When Did Intuitive Eating Become So Exclusive?

When did Intuitive Eating become so exclusive? Read Paige Schmidt's thoughts on the intuitive eating community.

What was once a gentle place to land now feels like jumping into shark infested waters.

This week in The Growth Vault I taught about confidence, why it’s important, and how to have more of it (right now, without waiting). Yesterday, I realized that I need a taste of my own medicine.

During a strategy session for my business, I learned that I’m not showing up here with that same confidence. There are things I’m afraid to talk about for fear of backlash from other well-known experts in this community. For fear of hearing “you’re not welcome here” or being excommunicated.

But then I realized something: intuitive eating is not my religion and these well-known people are not my God.

As I was asked what topics I would share if I were 100% showing up, I began to sweat. My coach wrote them down anyway and said “You need to talk about these things. There are people who want to hear this.”

As I sat at that table, sweating, imaging graphics I’d seen on Instagram like “beware!” and “how to spot a FAKE intuitive eater!” I remembered my clients and how in session with them there is 100% safety. Safety for them to explore how they’re feeling, where they’re struggling, and what is important for THEM. And I remembered to give myself that very same permission.

Since when did the intuitive eating community become a place to shame people for making choices that are different from ours? Since when did we decide it was okay to say someone is a “fake intuitive eater” because she is drinking a kale-green-smoothie or “keto-coffee”? Shouldn’t we be providing ALL women a SAFE environment to explore what works for them and ROOTING FOR THAT instead of judging them BECAUSE of what works for them?

What once felt like a safe, be-who-you-are and do-what-works-for-you community now feels like a mean girls club. If you don’t own a scale and you actively talk about how much you HATE diet-culture, then you’re welcome here. But if you drink butter-coffee for breakfast, follow an exercise schedule, or eat paleo foods – you don’t get the “intuitive eater” badge of honor.

YUCK. That’s not what I’m here for and that’s NOT my message NOR is it what I believe in.

You are NOT what you eat. I am not what I eat. Food is awesome. Food can be enjoyed. But it’s only a small part of life and what you eat DOES NOT define you. Whatever you find that works for you, is okay. If what you choose is serving you, it’s 100% okay. Heck, even if it’s not serving you, that’s *your CHOICE* and I’m not going to judge you for that either.

My personal hope for each of you is that you would find something (anything) that results in the freedom you desire. The freedom that allows everything else in your life to improve as your relationship with food does. The same freedoms you will read in many of my client stories (read them here). THAT’S what I’m here for.

SO. I am committing, moving forward, to showing up with the same confidence I taught in this week in The Growth Vault and that I will continue to teach. I am committing to feel the fear of that backlash and thoughtfully share anyway. Because I believe we need more variety in this space. More options. More openness. More inclusiveness, for everyone.

You are welcome here. I adore you. You may be who you are with me.

Love, Paige
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