Stress Eating Is Not Intuitive Eating

It’s been over a month since my last appointment with Evelyn Tribole (RD and author of Intuitive Eating). Unfortunately, I’ve been way too busy to see her since then, but I have been doing really well with intuitive eating.

Or at least, I was doing really well up until this week.

I am still learning my body’s hunger cues so I really need to pay attention to them – something I’ve been neglecting lately. If I don’t eat when I am first starting to get hungry, I overeat or can’t stop eating all day. It’s very important for me to be aware of what my body is signaling so I can fuel myself well to prevent a binge (the real “B” word).

I failed at that on Sunday when I snacked myself into oblivion. And today I failed by not planning and stress eating.

I had about 20 minutes after class to grab lunch and get to work. I went to a local high end supermarket thinking they would have a lot of good veggie options, but I was wrong.

I thought about it for a minute and made the executive decision to order what I thought was the healthiest sandwich option they had – turkey on wheat. I knew I would be stuck at work until 6pm and needed protein so my normal veggie sandwich wouldn’t have been the best option. Good lookin’ out. IMG_1649

I guess it’s been a very long time since I ordered a turkey sandwich because the amount of meat on it was ridiculous. Like, for real. I think it’s a joke to put that much stuff in a sandwich. It just falls apart.IMG_1655

However, putting that much icing on a cupcake is not as frivolous, but I digress…cupcake


I ate half the sandwich for lunch plus the salads. The sandwich wasn’t even that good though and I was mad at myself for ordering what I thought I should. Actually, I was more mad at myself for not packing lunch, but I’m not perfect.IMG_1652

I also grabbed this yogurt for an afternoon snack. It was no pineapple Chobani, but I’m still getting over the spoiled experience I had yesterday. IMG_1657

Anyways, when I got home I had a major “intuitive eating break down” (read: binge) and ate the other half of my sandwich plus chips and a Vitatop. It was a “breakdown” because I wasn’t sure if I was hungry. I think I was stressed and panicky more than anything else. IMG_1658

The  point is, I was standing in my kitchen eating until I was past full – not intuitive eating. And it’s a wake up call that I need to get back to the basics because I’m still a work in progress.

I don’t have the time to read the book cover to cover right now. I really want to because I think I’m in a very good place to really  use it, but I am completely swamped with school and work and blogging right now and can barely make time for a shower. Crap, I just realized I didn’t shower today. IMG_1661

Anyway, here are the 10 Principles of intuitive eating and where I think I am with them…

The Ten Principles of Intuitive Eating can be found in the book and on their website. They are:

1. Reject the Diet MentalityDone and done

2. Honor Your HungerYep. I eat when I’m hungry. The problem is occasionally eating when I’m not hungry.

3. Make Peace with FoodThere is no food that is off limits or “given up”.

4. Challenge the Food PoliceI fought the law and I won.

5. Respect your Fullness – *This is where I am now. I often eat past fullness or eat when I’m not even hungry so I get past fullness.

6. Discover your Satisfaction Factor

7. Honor your Feelings Without FoodMy stress should be handled with better planning and relaxing time, not food like I did today.

8. Respect Your Body

9. Exercise – This one kinda goes without saying.

10. Honor Your Health

The moral of this story is I am going to focus on intuitive eating again and make a real effort to prevent binges.

Things I know about myself:
1. I eat when I’m hungry

2. I eat when I’m stressed or feel out of control

How I can prevent binges:

1. Get 8 hours of sleep each night

2. Get organized so I don’t feel overwhelmed and stressed out

I am super overwhelmed with school, work, blogging  and personal organization stuff right now.

And everything keeps piling up on top of it so I just feel like I can’t get ahead! Even writing out how stressed I am makes me want to cry or get in my car to start a new life in Mexico with the Tarahumara Indians.

The rest of my night is broken down into 30 minute increments of time dedicated to school, email and freelance writing. I’m hoping to be caught up by Friday so I can Breathe again :) IMG_1660

If I’m not blogging in the morning come look for me in Mexico.

On second thought, just let me be…


  1. says

    I cannot believe you’ve been working with Evelyn Tribole. Intuitive Eating is seriously on my nightstand next to my Bible. How very, very cool!

    Remember, it’s about progress, not perfection. You sound like you’ve moved and are ready to move on!

  2. Ashley says

    I hear ya!!!!!…. I am SO the same way when I get stressed out with school…aka everyday … what I find helps me now (which has been a long process for me).. besides those other good tips you posted…. is thinking about what I want for breakfast and how good it’s going to taste when I’m hungry… Or actually saying out loud to myself how bad this is going to make me feel if I binge on crappy foods… also another really good thing that I have FINALLY learned is to forgive myself… and move on…. worst thing I use to do is restrict calories the next day… it would mess me up so much…..

  3. says

    I know how this feeling so well. You are just so overwhelmed and you don’t really know if you are hungry and all you can do is just eat, not really satisfying yourself because your actually not hungry, just stressed. But you just keep eating anyways. Ugh, we all do this! And although I think its unrealistic to assume that you’ll never do it again, I think it’s great to recognize it and move on.
    You’re doing great girl! :)

  4. says

    thanks for the post. weirdly enough i have the opposite problem: when i get stressed i don’t eat. but i still need to listen to my body to figure out what i need! so thanks for the reminder :)

    • says

      Hey, we’re al human right? You are working in the right direction. AND with quite the pro! I’ve always wanted to read that book because sometimes (esp late night) I’m quite the snacker for either no reason or because I’m super stressed out.

  5. Julie says

    Maybe tone down the blogging to give time to get yourself in order. Seems like you may be getting stuck in a vicious cycle of not making progress because you are spending too much time talking about trying to rather than giving yourself time to do it. I think your blog audience will understand the need to put your -actual- self first. I know I sometimes hide from doing the real dirty work of self improvement behind other percieved obligations (imaginary and otherwise). Well, I do it a LOT to be honest. Life is complicated, kwim?

  6. says

    That is an INSANE amount of meat. Then again, I hate meat, so it looks even worse to me. Now that cupcake on the other hand… 😉

    I am working on not eating while I’m stressed too. Definitely a work in progress!

  7. says

    I still fight those exact same issues! I make sure I eat RIGHT when I start to get a little bit hungry because otherwise I’ll overeat. I also try not to deny myself a treat if I want one, because I’ll over do it later! It’s hard but you’re not alone…!

  8. says

    Aw man, that much lunchmeat all stacked on top of itself in a sandwich always makes me gag! I don’t know why, but I just can’t stand lunch meat. So I totally understand your feelings towards that lunch. And how lack of sleep and lack of preparedness can totally hijack your day.

    I just started the intuitive eating thing last week. For once in my life, I’m not trying to do it “by the book” — I didn’t even know about the book until after I decided to stop counting calories. It really does teach you a lot about yourself, though, doesn’t it?

  9. Karoline says

    Oh my goodness! Monica! I’m SO stoked to find someone else in the world who actually knows about the Tarahumara Indians in Mexico. My sister and I both read Born To Run by Scott Jurek, twice each, and loved it. We both switched to barefoot running (I’m back to runners b.c of knee issues but that’s another story..) Anyways, that book totally inspired me and I’ve always wanted to race with the mexicans. And lets be honest, Scotty J! Baahh!

  10. says

    Nah… Don’t be too hard on yourself. I’m a runner myself and can handle tons of carbs but as long as I can run. I got myself a better health.

    Evelyn is cool!

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