I’m going to let you in on a secret about intuitive eating that’s really really important…
Even though the principles of intuitive eating are simple, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to actually do them. At least not a first… and that’s the key you need to keep in mind so you don’t get discouraged and give up. Dieting starts out easy but gets harder as time goes on, while intuitive eating starts out hard but gets easier.
Anyone who’s tried intuitive eating probably has experienced the initial difficulty and discomfort that comes with transitioning to this approach to food. It’s antithetical to the restrictive and judgmental food philosophies of diet culture that we’ve all grown up in. So of course it’s going to be challenging to completely change our mindset.
Diet culture is built on external rules that require little thought outside of, “Do this, don’t do that.” That kind of rule system is familiar and therefore comfortable for most of us, even if it is miserable at times. Many of us are rule-followers by nature so rules provide structure that feels safer.
Then along come intuitive eating, throwing the rule book out the window (*cue internal freak out*) 😱
There are principles, yes. But not rules. No one is telling you when or what or how much to eat anymore. Not diet culture, not your eating disorder, not even Gwyneth Paltrow.
See, intuitive eating is not just about changing the way you eat… it’s about changing your relationship with food–and your body. And relationships usually take time to build into something solid and comfortable, don’t they? Especially if we were in an toxic relationship with food and our bodies before.
Because it’s been drilled into us for so long that we can’t trust ourselves, it will feel not only scary, but maybe even dangerous to buck the system and give ourselves back the power to decide what is best for us.
But you can do it. Keep working at (or consider starting!) intuitive eating, and someday, you’ll be able to listen to and trust your body… and then give it what it needs, whether that’s a cupcake or a salad or both!
Looking for some support in your intuitive eating journey? We’d love to help–book a session today!
I’m Cherie Miller, MS, LPC-S, founder of Nourished Soul Center for Healing and @foodfreedomtherapist on Instagram. We offer therapy and nutrition counseling for chronic dieting as well eating disorders like Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating Disorder, Orthorexia, ARFID, and other food issues. As anti-diet professionals, we are passionate about intuitive eating and Health at Every Size philosophies. Contact us here to schedule a therapy or nutrition appointment.