Intuitive eating has been a major topic of conversation in the past couple weeks and months. If you aren’t familiar with the term, read this article! For a while I read posts about it and always hoped that I could eventually learn to eat like that, however I was so fixated on reaching a certain weight or size that I never even thought it could be something that I really pursued. However, the world kinda went topsy turvy and a lot of things changed including my outlook on life, food, exercise and intuitive eating.
Since quarantine, I have been practicing intuitive eating and honestly at first I didn’t even realize that’s what I was doing. Basically, this way of eating is a way of avoiding the diet mentality that is so prevalent in our society today, as well as maintaining a healthy relationship with food while honoring both hunger and fullness. This may sound confusing but it is teaching me how to fuel my body with foods that make me feel good while also honoring when I’m actually hungry and realizing the times where maybe I am just bored. This also means that no foods are “off limits.” Which means that if my family is going to Chick-fil-A and I am really craving some french fries, then I get the french fries. For me, I tend to obsess about wanting a food or meal until I actually eat it. So by eliminating the negative connotation of french fries or any other foods, I’m not dying to get them because I know that it is always an option and okay to get them.
This way of eating has also taught me to be kinder to myself. During this entire quarantine my mom and I’s catch phrase has been “be kind to yourself.” It is normal to stress eat, or be extra tired, or not be in the mood to workout right now. Our bodies are under so much stress that it is not normally used to so it is important to take that into consideration and not be upset or mad at yourself because you aren’t working out as much or eating as healthy as you would normally like. By practicing intuitive eating, I have learned how to fuel my body with tons of veggies and fruit and whole foods but also learned that it’s okay to bake a loaf of pumpkin bread every week and enjoy it without guilt. By being gluten and dairy (mostly) free, it has always been a little bit harder for me to order out at a restaurant or to feel normal when eating around friends but there is an even bigger strain when trying to make sure I’m “always eating the right things” or “always eating super healthy.” For me, eating this way has released that strain and internal conflict of should I or shouldn’t I eat this or that. As mentioned before, eating this way has taken the taboo off of eating certain foods that I used to deem “bad” so sometimes I’m like “hell yeah! I’m gonna eat some cookies!” and other times I recognize that I am full or that I don’t really want a cookie and I pass and move on with my life.
One of the craziest things that I’ve noticed from intuitive eating is the way it has impacted my mental health and body image. Normally I would look in the mirror and nit pick everything that I thought was not perfect and that needed to change. Now, I am recognizing my body for all the amazing things it does for me. I no longer look at the things that need to change but I appreciate where I am at right now. I compliment, encourage, and appreciate myself more than ever.
Intuitive eating may not be for everyone and it took me a while to get to this point. I am NOT a health professional or doctor but this is just an honest review of the changes I have noticed in myself since starting this way of living. I have been doing this for about 10 weeks now but all of these realizations and confidence in myself and the way I fuel my body didn’t come until recently. Once I started being kinder to myself about the way I eat and the way I looked, I noticed a real difference in my mental health and my self love. More than anything, it is so so so important to love yourself. And that’s not an easy task and it’s not something that just happens one day and then you never have to worry about it again. It’s an ongoing journey that you have with yourself everyday.
Once again, I am in no way a professional in this topic but I am just sharing my journey thus far with intuitive eating. I hope this gave you a better idea about intuitive eating and helped you understand it more! If you have any questions please feel free to reach out or if you have an tips or more information you think I should know then please share with me! Xoxo