Lately, I’ve been thinking about the blessings of intuitive eating. There are so many diets out there today. So many things that have that “lure” and appeal. However, they all seem to have one thing in common: They seem to put all of your attention back on food. How many macros am I eating? How many hours has it been since I last ate? When is the next time I can eat?
When you have a “success” it becomes the highlight of what’s good in your life. You begin to make Instagram stories about the weight you’ve lost. When you see family, it’s the number one focus.
The hardest part about this, for anyone who has experienced losing weight on a diet before, is that the weight comes back later. Then what happens when you see your family? How do you feel? When you’re not sharing success around your diet and weight-loss, do you not get to feel successful anymore?
Life tends to revolve around the diet, on a diet. You begin planning your days around when you can/can’t eat. You plan your weekends or dinners based on what you can/can’t eat… etc…
Now, this is not to say that intuitive eating DOESN’T require your attention around food. It certainly does, and especially in the beginning, it requires quite a bit of your attention because you’re paying attention to how you feel. You’re checking in with yourself around what will make you feel good. You’re making sure you’re honoring your hunger by keeping yourself biologically fed. You’re keeping a snack with you to help yourself develop that “abundance” mindset around food where you’re not stressed that you won’t be able to eat again.
But what I love about this paying attention is that it’s connecting you with YOURSELF. And since “the way we do one thing is the way we do everything” when you begin paying attention to how you feel around food, you begin paying attention to how you feel in all other areas of your life.
Also, you’re not restricted from doing things in your life: Go out with your friends! Have that dinner party! Say yes to that vacation! Have a girls night! There’s no planning your life around food. Instead, you plan your life and trust that the food will fall into place. Ultimately, when you get really comfortable trusting your body (like where I am today, after years of doing this work) food becomes a non-issue. It becomes simply part of your life to be enjoyed, but not your whole life.
When food is not your whole life, you’re mentally freed up to experience, enjoy, and be present in SO much more.
When a friend needs help, you have the capacity to help her. When someone needs listened to, your mind is clear to listen (you’re not sitting there focusing on yourself, while trying to be there for someone else). When life is exciting, you get to feel the full excitement of that. When life is hard, you’re more likely to take notice of what’s going on and either get comfortable with the discomfort, or make a change. You’re not focused on immediately running to control through focusing on food (I used to do this – life would feel chaotic, so I would control myself and my food MORE to gain a sense of feeling in control. The problem was, this never addressed the actual problem that was in front of me).
In so many of my coaching sessions, clients come to me to talk primarily about food. Then, once they begin paying attention to how they feel around food they begin to bring up how they feel at home, how they feel in their work, their routine, their exercise, their relationship(s). We end up spending a majority of our work simply talking about taking care of themselves. This is how they develop such a clearer understanding of themselves, their behaviors, and how they can manage it all with loads of grace and compassion.
I asked some of you to send in the “blessings of intuitive eating” on Instagram because I want to really put an emphasis on what intuitive eating GIVES to your life, other than freedom and trust with food.
Here’s what you said:
Intuitive eating had allowed me to focus on primary foods [non-food sources of nourishment] like my friends and family, yoga, starting my own business, traveling, having fun, being much more present in my life and overall just not worrying about food every second of every day! 💛– Heidi
Time! To breathe, move, relax, enjoy… so much more time available when it’s not spent worrying about food. Such a beautiful thing!– No Name
Although I’m a newcomer to this wonderful world of intuitive eating, I’d say that greatest blessing I’m receiving is begin to honor my body as it is, and love it. To realize the urgent need I have to get out of my mind and start feeling more. Stop thinking all the time on food and what I “must to eat” instead honor my hungry. I am happy for everything that is coming and I am learning now!! 👏🏼🥰 Thank you so much for all your support and open my eyes to IE 🙏🏼❤️– Carmon
Being able to enjoy a meal with friends without judging myself for eating too much, too little or not the “right” thing!
Same!! The extra room in my life for things that are much more interesting to focus on then my diet. Oh and also not feeling like I need to eat any different than normal before vacations 💛– Emily
The confidence that I/my body knows best what I need, and the awareness to be skeptical of the “should’s” ❤️– Elizabeth
1) The ability to be spontaneous and adventurous when choosing what and where to eat. It’s so much more fun than having to micro-manage a menu.
2) Realizing that you can still eat intuitively and love your body, while still trying to lose weight. WITHOUT RESTRICTIONS!
3) What’s nourishing for someone else’s body, isn’t necessary nourishing to me.
4) IE is a huge part of self-love/body acceptance. By accepting my body I feel more free and confident in all sorts of things (exercise, sex, wearing fun clothes, etc).– Jen
Gosh, I love these responses so much because they are PROOF that when you free up your obsessive behaviors with food and you learn to just LISTEN to your body, so much of the rest of your life becomes free’d up too.
So honored to share these responses with you. Intuitive eating and having a peaceful relationship with food IS possible for you.
There was a time in my journey where I had the thought “I know too much about numbers and calories, I will never have a normal relationship with food again.” Today I can tell you with 100% confidence that I *never* consider the calories in my food anymore. I also feel happier in my body than I ever have – I’m not the smallest size I’ve been, either. When I was my smallest, I was harder on myself than I ever had been. Today, I take care of my body because I love her. Because I WANT to feel good. Not because I “should” or “I have to” or it’s what makes me successful.
I wish each and every one of you, who wants it, this same freedom.
Love you all!