I came across a couple of new podcasts over the weekend. One is called The Psychology of Eating and I enjoyed the first episode I listened to so so much. There was a moment when the guy said to the woman he was talking with “You can choose to eat whatever you want and however much you want whenever.” (or something to that effect), and it reminded me of my decision to stop drinking and how active of a choice that was for me, and why would eating be so different? No wonder I’ve been acting out with binge-eating all the crisps in the house! Some dictatorial part of my brain has been telling myself that I’m “going to stop soon” and “put away all bad stuff forever”. Sure, on the outside I’ve been all “eat when hungry, stop when full”, but on the inside it’s been chocolate-bad-fat-bad-me-bad all the way down.

So that was really helpful. It reframed my position in my own life – I’m the adult here and no one is actually going to gainsay my decisions about my own nutrition. I can eat anything I want. But is it actually going to help me feel good? What will it do to my energy levels, to my IBS to how I’m feeling about myself and my body. And there was a point last night where I chose a bag of crisps and I didn’t feel guilty about it because I thought about those things and decided it was still worth it. And then later in the evening, I chose some more food when I wasn’t hungry but I was “hungry” and cranky and tired and it was the end of “doing stuff” and I wanted and I thought, somehow, that it would help me relax into getting ready for sleep. It didn’t. Of course. It just resulted in a slightly queasy belly. The type of thing I usually don’t even notice because I’ve gotten so good at detaching from the actual physical feelings of my body.

Yes, this is just “awareness awareness awareness” all over again, except I like the framing of “choice” on it. Somehow that feels a bit more empowering and funnily enough – much like a young child – the gift-wrapping of choice means I’m way more likely to make ones that are in my better interests. I think!

Unfortunately I listened on to a brief video about water-weight and then the start of a second podcast this morning while making the kids’ breakfasts. And I’m feeling a little disillusioned. The water weight one talked about belly fat just being trapped emotion, and the new podcast has made references to blood-type determining diet preferences.

Now, there’s still some good stuff in there, but it’s all feeling a bit tainted by pseudo-science and it makes it difficult for me to experience the same initial joy that I had been. and look, the water-weight = body being defensive and bloating up to make you seem bigger thing had a reference to one thing I know to be true for me: Stress triggers my IBS in a big way. I have no doubt that stress and panic and depression and all that can have an effect on my physiologically. Maybe there’s even something that goes on with the kidneys’ function and the proclivity to absorb back more water. However I suspect that for me it has far more to do with the vast amounts of salt I ingest.

As for blood-type diet? That’s about as useful as saying there are two types of people in the world; those who believe there are two types of people in the world and those who don’t.

The second podcast was This Naked Mind. It’s not really anything new-new to me, but it’s a new voice in a rather attractively packaged website with lots of interesting and easily accessible content. I listened to “episode one” of her podcast too and again the theme of this being a choice that I’m making, that I’m not deprived that I actually feel better living this way was front and centre. And that was kind of a nice reminder coming up to Christmas.

I sometimes rehearse “going public” about my alcohol-free status. I waiver then, being scared of the potential judgement – silent judgement that I won’t even get the chance to defend against. I know my defence: You don’t have to have “A Problem” – with a capital “P” in order for something you’re ingesting to be a problem for you and to stop it. I don’t fear the same judgement about cutting down or cutting out bread for goodness’ sake!

In the end though, I always come back to my instinct that just not drinking and not talking about it is the best thing for me at the moment.

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