Spring break was awesome. I got to spend a week with my family, eat delicious food, lounge around and not worry about anything.
But as great as all of that was, there comes a time during every break that I find I really appreciate my everyday routine. Something about spending a week on the couch eating pretty much constantly didn’t feel so great on Day 5 as it did on Day 1.
When I’m home for any extended period of time, I find myself obsessed with fitting as much delicious food into that window of time as possible. But after a few days, it starts to not feel so great. I found myself eating even when I wasn’t hungry, simply because I wasn’t going to have the opportunity to eat something so yummy again for a while.
As for exercise, I spent most of my break on the couch. This was fine for the first few days when there was a foot of snow on the ground, but after a while I started to feel sluggish, tired and sore from a lack of movement.
There are a lot of things I LOVE about being home, and I miss it a lot when I’m away at school. But I’m realizing that sometimes being home makes it difficult for me to practice my healthy living habits.
That’s not to say a break isn’t needed from time to time. I certainly don’t deprive myself of dessert or a Saturday on the couch on a regular basis. But sometimes, too much of a good thing doesn’t feel so good!
As I return to school after my week-long break, I’m focusing on getting back into my regular exercise routine. This has been easy because I walk a lot more at school and I am starting to train for another 5K. I also only took 4 days off from running over break, so I didn’t decrease my fitness much.
I’m also focusing on my eating habits, and I’m going to try to get back to intuitive eating. Intuitive eating is the idea that you pay close attention to your body’s hunger cues and only eat when you’re truly hungry and stop when you’re full. For me, this is the strategy I use on a regular basis to keep myself feeling my best.
It’s taken me a long time to learn how to pay attention to my body when I eat to know when to stop before I overeat. By overeat, I don’t mean it in a “weight-maintenance” kind of way (although I believe this is a benefit of intuitive eating.) I mean that feeling you get when you are so stuffed that you feel sick. I love to eat good food, and I want to savor the flavor as much as possible. This often leads to a stuffed stomach!
Over break I definitely ate a lot more food than my body needed, and it led me to feel less than my best. So I’m focusing on how I’m feeling and eating when I’m hungry. My appetite has already started to return in the few days I’ve been back, so I think my intuitive eating is working for me.
I’m curious to know if you practice intuitive eating. Perhaps you do, but you’ve never called it by that name. How to do you pay attention to your body’s hunger cues to keep yourself feeling your best?