz and Shauna were talking about it, and I sensed some apprehension at the name from Miz, but I'm not going to speak for her on that. It was just my take. I started to think about MY food intake and how it made me feel, and came to the realization that I had been eating intuitively for a while without even knowing it. Amazing! Here's a brief version of my story with food:
Growing up I ate whatever was put in front of me. Dinner was dinner. We all ate together, and we ate the same food. We had a "take what you want but eat what you take" mantra. This meant that you didn't get up until you ate it. All of it. Even if that meant that you were still sitting there long after the dishes were done. Was it the right thing to do? I dunno. Worked for us, so who am i to judge? In '86 I went to Japan as an exchange student. I ate all kinds of things that most people wouldn't: at least not most Americans.
There was eel, octopus, umeboshi, seaweed, so many different fish, veggies (yama imo!), and other things. I don't think that I ever refused to eat anything that was presented. Including ram and beef tongue. One thing that I learned about their food culture is that they consider it rude to leave ANY rice in the bowl at the end of a meal. Their reasoning, I was told, was that the farmer worked very hard in all kinds of weather to get that rice to your table, and that it was very disrespectful to waste it. WOW. I had never looked at it that way, and it changed the way I have looked at food ever since. i went from being 'afraid' of not finishing my food (and anyone elses' at the table) to finishing it to avoid disrespecting the 'farmer' or even the cook. But then something happened when i hit my mid 30's.
Stress. Anxiety. Bad personal decisions.
More Chins know the rest.

Mostly self-induced, but my life became very stressfull. And my eating went haywire. I gained a buncha weight. This picture is bitter sweet. It was taken on one of the most fun days of my life, and i look like CRAP in it. This crapiness is magnified by the fact that I am in Uniform. Disgraceful. It hangs on my office wall as a reminder...but I digress. IE is the topic here....SO.....during this epoc, my...ummm...'system' kicked into overdrive. like 4-5 times a day. TMI? read on. I eventually went to see a gastroenterologist who I worked with, but not until my late 30's. I just couldn't take it any more. I thought it was a parasite. I thought I had some disease. As an RN, i have just enough knowledge to be dangerous, as they say. At one point during the exam the doc said, "well, I don't think that you'll need a colonoscopy, THANK GOD!" we both had a good laugh. He said that many of his collegues would diagnose me with IBS, but he wasn't going to do that.
I asked him point blank, "Do you think IBS is BS as a diagnosis?" He replied that he felt that it was becoming an overused diagnosis, but that it did have its place. I then said, "Do you think most cases, like mine, are more mental than physical?" He made some smartass comment about yes, for me, it was mental, because i was a bit 'off' anyway, but that also yes, symptoms can be aggrivated by both stress and DIET. Well....i didn't think that i could control the stress in my life (still working on that, actually), but i could control what i put in my pie hole.I started looking at what was going on food/drink wise on the days when i was most 'active'. I noticed a trend. Milk, candy, coffee, and chocolate were all big culprits. I have eliminated all but the coffee. (don't touch my coffee. seriously. if that ever gets taken away....) Except for chocolate chips in some ice cream, I haven't had ANY candy since OCT 31, 2007. I rarely eat ice cream. Creamies/SoftServe on the other hand, is different. yes, yes, yes, all chemicals, but...NO REAL MILK, worries! yum. I have also identified other foods that work 'wonders' on my body in some way or another. My discovery of those things, going by the definition above, was not at all....intuitive. So the PROCESS leading to IE is trial and error, introspection, journaling, investigating....and the RESULT is INTUITIVE.
again. Cave Lector. and of course, #nomorebs

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