The first meal I ever ate eating intuitively was my moms piping hot apple pie and icey-cold ice cream.
OK, it wasn’t my moms recipe, it was a frozen Claim Jumpers pie you can buy at any grocery store… But we like to call it my “moms apple pie” because right before she put it into the oven (everytime), she would stuff nine more sliced apples inside. It was our FAVORITE.
Being someone who literally bakes never (I’m a sucker for savory foods), I often wonder how the heck she stuffed nine more apples into an already existing full apple pie? (Mind blown.)
I remember nannying that first day of intuitively eating, right down the street from my parents house. Fun fact for those who are new here: before I started my coaching business I nannied for virtually every family in Ventura, California.
I had just started the book Intuitive Eating and was only in the very beginning chapters, which are all about giving yourself unconditional permission to eat.
When I thought about what I wanted for lunch that day, apple pie and vanilla ice cream came to mind. I even asked myself where I wanted to eat it.
My parents house was just a few doors down from where I was nannying. At that time I wasn’t living at home. I had moved out with my friend just a few months prior but still worked right down the street.
The little guy I was nannying was out playing with his friends. He was sure to be occupied for at least an hour. So I figured I’d run home and have my perfect lunch in my perfect spot.
I walked in the door and told my parents I was having pie and ice cream for lunch. They probably looked at me like I was crazy. And also fully encouraged it. Whatever you want Paige…! Haha…
I walked upstairs to my old bedroom. At the time, completely empty of furniture, but full of painting tarps, ladders and tools. My dad was painting my room sky blue in preparation for me to move back home.
I was in one of the hardest seasons of my life. If any of you know mine and Marco’s story, this season coincided with the six months where we didn’t speak to each other at all. The fact that he and I weren’t talking was one of the reasons it was such a friggin’ hard season. Heart. Break…
Nothing sounded better that day and than going to my comfort spot and having apple pie for lunch. I laid out a blanket on the floor, fixed my pie and ice cream onto a beautiful plate, and laid on the floor stomach down, feet up, just like a high school girl talking on the phone with her boyfriend.
I fully enjoyed that apple pie and ice cream.
After I finished I remember thinking, “Well that was fun. It’s nice to know I can do that… but next time I want something more real/hearty/savory for lunch.”
And that was it. No fireworks. No tears. No gaining an instant 50 lbs. It was much less dramatic than I imagined it would be ALLOWING MYSELF to have apple pie and ice cream for the very first time.
I washed my dishes and walked back to the house where I was nannying.
That moment gave me power. Intuitive eating was far from perfect from that moment on. And even so, that moment was pivotal.
It taught me that I was in control of making choices. That not every choice I made with food would be perfect, or satisfy me in just the right way, but if I was trying to honor my body, that’s all I needed to do.
From that day, followed a couple years of learning what intuitive eating meant for me.
At first, it was important for me to make food really exciting again. Not in an I can’t control myself around this food or oh my God I’m gonna die way, but in a if I’m going to eat, I’m gonna make this incredibly special for myself, way.
I was coming from a place of having a very negative relationship with food. Every morsel of food that I had put into my mouth prior was either in an “acceptable” calorie range for the day, equaling a good day… or completely outside of it, making me feel completely terrible about myself.
From that moment on, I wanted food to be something that I got to enjoy. Not that I had to enjoy, not that I couldn’t enjoy, but truly something that I wanted to enjoy.
This still stands true today, though, today eating feels natural. I don’t have to think about making food enjoyable. Rather, I naturally gravitate towards foods that I love and that taste good. I don’t question my choices. I go for the foods I want and trust that I will feel/be OK.
Though this is natural for me today, it was absolutely not always natural for me.
Especially in the first two years of eating intuitively. Often times, intuitive eating felt very wobbly to me and I wondered if I was “doing it right.” —> That’s just it though, you can’t do intuitive eating wrong.
Intuitive eating is an up-and-down experiment. You’re going to have eating experiences that feel absolutely wonderful and ones where you’re way too stuffed and forgot to notice when you were full. Both are equally OK and they’re also equally teachable moments.
When you get way too full, you’ll reflect with curiosity (not judgment) and look at what was going on. Perhaps you needed it? What was the food trying to help you with?
If you’d like to see some of my eats from my early days of intuitive eating, I added a super casual archive button on the sidebar of by blog. Scroll the archives back to 2012/2013 and you can go through TONS of daily eats post!
Just keep going — you’re doing great. Let go of perfectionism. This process is perfect for exactly no one, not even me.
Sending love to you!