VIP Q+A: How do I actually implement intuitive eating into my daily life?

Question from a reader: “How do I actually implement all of the info and changes of intuitive eating into my daily life? I have problems overeating and bingeing on the weekends and I know it’s the place I need to work on the most, but inevitably I repeat the habit every weekend, despite the wealth of knowledge and podcasts I’ve listened to to overcome this habit. It just feels like I can never implement what I learn! It makes me want to go back to restrictive eating or dieting ways.”

VIP Q+A: How do I actually implement intuitive eating into my daily life?

You gals ask the best questions. Can you relate to this one? It’s a BIGGIE.

I want to start by saying that if you’re really struggling to implement intuitive eating into your daily life, it may be time for you to stop trying to do it on your own. Sometimes you need an outside perspective to help you see things that you’re not seeing yourself. 

We can get so stuck in our own minds that it becomes hard to make change. 

If this is you (the do it yourselfer who doesn’t ask for help until you literally just can’t take it anymore) I’d love to invite you to a January Discovery Session with me. Enter your name & email here and I’ll send you a link to book your time with me.

To build from there, there are five points I’d love to address here:

#1 consistent practice

Intuitive eating truly does take consistent practice. It’s a lifelong journey. Which is a great thing because you want to care for yourself for your whole life. I also understand that life is a long time and that sounds like a long time to become practiced at something.

The good news is, if you really look at this process as one giant experiment and you stop beating yourself up when things don’t go “right” then you’ll be able to grow with every single experience. Which is essential for learning what does and doesn’t feel good for you.

#2 slow WAY down

You must SLOW DOWN and GET CALM to eat intuitively. The first step is creating more awareness.

Where in your life do you feel like you’re rushing? How can you slow it down a few notches? What practices do you have each day where you’re intentionally getting calm?

Examples of things you can practice to feel calm: 

  • slow music
  • journaling
  • reading
  • meditation
  • taking a quiet walk
  • sitting at a coffee shop with only coffee

If you have a lack of the above practices in your life, this may be why you’re struggling to feel calm throughout the day. To know how to summon the feeling of calm throughout the day, you must know what calm feels like. Therefore, you must have practices in place where you’re intentionally giving yourself a chance to feel calm.

#3 identify setbacks

When do you feel the most setback? A setback is anything that puts you back into that place of “I need a diet.” A setback could be “when I feel like I’ve failed.” Well then, we need to do something about how you feel about failure, don’t we? Because it’s not doing you any good to feel like you’ve failed.

The truth is, with intuitive eating, there’s no such thing as failure. Only feedback.

You need to celebrate each moment of listening to your body. Ate what you wanted for breakfast? Felt good afterward? Win. Ate too much? NOT a fail. Rather, it’s an opportunity to explore what was going on. What were the thoughts you had just before you ate too much? Did you think you’d get more enjoyment out of continuing to eat? Did this end up being true? Or did you enjoy it less? 

I used to feel very setback by Instagram, for example. I’d think I was doing great, then I’d see someone who was skinnier and more praised than I was and would think am I doing the wrong thing? Should I be dieting again? The allure of “skinny” was a setback that would often try to lure me back in.

I had to take the initiative to unfollow the accounts that made me feel out of line with wanting to listen to my own body. I had to say “right now, this isn’t helping me, so I can let it go.”

The scale also used to set me back, so I let it go and have not picked it up again (I’m so thankful for this). I realized it wasn’t serving me, so I let it go.

#4 know your vulnerable points

Identifying your vulnerable points, in this case, simply means knowing when you feel the most likely to stray from listening to your body. It’s okay. There’s no shame in this.

One of mine used to be when I was studying. It would be late at night and I would be exhausted. I didn’t want to be studying, so I’d get a bowl of ice cream. Then another, then another and another. All this did was 1) give me a break from studying and 2) make me feel like crap about myself.

It always ended with three thoughts:

  1. I have no self control
  2. Why do I do this?
  3. I will be better tomorrow

I kept doing it because I wanted a break, which it gave me. But it also made me feel like S-H-I-T. I needed to rethink how I was giving myself a break. It wasn’t working.

I had to learn that I didn’t like studying at night. I was a morning studier. I did much better when I went to bed early, set an early alarm, poured a cup of coffee and studied with a fresh mind. This changed things for me.

Getting to know yourself and how you work BEST is HUGE. 

What are your most vulnerable moments?

Here are a few that clients have shared with me:

  • When they’re drinking
  • After their lunch break
  • When they walk in the door after a long day and are hungry
  • When they’re alone
  • Late at night when they’re watching TV

Identify your vulnerable moments, write out what happens during these moments, then re-write your story. Write a NEW version of your experience. A new option of how the scenario can play out.

#5 stop going alone

I’ll repeat it: stop trying to do this all on your own. There’s no point, when you can easily ask for help.

Hear it from my client Margot, who tried for a long time to do this all on her own (like most of my clients) and then finally decided to start our work together:

Working with Paige is the best thing I have ever done for myself. Paige is the most kindhearted, caring person I have ever met, and she changed my life.

Before my Discovery Session with Paige I thought I would use intuitive eating as another diet. I thought I would try it, lose my college weight, and move on to the next diet when the time came. Little did I know working with Paige would change my life forever and there would be no next diet.

Paige is one of the most kind and compassionate people I have ever met. She has taught me how to listen to myself and trust myself in a way that I never imagined. I went from being afraid to go out and socialize with friends because I would break my diet, to enjoying going out regularly and finally getting my life back!

After my first 6 months with Paige not only did I learn how to eat intuitively, but I learned how to handle it when I don’t. I used to feel so much guilt around food and “cheating on my diet” but diets no longer have that power over me and I was able to free myself of all my crazy rules.

Paige’s style of coaching is what amazes me the most. When I am talking to her and trying to work through something she asks the perfect questions so I can figure out how to solve it on my own. My coaching has now gone way beyond intuitive eating and I honestly do not know where I would be without her.

If you are questioning working with Paige, don’t. I wish I started sooner and am so grateful for everything she has taught me so far. I look forward to each session with Paige and even though I have a lot to learn I have seen such a huge change in myself already and love the person I have become.
- Margot C.

If you’d like to talk to me and see if we’re a good fit (this goes both ways – you want to make sure I’m a good fit for you and I want to make sure you’re a good fit as a client) I would love to book a time to talk with you. Fill in your name & email here and I’ll send you a link to book a Discovery Session in January.

I’d love to hear from you! If you can relate and if you thoughts on this post, share them in the comments below! 💛

Love, Paige
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  • Jenny Cavanagh

    I love this, Paige! A few of your points really resonate with me. What resonates with me the most is the time it takes to practice intuitive eating and to really see habits change. Honestly, I’ve seen myself become much more intuitive since my year working with you. During the year working with you I learned a lot about intuitive eating, started changing my habits, and learned a lot about myself. However, only with time have I really made progress with my habits. The most important thing I learned during my year with you was being gentle with myself, self-acceptance, and dropping the feelings of guilt. Those things were all key to helping me develop more intuitive habits over the years. I hope that makes sense!

    Also yes, yes, yes for finding what works best for you as an individual. It’s not about what the trends are or what bloggers and experts suggest, it’s about what works for me.

    Keep up your awesome work, Paige!

    • AWE yes! I love this Jenny! You’ve always done so well implementing your habits and practicing. It truly does take time. It took me about two years, personally, before I felt like I was REALLY comfortable with intuitive eating. And now looking back, it’s so cool to see that the whole time, we’re making progress. All of those little steps are necessary to get us to the place where we’re more comfortable. And YES to doing what works for you 🙂 Thanks for the comment, Jenny!