“In the absence of diet culture, ‘Intuitive Eating’ would just be called ‘Eating’.
Our society has gone so far away from just eating that it seems like we don’t even know how anymore! Our mentality now is, unless we’re counting calories, tracking macros or on some sort of pre-defined diet then we’re essentially not dieting. But NOT dieting these days means we’re having a free for all of sweets and treats and food rewards, we’re in a weight gain phase and we’re failing.
So we look for the magic cure. The diet that will finally help us lose the weight, reach our goal and keep us there. And some work…for a while. And then they don’t. So it was the diets fault, right? And we move on to the next.
The problem here is we are putting our success on someone or something else.
So when we are losing weight, we thank the diet! When we start gaining it back, it’s the diets fault.
Another frustrating part of this diet culture we’re living amongst is that we seem to want to eat as much food as possible, for as few calories as possible and still lose weight. We are afraid of being hungry and we are so quick to throw in the towel the instant we eat something “wrong”.
Food is fuel, until we realize that we’re humans with hormones, and emotions and stress and busy lives. Food is nourishment, until we realize that the food we are buying at the grocery store isn’t always serving us as much as we think it is. Food is our culture, the way we socialize, the way we comfort. Food is the way we celebrate, the way we connect, the way we provide ourselves with energy, the way we care for the miracle that our body truly is. Food is memories and traditions and religion and beliefs and ethics.
If we’re treating food as simply a black and white formula like a prescription we get from the Dr., we aren’t addressing all of the other things we must look at when we are decoding our own personal relationship with food. And we need to keep ourselves from falling into this trap of all or nothing dieting.
So how do we move away from this twisted, confusing, damaging diet culture back to a healthy relationship with food and nutrition? We must tune in to our bodies, our emotions, our lives. I KNOW you know what to eat and what not to eat. I know you know what foods are considered healthy and which are not. But often times you choose differently, right?
I ask you, do you think that’s ok?
The answer is “Yes. it is ok, I promise.”
Our bodies need different nourishment each and every day. We need to allow for fluctuations. We need to be gentle with ourselves while keeping our ultimate goals in mind. We need to allow for celebrations and social situations without guilt. We need to reward ourselves and relax or decompress at the end of a day without relying on food. And we need to keep ourselves in check in a way that keeps us in control of the foods we choose, not the other way around.
I ask you this, do you see yourself, old and grey, sitting with your grandchildren with your smart phone out, tracking those bites of ice cream to see if they fit into your macros? Or do you see yourself enjoying their company, accepting their offer to share the cone with you and laughing when it spills down your chin, and asking for another taste? Even though its before dinner…..gasp!