Saturday, September 26, 2009

Intuitive Eating and Biology

This morning I read Magda's post about the struggle she has faced post competition and wanted to share a few personal thoughts as to why the going gets tough.

It's worthwhile googling "The Minnesota Semi Starvation Study" to see the effects of a very restricted diet on a group of men and the psychological problems experienced afterwards and during the study as a result of the restriction. All comp prep requires a calorie deficit to some degree but an extremely strict and lengthy prep will have the same effect as the study above. It is often said that Figure and Bodybuilding Competitions are a breeding ground for eating disorders, which I agree with on many levels. I believe that bodybuilding tends to attract the "all or nothing" type of person (a common thread in bulimia/BED), the perfectionist (a common trait of anorexia nervosa sufferers) and other compulsive types. Now not all competitors are like this, nor do all go on to suffer eating disorders, but a good percentage do.

To sum up there is a demonstrated biological link - with many theories purporting to why this happens, but the fact is that it does happen.

The other thing that disturbs me about the bodybuilding world is that competitors jacked up on steroids are shown to be "inspirational". The IFBB Olympia is on this weekend, the so called "best" women's figure competitors are those with good symmetry (tick), good muscle (tick) and the best access to human grade (if you're lucky) pharmaceuticals (a 'false impression' if ever there was one ) In my opinion there's absolutely nothing inspirational about these girls.

I've digressed but I'm coming back now to the concept of Intuitive Eating that a few bloggers here are embracing. Even though I've done a "prep" this year, my whole year of life coaching has shown me the importance of making self care a priority. The focus on Intuitive Eating seals this for me. There is a lot of discomfort in letting go for many of us, but embracing some of the principles of Intuitive Eating can do us all some good, even if you're not ready to take all the steps. I'm not ready to take the steps surrounding my triggers and I've been reading an interesting blog that talks about both intuitive eating and triggers which explains to me why I feel terrible after eating a lot of junky food! Yes, I really do crave healthier fare afterwards, but studies relating to the opioid effects of processed carbs on the brain (that this author mentions as well as David Kessler in his book "The End of Overeating") suggest to me that it is a far greater honour towards myself to skip these types of foods.

Check out Sheryl Canter's work here , it is really interesting.

Taught RPM this morning, which was pretty tough and then had the most beautiful berry fruit salad with a dollop of yoghurt for morning tea. I sat there marvelling at the taste and crunch of the berries and felt deliriously happy that I'd treated myself with a great workout and some great eats.

I'm now half watching the Broncos get thrashed. I have a theory that if I left the TV, they may turn around and make a comeback!


ss2306 said...

Hmm, yes Katie commented to me the other day that us too could look like that (IFBB girl) if we wanted to grow a DICK also!! Somehow I don't think hubby would like that too much (lol).

KatieP said...

Great post Liz

I am also disturbed by the photos of girls obviously pumped full of chemicals being held up as role models. It is as pointless as aspiring to the pictures of women in magazines who have been photoshopped beyond what is physically possible.

Give me natural beauty the comes from a reconnected soul any day - and might I say that you are looking extraordinarily beautiful these days yourself. Your words are insightful and inspiring and spread much needed hope in this mostly barren landscape of traditional 'health and fitness' advice.