Friday, March 7, 2008

What is normal eating anyway?

I have discovered that many of us who have struggled for so long with food control issues may have no idea what normal eating actually is. We have been told what to have, what not to have and how much or how little of which foods to choose. The whole situation is out of control and it seems the harder we try to figure it all out, the more complicated it becomes. So, in an effort to help clear up a bit of the confusion, here is a definition of normal eating. Let me know what you think!

Normal eating is responding to physical cues that your body needs nourishment. It means eating until you are satisfied. Normal eating means eating foods you love and letting yourself have enough. It does not mean depriving yourself or stopping eating because you think you should. Normal eating means exercising some restraint and choosing foods that are good for your body but not limiting your diet so much that you miss out on special foods you might enjoy occasionally. Normal eating means granting yourself permission to eat at any time just because you feel like it, because you feel happy or sad or because you are celebrating or mourning. It means eating sometimes for absolutely no reason other than because you want to.

On some days, normal eating means eating three meals. On other days, it could mean having more or less than that. Normal eating does at times mean over-eating and at other times, under-eating. It means being flexible and it means trusting yourself and your body. Normal eating means letting your body adjust to the constant fluctuations in your moods, food choices and eating patterns. It means paying some attention to your eating, but it does not mean being rigid. It does not mean worrying about your food and body excessively. Thoughts about when and what to eat are necessary in order to feed yourself well but they should not take up the majority of your time and sometimes normal eating can mean taking care of yourself emotionally with an appropriate amount of food.

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