Intuitive eating is the practice of breaking up with dieting and learning how to tune in and listen to your body when it comes to food so that you can begin to have a relationship with food and your body that feels more peaceful and less restrictive.
It's a journey that can be super amazing, because ultimately it leads to feeling normal around food and in your body—but sometimes it feels really hard because you've been told your whole life...
- You should be smaller
- You should do this diet to be happy
- Cut carbs to lose weight
- Cut fat to lose weight
- You should lose weight
- Weight determines your happiness
And so on... Maybe now you've finally taken the plunge and have said yes to intuitive eating, or maybe you're just dipping your toes in the idea of it. First, I'm proud of you babe. This is no easy feat when the rest of the world is telling you to do something different.
But maybe, you're feeling a bit stuck. You're open to the idea of it all, but you're getting lost or frustrated in some areas that are new to you and you don't know how to navigate it all? I get it.
Let's put your freak out to a halt and get through these hard parts, below are 3 different situations that I frequently help my clients work through.
Your friends eat salads at every meal out, which is completely fine with youâ€”but they make comments on why you're eating a burger, OR you feel weird and like you want to explain yourself because it 'appears' unhealthy.
It's easy to feel like you need to explain yourself if you're just casually eating a donut when everyone else is eating egg whites for breakfast. While you're on your journey to creating your new normal (feeling at ease around food), your friends and family may still very much so be in diet mindset. The cool thing about all of this is that they don't need to understand what you're doing for it to make sense for your life. If they have questions you can of course share, but it's not your job to validate your choices. You're not unhealthy because you have a donut. And just like how you didn't explain to anyone why you wore leggings, you don't need to explain to anyone why you got regular bacon over turkey bacon. When you feel the need to justify yourself, I want you to ask if the story you're creating in your head is true or not. So if you're thinking "they think I'm unhealthy and are judging me"â€”check in with yourself and ask yourself, is this true? If it's not true, step into the ease of knowing they don't love you less because you're on this journey. If it is true, open up a conversation with them and talk about what you're doing. Ask them what questions they have so it can create more peace in your friendships/dynamic.
You just started intuitive eating, but you've found yourself saying yes to all of the food because you can and don't feel like you're honoring your body the way you want to.
Don't freak out! It's really common for people new to intuitive eating to find themselves saying yes to every donut brought into work, or every meal out because you 'can' and this isn't dieting so you feel like you almost should say yes.. To a degree, I think this is part of the process for some. I know that in the beginning of intuitive eating for myself, I said yes to all of the donuts but then I realized that I physically wasn't feeling super hot after doing that for a month. When I finally checked in with myself and asked "do I really want this? Or, am I just saying yes because I can?", it changed everything. Ask yourself those questions, "Do I really want this, or am I saying yes because I can?". Intuitive eating asks you to listen to your body without judgement, which takes some time. So I encourage you to lean into that discomfort, and not grab a salad just because your friends are.
You want to lose weight, but you also want to feel normal around food and you're getting impatient with 'the process'.
Weight loss and intuitive eating can be buds, for sure, Here's the thing. I know you'd probably cut off your left leg to feel normal around food, and the good thing is you don't have to do that. But it is going to take some time to get into the flow of this process. You 100% can lose weight, if this is your goal, but know it may not look like the 21 day challenges you've done in the past. Diets work because they go to extremes, you aren't heading into extremes with intuitive eating though. Which means you can expect your journey to look more steady than quick and fast, which will give you sustainable results instead of short term. I know you're anxious about feeling food freedom and the possibility of your body changing, and yes both can happenâ€”but I encourage you to be open with your journey. It doesn't mean this will take forever to achieve both, it's just going to look different than before.
Have questions about intuitive eating? I would love to answer them! Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'd be happy to chat with you!