Eating mindlessly or "without attunement" as Evelyn Tribole says, was miserable. Just eating, eating, eating, with no regard for how I felt, if I was hungry, if it tasted good, or if I was full. It was news to me that nobody is suggesting that. That's not a thing you should be aiming for, or be concerned about if you can't do it. That's not what Intuitive Eating is about. It's not what "All In" is about. They're about mindfully reconnecting with what your body actually needs, and then honoring that. It's respectful and kind. It's not a "jumping off a cliff and damn the consequences" kind of feeling. I think that's how my disordered brain saw it. Either I obsessively restrict or I have to eat all day until I'm in pain. That's black and white thinking at work and not actually how it is. It's really a matter of relaxing, noticing how you're feeling, and then meeting those needs.
I will say that's difficult if not impossible when overexercising, and especially when overexercising while also purging or restricting your food. Both of those create urgency and push eat mode into high gear. It's hard to sort out what your body is saying under those circumstances because it's usually saying something like, "AAAAAAAGHHH!!!" When we're consistently well rested and well fed, this whole new conversation opens up. Preferences, subtleties, nuances, choices. It's a level of freedom and possibility that we never get to experience in an all-or-nothing diet mindset. It's easy and natural. That's what you're searching for, not the conviction to mindlessly eat more than you need or want.
The biggest part of it is not judging or correcting your food choices, just noticing, without any harsh criticism or corrective action. If you eat until you're horribly uncomfortable, notice. If you're going too long without food and getting too hungry, notice. If you want something special instead of the usual, notice. That's where it gets interesting and things can start to change. Maybe you save a few chips for later next time instead of eating the whole bag. Maybe you make breakfast bigger, or snack sooner, or eat something more substantial. Maybe you plan to have something fun after dinner. It's staying in the moment and looking at what you want and need right now. It's rejecting all the reactive drama.
I think it's totally normal and expected to eat more than usual from a delicious restaurant or on a special occasion. Coming out of restriction, I would do a little "gasping for food" in those situations and eat until I was so full I was extremely uncomfortable. I noticed I didn't like that. Hurting myself took the fun out of it. With practice, I got better at celebrating with food, thoroughly enjoying myself, and not feeling like I'd eaten a bowling ball afterward. It's a skill that is fun to practice. Consider that Saturday provided you with all kinds of valuable information. Take what you learned and apply it next time you order amazing takeaway. You might order differently, or save some for another meal, or plan to go back next week or next month so there's no "last chance" urgency.
Basically, it's easy to eat mindfully when alone at a table with something you eat all the time. Eating your favorite food in the world, or something you love and rarely get, or eating with people and distractions, those are all more challenging situations, but also really fun and totally doable. They just take more practice, so exposure to them is a great way to learn.
I am lately finding that eating on my desk even if I start hungry I eat a more before I feel satisfied. I am sure in time it will get easier but right now I get best with eating in the kitchen as I really feel satisfied at some point during the meal, or have clear awareness that I need more. I am struggling some days, I ate too much on Saturday. Just because we are out of lockdown and we got takeaway from my favourite italian restaurant and including dessert. They are proper authentic restaurant not typical takeaway and I ate too much out of fear that I am not going to be able to eat there again soon. Silly really as I didn't even enjoy it as much as I thought I will
But to the point, it wasn't intuitive eating. It felt bit miserable. I had pancakes Sunday morning in the kitchen with my family with berries yogurt and honey and it was lovely to eat enough and feel satisfied for hours later. Yesterday all my meals were mindful and it felt happy eating.