Recently, an article on “intuitive dieting” led me to look for my worn copy of “Fat is a Feminist Issue,” by Susie Orbach. I can’t find it. It should be on the shelf devoted to books about eating and cooking — Laurie Colwin’s “Home Cooking” and “More Home Cooking,” “The Man Who Ate Everything,” Ruth Reichl’s memoirs, “Julie/Julia” “Candy Freak,” the Amanda Hesser book, “Fat Girl” and “The Fat Girl’s Guide to Life.” “My Kitchen Wars” Francine Prose’s “Gluttony.”
FIAFI, if you’ll allow the shorthand, was a hot book in the early 1980s and I recall reading that Princess Diana sought help from Orbach for her eating problems. The premise is simple. Your body knows what it wants, so give it to it. But first, you have to relearn what hunger and satiety are.
This idea is making the rounds again under the rubric “intuitive dieting” and it’s no longer just for women. And I’ve decided to try it again. In fact, I’ve been living this way for about a month. I’m good at the first part, knowing when I’m hungry. I’m hopeless at the second, knowing when I’m full, but I’m trying.
Is anyone else here tired of dieting? Tired of Scarsdale and cabbage and low-carb and good carbs and no-white-food, just to name a few of the “disciplines” I’ve tried. (Looking back at the archives of the Memory Project, I see that I termed my early 2005 regimen “the Edgar initiative,” because I so hate the concept of dieting.) And isn’t the indulgence that precedes and follows a diet sort of sad? The point of FIAFI is that we won’t overeat once we give ourselves permission to have what we really, truly want. Is it better to eat ten rice cakes and still feel hollow, or to eat double-chocolate breading pudding and push the bowl away halfway through? Last week, I opted for the latter, and I hope you did, too. But what are you doing this week? Did you ever fast? Or do something equally stupid? Because I sure did.
My primary New Year’s resolution is to “Get over it.” You?