How to feel supported by your friends and family with intuitive eating when you feel like they’re watching your every move.
Have you ever said to a significant other (family, friend, BF/GF, whoever!) I’m starting this diet tomorrow, and I NEED you to hold me accountable. I NEED you to get on me if I start to slip. Don’t listen if I get mad!
Whoops! I have too. We SAY this, but then in the moment, when that person tries to follow through on exactly what we asked… What do we do? If you’re anything like me, you get annoyed, defensive and do what you want anyway.
Friend: “Are you sure you want to eat that donut? Remember when you asked me to hold you accountable?”
Us: “Now I’ll have two please.”
HELLO confusion to the other party, right?
It’s okay, don’t feel bad. We’ve all done it. I share this with you because it’s much the same with intuitive eating. Intuitive eating is about learning to trust yourself and your own body – NOT asking others to MAKE SURE you’re do everything “right”.
Like I shared in this post, there is no such thing as failing at intuitive eating.
With intuitive eating you give yourself permission to let every experience act as feedback that directs you – not feedback that judges you and rates how well you’re doing.
- Feedback that directs us sounds like: How did that feel? Would I like to have that same experience again next time? If not, that’s okay! We all make choices that don’t feel good sometimes. What is the very next thing that I could do to help myself feel better?
- Feedback that judges us sounds like: Oh my god. There we go again. I messed up, I can’t get this right. I suck. I can’t do this whole intuitive eating thing. I always mess up. I’m going to go back to dieting so I KNOW what I can and can’t eat.
EEEEERT. WRONG. That’s not going to feel good either. Instead of judging ourselves and asking other people to WATCH us and our every move, we need to tune-IN and check in with ourselves.
It’s OKAY to get listening to your body wrong 100 times in a row. At least you’re trying and learning every step of the way.
When you don’t ask but they comment anyway.
Through working with my one on one clients, I also know firsthand that there are times where we get feedback that we do NOT ask for. Comments about our food or our bodies that aren’t wanted.
Comments like “You’re so skinny – you sure you’re eating enough?” Or, “Are you really eating that? Don’t you have a wedding coming up? Aren’t you dieting?”
When these comments come up, you have every right to ask for them to stop. Trust me, 90% of the time people don’t even realize that what they’re saying is offensive and is putting pressure on you. If you ask once, they’re likely to stop. And if they don’t, it’s time for a sit down.
There is SO much I could say on the topic but for now I’ll leave you with this:
- Get outside SUPPORT from someone who is not emotionally involved with you. Hire a coach (work with me) or ask a friend who’s been through this before. Find people who are in your corner and can relate.
- Stop shaming yourself out loud. Stop saying things like “I suck, I hate this, I can’t do it” or “I’m fat”. Instinctively (and understandably) the people hearing you saying these things are going to suggest that whatever you’re doing is not working. They do this out of care.
- Have loads of grace for yourself. Show yourself that it’s okay to get things wrong. When you do something that feels right, give yourself a little hug – recognize how good that choice just felt to you and then bring yourself back to neutral. All is okay.
- Let your actions be an example to others; this will feel way better than convincing others of your intuitive eating habits (many people haven’t registered with the idea of intuitive eating, regardless of how awesome it is). Order what you want, enjoy it calmly (slow down, feel your feet on the floor, enjoy conversation, savor each bite), and don’t feel guilty – I always say: if you’re going to have it, you may as well enjoy it!
- I’ll say it again: join a group, hire a coach, or talk to a friend. Do something where you’re receiving support from someone who understands; someone who “speaks the language” of what you’re going through so you can get HELPFUL feedback.
Have questions? When do you feel the most supported by those you love – what are you doing when you feel the most supported? When do you feel the least supported – what are you doing when you feel the least supported?