When I first discovered the concept of intuitive eating, I felt as if I had found the freedom I was truly craving in my relationship with food. Up until that point, I was binging pretty much everyday and using exercise as penance for what I was eating. I really, really hated my body, and, was, quite frankly, pretty fucking sick of dieting.
I was over it.
Like, all of it.
And so, the idea that I could eat whatever I wanted and lose weight really appealed to me. I sought to learn everything I could about this magical solution called intuitive eating. I read all the books. I joined all the forums (and back then (2006) there were only two). I hired an RD who specialized in it. And eventually, I even became a certified intuitive eating counselor.
I practiced the ten intuitive eating principles with diligence.
But, it still wasn’t “working.”
I was gaining weight pretty rapidly. About 40lbs in two months.
And while I no longer believe that my weight has anything to do with my ability to love and accept myself, back then, this was devastating to me.
I felt like a complete and utter failure. I’d ask myself on a day-in and day-out basis what was wrong with me. I even went back to dieting quite a few times. And through massive trial, error, binges, tears, and a radical self-devotion, end up making peace with food.
The Inside Scoop on Intuitive Eating
Along the way, I learned a ton and I want to share with you those lessons and how to apply them to your life.
1. Despite the common misconceptions, intuitive eating isn’t actually about eating whatever you want. For me, I just used it as an excuse to binge eat everyday, hence the weight gain. What it is about, though, is listening to your body (not your mind!). This is an important distinction and for some it will bring up stories of deprivation. Here is a post I wrote called: how to not feel deprived. In that post, you will learn where feeling deprived actually comes from and what to do about it. When you understand THAT, you will be able to listen to your body, instead of your mind.
2. Learning to feel your feelings is critical. If you have a lot of fears about your feelings killing you, hurting you, running you over, or otherwise hurting or harming you, I understand. I had the exact same problem as does every single woman I have ever worked with. But, the truth is that your feelings are like your GPS for life. They are guidance and are showing you what to do to create the live you truly crave. And honestly, feeling them isn’t as scary as it can seem. I wrote this post to help you get started with how to feel your feelings.
3. Your mind is a storyteller. And despite another common misconception, your thoughts aren’t who you are. They are just thoughts. And, your feelings are showing you what you are thinking about your circumstances. When you feel good, your thoughts are in alignment with who you really are and when you feel crappy, they aren’t. You can tell whatever story your want. Choose the ones that feel good.
4. You are worthy. You are good enough. You are right where you need to be. Believe this. Choose it. Each day.
5. Just keep swimming. It won’t be perfect. There will be times that it feels like it isn’t worth it. But, my promise to you is that is is. And you can do it. When you are feeling stuck and need a little reminder, click here.