It's interesting how the perception of calorie counting evolves. I found it genuinely fun and helpful at first. Then it became an important safety mechanism and the responsible thing to do. From there it started to feel redundant, like busywork. I started to resent it a bit. Finally, I began to experience it as actively counterproductive. Clearly it was making my eating worse, setting me up to rebel and restrict. Plus, it occupied nearly every waking thought. I wasn't fully experiencing life and the world around me.
We had a health crisis in our family this year. You can look at it like, "This terrible thing happened and everything is terrible." Which is valid! And tempting! But it's been more helpful to look at it like, "This terrible thing happened, but I'm going to embrace all the ways in which it can make me stronger, happier, and more grateful."
There is something magical about just noticing what you need, how it tastes, and how you feel when you eat. I wasn't letting myself do that when I had all the rules and software. It was drowned out by noise about being on or off track, right or wrong. I found it helpful initially to do what I normally do in terms of meals and portions, but to slow down and do it with more awareness. I learned all kinds of things! Nothing bad happened at all. As I continued to notice and make adjustments, listening to my body became a much better match to my energy needs and values.
It has been so interesting to me to learn to recognize emotional satisfaction as well as physical satisfaction. They’re both important. Intuitive eating is not just stomach sensations rated on a scale. The gentle nutrition component weaves through all of it. What is practical and convenient also comes into play. It’s all so perfectly individual. No wonder I wasn’t finding my perfect-match, forever food plan in a book or on someone else’s blog. Your own body and brain can make far more subtle and personalized adjustments. It’s just a matter of learning to hear and trust them.