When I was little, I LOVED to eat. I also loved to run around outside with my friends, color, watch Disney movies, and play sports. I never thought much about my love of food until I got a little pudgy in 4th grade. Suddenly, I wasn’t the same size as everyone else in my class, and I felt uncomfortable about it, even though my parents knew I was just growing. But when I went to camp the summer after 5th grade, I had a terrible experience that led me to develop anorexia. I struggled with it all during the next year, as I dieted and restricted myself down to the smallest possible size for a girl my age. I only thought about food, and I never wanted to do any of the things I used to love doing. I became a shell of my former self at only 11, and while I eventually “recovered” after about a year, I’ve never stopped struggling with food and body image issues. Seriously, I think about this stuff every day.
I’m pretty sure everyone has their own unique experience with dieting and/or body image issues, especially all my ladies out there. We’ve been conditioned since SUCH an early age to desire thinness and to find the beauty in visible bones instead of curves. We’ve also been conditioned to compare ourselves to others, to ourselves, and to never love our bodies in the present time. We’re always striving for something else- to fit into our old jeans, even though we never loved our bodies when we fit into them, or to look like that girl from spin class who always seems to have her life together. But eventually, a life of comparison and self-consciousness gets REALLY old. So that’s why I’ve gotten into intuitive eating.
Intuitive eating is based on the premise of letting go of every diet-based or restrictive behavior you’ve adopted over time, while also teaching yourself how to eat based on your own body’s cues, cravings, and desires. It’s all about being INTUITIVE, AKA taking the time out of your busy life to rediscover your passions, reflect on your desires, and listen to your body. If you’re interested in intuitive eating, take this simple quiz to see if it’s right for you:
1) Do you CONSTANTLY think about food? And not in a “wow I love food so much I just love thinking about it” way, but in a “oh my God what am I going to eat now #anxiety” way?
2) When you eat, do you ever find yourself rushing through your meal without taking the time to enjoy what you’re eating or recognize cues of fullness?
3) Do you eat foods because they’re healthy, not because you’re actually craving them?
4) Do you drag yourself to exercise classes because you feel like you have to, not because you actually enjoy them?
5) Do you feel a lack of passion in your life? Has your relationship with food also become devoid of passion?
If you answered yes to ANY of these questions, it’s time for you to look into intuitive eating, sista (or mista). I’m not going to lie, you’ll probably struggle at first, but I promise that it has the potential to change your life FOREVER. Just think about how amazing it would be to never diet or restrict or hate your body again, at least not in a severely debilitating way? That seems like heaven to me.
I truly believe that for the first time in forever (to quote Frozen), I’m finally starting to see the light with my food issues. It’s been a process, and my weight has gone up and down throughout, but things are starting to balance out and I’m feeling much more confident these days. I usually feel like I’m eating intuitively 80% of the time, which is actually pretty good for just a few months of commitment to the process.
I’m going to be sharing a LOT more about my path to intuitive eating, including how I’ve gotten to this point and what resources I’ve been using, but for now, here are some of the coaches I’ve started following religiously. They’re super open about their journeys, and their separate challenges/programs are extremely helpful for beginners! I might even get personal coaching from one of them, depending on how I progress in the upcoming months :)
Paige Schmidt, Healthy Hits the Spot
Abby Hutch, Eat Work Play Balanced
Can't wait to share SO MUCH MORE about intuitive eating with y'all! And just like general posts about life and food and fun stuff, because lots of those are coming as well :)