Intuitive Eating Success: Build a Team and Ignore the Naysayers

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Let’s talk about building your team and saying no to the naysayers.

Let's talk about your dieting past or maybe even your past eating disorder. You've probably always had a team of cheerleaders. Think about summer coming or new year's. That's the time where women get together and say, “hey, let's go on a diet. Let's do this weight loss thing together.” When you're at parties or other family gatherings and functions, people say, “Hey, what diet are you doing? I'm doing this one. How much weight have you lost?

There's this connectedness of relationship in community, in cheerleading, to stick to your diet.

There are accountability groups; they are counting and tracking. They offer support around sticking to the diet and making sure you don't break the rules. If you have a cheat day you have somebody there to get you back on track. You feel so good when they're there cheering you on.

Sound familiar?

Let’s talk about the team you have and see if it's the best fit for you.

  • You're starting this intuitive eating journey, learning how to give yourself unconditional permission to eat.

  • You're taking away the rules and the rigidity of food.

  • You're removing the harmful food labels that have left you feeling guilty and ashamed and frustrated and like a failure and you're trying to navigate this new space of a non-diet approach to living.

It can be kind of scary when we are surrounded by friends, family members, social media and the Hollywood people who focus on diets and weight loss and restriction. They tell you to eat this superfood and don't eat that fast food. You feel so confused and conflicted because, on the one hand, you don't want to eat this because it doesn't follow the rules, but you do want to eat it because it tastes so good and it's one of your favorite foods.

Today I want you to pause and think about who's on your team and what kind of team do you want?

Have they been helping you or have they been causing some hurt unintentionally? It happens where we start talking about weight loss, diets and health in unintentionally conversations come up that make us feel ashamed about our bodies. We feel embarrassed about what we're eating.

It's time to regroup. It's time to pick a new team captain.

Maybe that's you.

You get to be the captain of your team. You get to be the one the show because it's your body. It's your journey with food and your relationship with yourself and your relationship with God. I want to encourage you to think about who's around you, who are supporting you in this journey. Is it folks that are still trying to dabble in weight loss? Many of my clients have those friends still, and when they're together, their friends are counting calories, or they're talking about how much weight they've gained or how successful they've been losing weight.

It can be very upsetting to the person who is trying to navigate the intuitive eating process. You might have to push pause for a little bit and explore how you can cultivate new relationships, more supportive relationships, and team members to help you on your intuitive eating journey. In this process, you might feel a little bit alone at first, right? There might not be too many people that understand what it is that you're doing.

It's so far out there for some people, that they can't imagine themselves ever going through it. They're like, “you, do you.” You might have to step back a little bit or agree not to be at a food function together. It can feel like you are alone.

Get in touch with people who know and understand the intuitive eating process.

Maybe it's professionals like myself, dietitians or other certified intuitive eating counselors therapist who approach their work from a health at every size lens. Someone who has a weight neutral lens can be a safe place to talk about your fears, frustrations and to celebrate your successes. They will rejoice at the victories you will experience — like being able to finally say yes to your favorite foods without fear of gaining weight or fear of being judged.

I know how hard this journey is. I want to share God's truth with you and something that struck me some time ago when I was doing my reading. I had never really seen it before. It's in Exodus, and I want to use this verse as a way to encourage you do you know that you don't have to go at it alone.

A lot of times we might let our pride get in the way of what we're doing, and that can hinder us from being able to be successful in what we're trying to achieve because we try to do it alone. We don't ask for help and in not asking we are setting ourselves up to slip and stumble a little bit more than we might have if we had support.

Exodus 17:11- 13

“Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the sword.”

The verse speaks to the strength in having others there to support us and to hold us up during our times of battle, our times of struggle, our times of distress. And to do that in the strength of God, to draw on his word in his power, in our weakness, to be able to lift us and carry us through that.

Think about one or two people that you could call upon that are in your close circle to say, “Hey, I'm going to be doing things a little differently and I could use your support, and this is how I could use your help. Are you in?”

If they're not, that's okay. But finding some safe people to support you is one part of it.

The next part that I want to read to you is coming from Ecclesiastes 4:9, it is titled the value of a friend and might be familiar to you.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

It is essential, spiritually, to have folks around you who are like-minded in the word of God to support you in God's love, his truth and to uphold you in His promises. People that will be there to pray for you and to encourage you. To edify you through this process. Also those who are willing to step alongside of you in this non-diet approach to navigate the ups and downs.

When you start to get discouraged and not feeling if it's the right thing for you, they are there to speak the truth of God's word and to support intuitive eating so that you are able to continue to break the chains of the urge to diet or to try to lose weight or to be back into the eating disorder patterns.

You have to begin to be okay with saying no.

Say no to the naysayers or tell the naysayers you know what you have to do for you. Because in our society where we have so many people that are on board with dieting, weight loss, and food restriction. There's going to be a lot of people that are going to come against you and think that you're crazy for trying to a non-diet approach.

“What? You're not going to focus on losing weight. How can that be?”

And so being able to tell the naysayers, “hey, this is my journey and this is what I have to do.”

You might have to separate yourself from those people a little bit. It could be people that you're following on social media; maybe it's time to unfollow the fitspiration people and all those things that might be doing more harm than good to your mentality. I've had lots of clients that have had to unfollow people on the various channels and adjust what they're reading. They start to think about what they're putting their in front of their eyes on the Internet, whether it's on their phone or their, their computer or watching on television. They have to be able to bring in a message that is positive towards the body and their relationship with God.

Who's going to be your biggest cheerleader?

I tell you what, if I get to be on people's teams, I'm usually one of the biggest cheerleaders, at least from a professional standpoint because I am here to lift up, encourage, and pray for those that I'm serving.

I hope that you can find a team of professionals if you need them and a team of friends, family members that can support you strongly in this approach. Someone to walk with you, not against you in this relationship change that you were working on.

Be sure to drop your comments below. Let me know how this was for you and if you have a support team already in place. If it's something that you're working on, if I can help you find some resources to get those people in front of you, I am happy to do that.

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