I come from a background of disordered eating and yo-yo dieting. I was constantly striving to change things about my body. Every single day I would obsess about these things. When it was at its deepest, I hated myself, when it was more survivable, I was just constantly discontent. I’ve restricted, binged, purged, chewed and spit, counted calories, you name it. I remember thinking in high school, “I will NEVER not struggle with food.” And I believed it. But slowly, over time, I changed. The Lord put in me a passion for nutrition. I was genuinely fascinated by it. I started to learn that food could be my friend and so could my body. I slowly learned how to eat intuitively and throw off my disordered eating mindset. I began to invest mental time and energy into my relationship with food and my body.
Let me encourage you, if you’re where I was, I understand. I get it, you’re not alone. It’s a dark and relentless battle but don’t believe the lie that it is your destiny. Change is ALWAYS possible.
So what is intuitive eating?
Intuitive eating requires you to tune into your body’s natural needs and cues. We were all born with innate intuitive and mindful eating strategies and overtime those can be left behind for unhealthy habits when we learn things like- dessert is a reward and can be taken away if we are “bad.” Health culture labels foods “good” and “bad” and we start to do the same in our minds. Culture has intense side effects on our mindsets surrounding food and our bodies.
Intuitive eating encourages improving your relationship with your body. It helps you tune into your bodies cues- hunger cues, satiety cues, cravings, tiredness vs. low blood sugar, etc. Intuitive eating involves eating when you’re hungry, stopping when you’e full, paying attention to cravings and HONORING your body the whole way through. Intuitive eating requires you to LISTEN and COMMUNICATE with your body on a regular basis. When you are able to do this, you begin to understand your body better and appreciate it’s needs. As a result of this, you will start to figure out what kinds of foods make you feel good and thrive and what kinds of food are not worth it. You can figure out when you’re actually hungry and when you’re just stressed and looking to food to soothe you. You’ll start to judge your body less and respect it more.
Intuitive eating requires that you get rid of the diet mentality. Diets (to lose weight or change body composition) are not sustainable and usually results in gaining more weight over time. Literally, research shows that the act of dieting increases your risk of weight gain. So why not figure out a way of eating that allows you to feel food and look good?….not perfect, maybe not your unrealistic goal weight, maybe not 7% body fat, but like- “damn, I look GOOD!” Cause you can look good and feel good about yourself without being 7% body fat.. FYI. For me, diets destroyed my relationship with food AND my body. I was never happy and beat myself up when I fell off the wagon, resulting in more self-hatred.
Intuitive eating gets rid of the labels. Stop labeling foods “good” and “bad”. This creates shame and guilt around food choices and you want none of that! Make peace with food. Choose foods that will nourish your body, satisfy your cravings and make you feel good and then sometimes, when you want ice cream, EAT ICE CREAM! Depriving yourself of these kinds of food will lead to uncontrollable cravings and binges, so give yourself permission to eat whatever you want! Stop telling yourself you “can’t” or “shouldn’t” have certain foods. I am truly one of the “healthiest” people I know and I eat ice cream and cookies and drink wine. No one food has the power to make you healthy or unhealthy. Being healthy is a lifestyle and it can include the cake.
It took me years to get to where I am today. I didn’t have anyone’s help, I just slowly figured it out, by the grace of God. If you need some help/guidance transforming your relationship with your body and food, reach out! I’d love to help coach you on this journey.
Katie// She Talks Detox