Making Peace With Food: My story of Intuitive Eating
There are a lot of diet trends out there. A LOT. It gets really confusing on what we are supposed to eat, what we are not supposed to eat, Fat is in, Carbs are out, Protein is great, just kidding too much can shut down your kidneys, macros, vegan.....It goes on and on and on!
Is anyone else exhausted? Seriously!
Did you know that 95% of diets fail??
Its funny how I killed myself to get to my goal weight in Weight Watches , barely achieved it and then as soon as I stopped dieting gained most of the weight back. Don't get me wrong, I learned a lot about prepping your own foods, eating unprocessed, straight from the earth goodness but I also began to have a terrible, obsessive relationship with my scale and "Dear God how many points is that??" When I hopped onto the scale and was on track I'd have a wonderful day but God forbid I was up a pound then my whole day was ruined. Or if I blew my diet it would send me into a spiral and I would begin binging. And I was always thinking about next meal. It was exhausting!
I just had to end the restrict-binge cycle. Its so crazy now I am at the exact same weight as Weight Watchers "goal weight" but I can eat whatever I want! Do I fluctuate? Sure! But I typically don't stray far from 4 lbs up or down. And more importantly food is no longer an enemy. Whats the secret? Its called Intuitive Eating and its 100% free and available to you today! One needs to have an open mind, compassion for themselves and some patience.
Intuitive eating operates under the principle that your body is designed to maintain homeostasis. It knows how to maintain balance naturally. You don't need to purchase any diet plan or systems for 49.99 a month. Its here for you now. Just like when you are cold, you shiver, too hot, you sweat, sit too long, you ache the same goes for our weight. Our body knows when it is at an uncomfortable weight. Our natural body weight does not mean 6 pack abs. Some people it does but for the majority of the population you will never be comfortable maintaining a body fat percentage that low. And that's okay! I used to think that healthy was skinny, no body fat, glistening perfection. Turns out there are multiple definitions of health just as there are multiple definitions of beauty.
So what are the rules ? Well there are actually no rules. Rules are too rigid and don't allow space for life and its crazy unpredictable nature. The guidelines are these: Eat when you are hungry, and stop when you are full. The key is to be really aware and present with your body. Begin to get curious about food rather than judgemental. As an Intuitive Eater you are now a food scientist. You will perform many eating experiments to find out what foods make you feel healthy, energized and bright and what foods don't make you feel that way.
I'd be lying if I didn't admit its a little terrifying at first. Some of us don't even know what its like to feel true hunger. And trusting your body? Isn't that what got you to were you are now in the first place? It takes a leap a faith and time. Nobody is perfect. I say if you can eat when you are hungry 70% of the time you are doing great!
At first intuitive eating for me was a lot of one step forward and three steps back. I think what helped me the most was reading books and educating myself. Some of my favorite and most helpful books are: Intuitive Eating, Women Food and God, The Skinny Sexy Mind, Confessions of a Fitness Model, Have Your Cake & Your Skinny Jeans Too, When You Eat At The Refrigerator, Pull Up a Chair.
If you are not a big reader than I recommend the following Podcasts: Progress Over Perfection, Mind Body Musings (the newer shows are alright but everything before episode 100 is pure gold) and The Hungry For Happiness Podcast
Intuitive eating gives us a chance to step off of the diet merry go round and breath a little. Maybe you don't have binging problem. Maybe you are just tired of food being the enemy. Some days I eat mindfully and in sync with my body's needs and some days I emotionally eat. I'm not perfect but I do feel physically and mentally better than before when I confined myself to strict dieting.
If you need someone to talk to or are needing support please feel free to send me a message. Its private. I am the only one reads them. Good luck and remember to be kind and gentle with yourself.