The topic of “Health Without Obsession” has been on my heart for years. Two years now, to be exact. About a year ago, I wrote my first post on this topic. I highly encourage you to go and read it first, here.
As I was sitting down this morning listening to Marie Forleo’s “Decade in Review” video series (link), I started writing.
What have I accomplished in the past ten years? What am I proud of? What’s been most important? What has moved the needle the most? What am I ready to let go of?
And that last question, is the one that hit me most. You know what I wrote down? “Intuitive Eating.”
But Paige… you coach on intuitive eating… you teach about intuitive eating… you believe in intuitive eating… what do you mean you want to let go of it?
It is NOT that I don’t believe in intuitive eating. I do. Or, even that I want to let go of intuitive eating itself. The real premise of intuitive eating (or what it means to me), I do not want to let go of. Listening to your body. Being mindful. Creating a fantastic relationship with food.
I believe in listening to your body. I believe in moving away from the thousands of diets that exist, and finding out what works for you. I believe in all of these things.
But as intuitive eating gains more traction, and will continue to do so in 2020, I feel like there is one thing we’re losing sight of: helping each woman to find what feels good for HER.
I believe in you getting to feel good. To feel healthy. To feel like your best self, so you can go out there in the world, and enjoy every facet of this life you were born to experience, fully. This life that is only yours!
Do you know how different I feel on a day where I don’t get dressed, I eat food that leaves me feeling crappy, bloated, and tired… versus a day where I get up, get dressed, move my body, and nourish her with delicious savory messes whipped up in my kitchen?
Do you know how differently I show up to my work when I feel good? Treat others around me? Do you know how much more energy I have? How much less anxious I am? How much happier I feel?
And I know, it’s the same for you.
As intuitive eating gains more traction – which it’s sure to do in 2020 – I just hope we don’t get so wrapped up in the political side of intuitive eating, that we forget to help women find what feels good for them.
To help women know there IS a middle ground.
That we don’t get so focused on rebelling against diets, that we lead women to make a ton of food choices to stick-it-to-the-man, that just don’t feel good. I hope we remember to help women feel empowered around their food choices and remind them that it’s OK to choose what feels good for them.
Evelyn Tribole shared in her latest Instagram post that she worries that companies, in 2020, will take the message of intuitive eating and turn it into a new way to diet. I’m sure they will.
But when the pendulum swings one way, it’s sure to swing the other as well.
I worry that the other side of the pendulum will be a bunch of women who feel that intuitive eating solely means letting go of food rules, eating whatever they want without thought, and being done with any consideration for their health (or just feeling good, in general) in the name of saying “screw it” to the diet industry. I worry for how this will leave women feeling.
I worry that instead of feeling bad from dieting, they will find themselves feeling badly while supposedly, trying to be “intuitive.” (Or what they THINK it means to be intuitive.) That they will feel guilty for ordering something “healthy” for fear that it’s not “intuitive.” Because if you’re not dieting, surely you’d never want a salad or green juice again, by choice! (Not!)
You can move away from dieting, without your body suffering the consequences of not paying attention to what feels good; what works for you.
And so when I say “I want to let go of intuitive eating” I don’t mean that I want to let go of “intuitive eating.” I mean that I want to let go of all of the STIGMA around intuitive eating and honestly… all of the “noise” that is out there around what intuitive eating means today, and instead focus more on giving women permission to focus on their health, without obsession.
Read this excerpt from a recent post I wrote:
To me, being intuitive means listening to that part of you that wants the very best for you; she knows what is possible, what would feel good.
That part of you that wants you to experience special and meaningful things; that wants to feel abundant, but not overindulgent.
That part of you who wants to have a bite of that rich chocolate cake at your friend’s birthday, but not devour a cake by yourself, standing over the kitchen sink.
So yes, intuitive eating is about allowing yourself permission, eating a donut if you want one, and listening to your internal hunger cues.
But- it’s also about deciphering between what your BRAIN wants and what your BODY wants.From the post “What Intuitive Means to Me”
And this excerpt from Jamie Varon’s guest post, here:
“I don’t think intuition leads you into a chaotic mess that your future self is burdened to clean up.”Jamie Varon on Trust, Control, and Finding the Middle
I want to be there for the women who want to move away from guilt and shame around food, who want to enjoy food and their lives more, and who also want to feel healthy in their bodies. Like their best selves. The women who want to find what feels good for themselves.
There are things in the intuitive eating world that I do not feel the need to give as much voice to anymore.
Things like focusing on not dieting.
There was a time, where I felt the drive to focus heavily on telling you to stop dieting. But today, I think most of us know that diets aren’t great. But what we don’t know, is where to go beyond that…
As intuitive eating gets more popular, “not dieting” and “don’t have any food rules” are the very things that people will be and are shouting from the rooftops. The things that everyone will hear about.
It’s not rare to see a post telling you that Doritos and an apple with nut butter are EQUALLY okay to have for a snack.
But you don’t often see posts in the intuitive eating community telling you that if the apple and nut butter feels better for you, that it’s OK and even intuitive to go for that instead.
With all of the political parts of intuitive eating that have been introduced, all of the championing against dieting… I personally feel that we’ve lost the finding what works for YOU part of intuitive eating.
Instead, it’s become this much larger “rebel against diets, eat whatever you want, and don’t worry about eating healthy foods” movement… which isn’t really what it started as (or at least not what I originally took away from this movement).
My friends, I believe in MYSELF getting to feel good. I believe in YOU getting to feel good. And I don’t believe that feeling good has to be hard.
I believe in working on your mindset around food. I believe in creating an amazing relationship with food. I believe in discovering what DOES and doesn’t work for you. I believe in reaching for goals that allow you to become the best version of you (so cliche, but true).
I want to help you find your own version of health without obsession.
Where you get to feel more energized, better in your body, and healthier. Where you get to sleep well, enjoy the benefits of a great mood, and have the motivation to get out there in your life, empowered to do the things you want to do.
What I’m saying, and what I want to champion for, is choosing yourself. Feeling good. Learning how to take create care of yourself in all areas.
And to do it all from a place of love, self-compassion, exploration, experimentation, and a genuine wanting to care for yourself… NOT obsession.
I want to champion for all of you, more, for Health Without Obsession.
For the women who are confused. Who have left dieting behind, but still want to find what does feel good for themselves.
The women who HAVE felt good for a moment while dieting, and are wondering “do I have to be THAT strict to feel good?”
I want to show you the middle ground. The let’s find what works for you, ground. So that you can enjoy your life. Enjoy time with friends and family. Say yes to vacations. NOT stress about the food. Not put so much emphasis on food.
And when you do have food, to have it be awesome. Delicious. Tasty. Nourishing. Feel good.
What I want for you, is for you to get to feel good, and to not be obsessed. To get to listen to your body. To learn to be incredible friends with her. To teach you how to work WITH your body, not against her.
And yes, I do believe that’s intuitive. But again, as things gain popularity, sometimes the message gets blurred by the media only focusing on one part of it.
MY message to you, is that this is a safe place to focus on your health, and to learn to do so in a way that feels balanced, safe and moderate. Where nothing feels extreme. Where you feel calm.
All while also getting to feel healthier in your body.
That’s the kind of “intuitive” I want my clients to experience. And honestly, I believe that my clients have always had such a good experience in coaching because I do, and have always created space for this kind of conversation for them.
I hope you enjoyed this post. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments or in an email. If you’d like to work together, I have openings for the new year and you can book a call using the form on this page. I’m here for you, I’m rooting for you, I love all of you!