Monday, October 31, 2011

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What Intuitive Eating Is Not

On some parts of the Internet, intuitive eating has a bit of a bad rap. I've read all sorts of things and often have to hold myself back from getting on my soap box when I see some of the things people say. As someone whose entire life has been transformed by the process of intuitive eating, it can be hard to not be defensive and a preacher. However, there are a few things I would like to make clear.

#1. Intuitive eating is not an excuse to binge!

learned this the long, hard, gained-an-extra-40-pounds way. Straight up. Yes, it is true that you will go through a phase of legalizing foods that were once forbidden but that isn't the permission to binge. Binging is an escape from emotions, and intuitive eating is just the opposite of that. There is a huge difference between binging and eating for pleasure. If you find that you are using intuitive eating as permission to binge, it can be a sign that you have more work to do in the emotional eating arena.

#2. Intuitive eating is not anti-{insert some sort of food lifestyle here}!

Being an intuitive eater doesn't mean you can't be gluten free, dairy free, vegan, high raw, or whatever. In fact, I believe that each of us must explore all sorts of eating styles to find the one that works for us.

I do not believe that one way of eating works for everyone. We are all individuals, and as individuals we have to find a way that keeps us both mentally and physically satisfied. Intuitive eating is about banishing those rules that surround the "hardcore" way of thinking about such lifestyles, though. It is about making the choice to honor your body's needs; this is particularly true when it comes to intuitive eating and health issues. And, furthermore, opinions are like, well you know, so be your own leader in your food choices and remember that you can eat whatever feels right for you, physically, spiritually, morally, and mentally.

#3. Intuitive eating isn't permission to eat whatever you want!

I think this is the biggest misconception out there about intuitive eating. Yes, part of intuitive eating is about legalizing foods but it isn't permission to eat whatever you want, whenever you want.

It is about listening to your body, not your mind.

So many people struggle with knowing the difference and until you do, intuitive eating will not “work” for you.

Every person on this planet has the ability to listen to their body, I don't think that any of us are so far gone that we can't get that back. Does it take time and a commitment to yourself like no diet does? Absolutely. In order to heal your relationship with food, you have to be willing to "go there" and really learn to trust yourself and your body to make the right choices.

Body. Not Mind.

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