Intuitive Eating: My Body’s OTHER Cues

By Katie, 5:32 am

My original title for this post was: “Why I Am NOT Eating Intuitively Right Now.” 8-O

I’m a pretty healthy gal, but for the past two weeks I’ve been suffering from a minor but extremely uncomfortable medical condition that has left me drained and frustrated. The only way to combat this particular condition is through the use of very strong antibiotics, which unfortunately make me feel nauseous 24/7. :-(

For the record, I’m 100% certain said nausea is coming from these…

(Source)

Not this. ;-) (But I keep joking that it’s practice for the future!)

(Source)

My doctor says the only way to diminish the nausea is by changing my eating habits. I basically need to eat very tiny meals every two hours, because the minute my stomach empties the sickness returns.

In other words, for this particular two-week span, I have not been listening to my body’s hunger cues.

That’s where the original post title came from. But as I thought about it more, I realized that I am indeed honoring my body’s cues, just not its hunger cues. My body is clearly telling me I need to eat a little something – just through a wave of nausea rather than through a rumbling in my tummy.

This whole situation has made me realize that honoring my body means listening to all of its physical cues, not just those related to hunger. It means being in touch with all of my internal messages, not just those coming directly from my stomach.

So have I been eating intuitively over these past few weeks, even though I’ve had to schedule my eating outside of my hunger/fullness cues? I think so, because in the process I have been listening to the voice of my body – and all of its cues – more closely than ever.

Is your eating ever affected by physical cues other than hunger/fullness? Do you think that honoring those other cues is a part of eating intuitively?

17 Responses to “Intuitive Eating: My Body’s OTHER Cues”

  1. I think that honoring hunger signals is only a tiny piece of the puzzle. Our body sends us all sorts of signals all day long, many of which are food related, and many people don’t understand that those signals mean we are eating something that isn’t good for us.

    Things like eczema, headaches, excessive gas, joint pain, fatigue…all can be signs of something we are eating and at the end of the day, in order to feel our best, those are the signals we really need to pay attention to!

  2. i think anytime we’re sick that switch should occur…the needs of our body are different when we’re under the weather!

  3. Heather says:

    I always have different cravings (or lack there of) when I am feeling sick or down in the dumps. I think it is totally normal.

    I hope you feel better soon!

  4. Alina says:

    I think it’s definitely part of eating intuitively. In fact, it just might be the next step – eating intuitively is sort of a practice of being kind to yourself and aware of your needs. Taking it beyond food is nothing but good, in my opinion.

  5. Holly says:

    Gosh, I am so sorry you’ve been feeling nauseous. :-( That is truly the worst feeling!

    I think whenever we are sick, our appetites/way of eating changes (at least, mine does!). I try to honor my cravings no matter how different they are to what I normally do. If that’s what it takes to help me feel better, well…then that’s what it takes. :-)

  6. Katie, I’m sorry you’re sick! I’m sending healthy vibes your way, and I hope you feel better soon!

    I love this post. I never considered that there may be other cues other than hunger and fullness to think about. This has definitely opened my eyes and I’ll start paying attention to other signals. Christie also made a great point about paying attention to things like headaches and fatigue. It definitely goes back to honoring ourselves and taking good care of our health beyond honoring our hunger and satiety.

    Thanks for a great post!

  7. Shawnee says:

    I hate feeling nauseated, so I feel for you! You pose a really difficult question for me to answer, as I am still learning. But, I appreciate your wisdom and insight on this topic. :)

  8. I think that you’re absolutely doing the right thing. To me, one of the important aspects of intuitive eating is that food/eating/hunger shouldn’t control our lives. In your situation, to ignore your doctor’s suggestion and instead honor only your hunger would defeat that goal! Does that make sense? :)

    I hope you feel better soon!! xoxo

  9. I hope that you feel back to your vibrant self soon, but in the meantime it sounds like you’re doing exactly what you need to for your body and mind. Bravo for thinking deeply about this issue!

  10. Lisa says:

    My stomach was bothering me for awhile. I was nauseous and light headed. I tried eating a little more food and felt a bit better.

  11. Tamara says:

    Definitely! For years I’ve had acid issues, so I had to coat my stomach with food to keep the pain at bay. It’s better now that I can automatically sense which foods I should avoid, and my stress levels are down from what they were as a college student in the sciences. One other complication is tiredness–if I haven’t had enough sleep my eating patterns are entirely unpredictable.

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  13. Meg says:

    Bummer! I hope that you feel better! Stress is a big factor in whether I’m eating intuitively. Low grade stress causes me to crave carbs and sugar, but high grade stress kills my appetite and the thought of eating ANYthing is unappealing.

  14. Cammy says:

    After so long with an ED, my body’s hunger cues are completely scrambled and non-trustworthy. I often feel famished after finishing a meal that made me uncomfortably full, but just as often I can go for way too long without eating without experiencing hunger pains. I usually feel hunger in my head before my stomach, if that makes sense, light-headedness and a kind of fuzzy feeling often happen and are more reliable if I go too long, even if I had no abdominal signals.

    • Katie says:

      I see what you’re saying. When I first started challenging my eating issues, my hunger cues were totally out of whack. It took awhile for me to be able to listen to my body safely and confidently.

  15. s your eating ever affected by physical cues other than hunger/fullness? Do you think that honoring those other cues is a part of eating intuitively?
    Ha-this is so funny, because I was just telling my hubby how I can be totally full, but if we start watching shows on the Food Network, I will start to get MAD cravings. Not good for maintaining your weight!

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