WHY Intuitive Eating: Reason 4
We’ve now reached the last of the “WHY Intuitive Eating?” series. I’m excited to dive into the last topic in this series with you.
Intuitive eating allows you to reach your natural weight. Today, I AM at my natural weight (I’ve been eating intuitively since 2011). It’s easy to maintain. I don’t have to worry about eating a burger and my pant size increasing overnight. I feel calm around food.
For me, intuitive eating meant gaining weight. It meant going from an all-too-low weight for my height to a mid-range weight that left me feeling healthy. For a while, this was hard to accept. But only because I had been used to people seeing me as “skinny.” So at first, when someone would say “you look so healthy!” I felt insulted (looking back, I can’t believe the pressure I felt).
I had such high expectations of myself to never gain weight – I had 100% wrapped my identity up in the size of my body. If I was small, people would trust me. If I gained weight, people would think I was out of control.
When I first ever set out to lose weight, I thought being skinny would feel good, especially if other people saw me as skinny, too. However, my experience was different. The smaller I got, though I always intentionally tried to get smaller, the more dissatisfied I’d be with my body.
However, because I felt there was so little in my life I could control in my high school and early college years, striving to stay thin and control my food intake gave me something to focus on. It gave me a sense of “well, as long as THIS doesn’t change, I’ll be okay.”
So often people have the idea that once they’re thin they will finally have the motivation to do everything they currently just think about doing. “I’ll want to exercise.” “I’ll want to eat healthy.” “I’ll like healthy foods.” “I’ll want to have sex.” “I’ll want to wear a bikini.” Ever thought things this?
Eh, this isn’t always true. Sometimes what is true is you actually feel more pressure. Less up for saying yes to the things you truly desire (like going out to lunch with girlfriends, spur of the moment; or going on a trip with your husband to Mexico).
You want to know what being skinny (actually, “underweight” is more like it) was like for me? I’ll be honest with you.
For me, being skinny actually meant:
- having more pressure to STAY skinny
- feeling more restricted than ever
- missing out on fun
- riding an emotional roller-coaster
- feeling identified by my body (so scary)
- feeling afraid of change
- struggling to commit to anything
- anxiety attacks like you’d never believe
- feeling more insecure than I’d ever felt before
- critiquing myself with every passing mirror/photograph
- picking out my flaws
- being so consumed with myself and my image
- having a constant fear I’d let people down if I made the “bad” choice
- learning to put walls up
- binge eating – starting over constantly
- eating boring food and CRAVING the best there was out there
- arguing with my parents anytime they’d bring a “trigger food” into the house
- feeling out of control with food, while wanting so badly to control it
- being limited in all areas of my life
- feeling like my body was all I had
- constantly feeling un-satisfied – never thin enough, feelings like “I could be skinnier”
- judging myself with a negative, negative mindset that only felt “positive” if the scale confirmed
Here’s the thing… it’s not really as much about your weight as you believe it is. It IS possible to lose weight and be utterly happy. Even happier than you were at a higher weight. But this DOESN’T come from following a strict plan or routine causes you to feel all of the above pressure. Doing THAT will lead to a result of feeling everything I just listed.
Which is why intuitive eating, self-compassion, and learning to create an incredible relationship with food is the way to go. Don’t shortcut your way to weight-loss. It may not end up how you want it to.
Being at your natural healthy weight means wearing a comfortable size, no-pressure, more fun, being active, appreciating your body and all she can do, embracing the way your body was naturally meant to be, enjoying WONDERFUL full of flavor foods, getting to experience life, getting to feel powerful/strong, having the energy to do what inspires you, healthy relationships, learning to communicate, not hiding, dealing with life, embracing life and ALL it has to offer…etc. I could go on and on about how good it feels to be healthy.
So how do you get healthy?
Over-time, with intuitive eating, you correct the behaviors that made you gain or lose weight in the first place. Things like binge eating, an all-or-nothing mindset, overeating, under-eating, over or under-exercising, emotional eating, etc…
Your body will eventually find her natural weight. You can choose to love her at that weight and you *must* love her along the way. It truly IS hard to make good choices when someone (you) is being mean to you all of the time. So learn to love and respect yourself now. Stop waiting. You can choose to embrace your body.
Living intuitively is a choice. I’ll say it again. It takes responsibility, a healthy dose of discipline and ownership over all areas in your life. And getting support will maximize how much easier this journey can be for you. Invest in yourself and make a difference in your life. Make a change. If you’d like to talk and find out if we’re a great fit, schedule a free Discovery Session with me here.