Hey friends! I’m guessing that if you stopped by to check out my thoughts on how to free yourself from dieting, you’ve felt all the frustrations of dieting at some point or another. I’m going to ask you to get real and honest with yourself for a couple minutes as you read…
Over the past week, I was smack in the middle of the following type of conversation with a group of my nearest and dearest friends!
Have you ever been out with friends or maybe at a family function (or really anywhere! maybe at Starbucks this morning?) when someone starts chatting about the latest diet or cleanse that they’ve gone on that’s helped them lose XX number of pounds in X number of days? Did your ears perk up while everyone wanted to know the details and whats allowed to eat and what’s not allowed to eat? You may have even gone digging on google for more details and started the diet yourself. If this sounds familiar at all, how long did the diet last? Did you find yourself cheating at all and how did the cheat leave you feeling?
Did you answer honestly? Especially about how you it left you feeling?
In today’s diet culture, we’re socialized at an incredibly early age to need to follow rules around eating. Eat this, not that. Sound familiar?
Now let’s switch gears a bit and chat about the concept of intuitive eating. In the 90’s, Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch were on a crusade to help people break free of the emotional/mental exhaustion that diets were inflicting on people. From their crusade came the concept of intuitive eating or often referred to as mindful eating.
Intuitive eating is, in essence, our body’s default mode to eat. It’s about hunger and fullness and satisfaction (yep! Satisfaction is uber important:)). As babies, we don’t think much about it. A baby cries when she’s hungry and pushes the food away when she’s full. Or, as my babies always did, knocked the bowl to the ground giggling! As a baby, you didn’t think about calories – you simply listened to your body’s needs. But, thru diet culture, we’re constantly being told about good foods and “bad” foods, what we should eat and what we should never eat. As we grow up in this culture, the innate cues that the body communicates so beautifully get lost in translation.
When you’re thinking “diet”, you’re following steps or strict rules on how to eat throughout the day. Right? This food is allowed, this food is not allowed. You can eat this in the morning but never past 4 pm. Lots of rules. Intuitive eating, instead, is based around principles that are not linear. This is about understanding self-care instead of self-control surrounding food.
10 principles of Intuitive Eating:
- Reject the Diet mentality
- Honor your hunger
- Make peace with food
- Challenge the food police
- Feel your fullness
- Seek satisfaction and pleasure
- Learn to honor your feelings without turning to food
- Respect your body
- Enjoy movement instead of punishing exercise
- Honor your body with gentle nutrition
When checking out these principles and learning this approach to food and eating, you begin by exploring principle 1 to break thru all your current “diet” notions of what is right and wrong. Intuitive eating that we’re born with is truly an innate connection between your body and your brain. Your body signals hunger and your brain sounds the hunger alarm that tells you “hey, it’s time to grab some food!” Your body then signals fullness various hormonal mechanisms and your brains senses, “yep, it’s OK to be done even if there’s food left on my plate.”
Diet culture really severs this awesome brain/body connection. Instead of your brain recognizing familiar smells and tastes to provide your body nourishing satisfaction, your brain instead brings in rules of what culture tells you that you CAN’T eat “because you’re trying to lose weight.” You get into this place where your body and brain are fighting each other and you enter the mentally and emotionally draining diet cycle.
Ok, sweet friend, are you ready to explore intuitive eating? Get started by thinking about what “rules” you tell yourself on a daily basis regarding food. Leave a comment on this post and let me know your thoughts. I want to hear them!