Welcome to Day One of the Back to School Supply list for Intuitive Eating Success.
We are going to cover what intuitive eating is and what it is not. I am also going to give you a guarantee that no diet can.
But first I want to know if you have ever felt like one of my clients, Sheila. When she came to me she had been struggling with dieting. What would happen is that every morning, she would go to her scale to see how she was doing. She wouldn't like the number that she saw. She would then think, "okay, I need to get back on my diet. I need to start doing good. I need to start doing the right things again."
Immediately she'd think of what foods she should take out of her diet. She would skip meals then she would see progress on the scale. And so she would go on day after day like this. Eventually, with her food restriction, she would get on the scale, and she would see some results.
But there would come a time when she would have a "cheat day" because she'd been doing so well. By Golly, she deserved the right to eat something tasty and good. One of her favorite foods, like a brownie or cheesecake or some other delicious dessert, and she, would allow herself to have it. She would wind up eating more because it was so good.
She just felt like she couldn't stop dieting. This began a cycle of "blowing it," checking the scale, trying harder, losing weight and then overeating. She blamed the food for that weight change that she had seen.
Can you relate to Sheila?
Do you ever feel consumed by the number on the scale or by the foods that you're eating?
Are you not sure if you're eating the right things or the right way?
Have you felt frustrated with your body weight, shape, and size while receiving confusing messages about food?
Many of us are beginning to think about the back to school season. You might've experienced a tax-free weekend recently and are getting school supplies ready.
If you are a parent or you're going back to school sometimes, we think, "okay, this is it. I'm going to get back on track with my eating. I'm going to eat right, and I'm going to lose weight. I'm going to feel good about myself".
I'm here to tell you that diets don't work and I want to introduce a new way to you if you have not heard of it yet, intuitive eating.
This a non-diet approach to health and wellness. It is getting yourself reintegrated with your mind, body, emotions and with the world around you. It's getting you attuned back into all of that space so that you become your own expert on when it's time for you to eat based on your own body's hunger signals, and stopping when full. It's eating from a place of what you desire out of a food relationship.
Intuitive eating has become more popular in the news. Unfortunately, some folks have turned into yet another diet.
Well, I'm here to tell you that intuitive eating is not another diet.
One of the things that we do in intuitive eating is to encourage you to take weight loss and put it on the back burner.
I know, right? That sounds really scary, not focusing on weight loss. How can I do that? I'll be out of control with my food. I won't know how to eat or when to eat. I always need the rules and the rigidness of a diet to help me stay on the path.
You were created and wired to have a beautiful relationship with food, honoring hunger, respecting your fullness without rules and rigidity.
Throughout your life, there have been different things that have come in and told you you're not good enough or you're not pretty enough.
You're not acceptable; you're not lovable because of who you are or your body weight, shape, and size.
It's turned you towards food.
You could be overeating, under-eating, always on a diet or stuck in the throes of an eating disorder
It's cultivated this idea that you need to focus on and control your weight to beat those things. We know that diets don't work, so intuitive eating is not a diet, but it is:
an opportunity to learn and be curious about your relationship with food and with your body.
an opportunity to let go of the rules, to let go of the rigidity and to learn what your body is telling you, to understand the emotions that your body is experiencing, the feelings that are coming up when you have different life experiences and giving you time and space to live in those things without judgment.
an opportunity to honestly eat the foods you love without guilt and overeating because you learn how to give yourself what you are desiring. You get your actual needs met outside of food, and when you do that, you open up the doors to be able to enjoy your food.
an opportunity to embrace body kindness, body respect, body dignity, versus in the dieting world that it opens the door for negative body comments, right?
Let's think about it.
If you've ever been on a diet or known anybody who has, they are always talking negatively about their body. And then that negative internal dialog gets stronger and louder.
In an intuitive eating process, we work on that negative self-talk. We work on nurturing a self-compassionate dialogue in our minds. We start to replace negative head chatter with a compassionate voice that reminds you, mainly using God's word and His truth, that you are loved and that you are accepted and that you are more than a number. You are God's masterpiece. He created you. You are his work of art as it tells us in Ephesians 2:10 so intuitive eating is a new way of thinking.
It's the way you were born.
You were born with the ability to eat when you're hungry and stop when you're satisfied and to ask for the foods when you're hungry, right?
And over time, different obstacles come in the way and kind of break it up. So intuitive eating is not another sneaky diet. It's not another way of being in control or in charge of what you're eating.
It's an opportunity to have freedom with food, peace with food, and to release the guilt that comes with eating foods that you might've labeled as bad. Right?
Think of any time you've eaten a bad food. How does it make you feel?
You feel bad.
You feel guilty.
You feel ashamed.
You feel embarrassed.
Intuitive eating is an opportunity to cultivate and nurture relationships that maybe you have put on hold. Perhaps you put them on hold because you've been obsessed counting calories or worried about what you could and couldn't eat in a restaurant. Maybe you were fearful of being judged by what you were eating or not eating. Instead of going out with your friends or with your family, you would stay back. You would come up with excuses to not enter into that.
With intuitive eating, you're cultivating peace with food. You're also nurturing the relationships around you because you are starting to stand up for yourself and recognize that you don't have to be on diets anymore and you can still be healthy. You allow yourself to be present at the table with those around you fully present, fully engaged in the meals and the experiences that are around you.
Let's talk about a promise that I can offer you that no diet can ever provide you or accomplish.
Diets perpetuate fantasy thinking. They promise that if we diet or if we lose weight or if we get a particular body shape or we get a specific muscle tone we will step into something new. We will have the promise of a happy life, good relationships, etc.
What has dieting promised you?
And I can't tell you how many women I've worked with who they have strived to get that promise by having a smaller body, by having a lighter weight, by having a smaller pant size, yet they get there, and you know what they tell me? I'm still not happy.
I still don't have what I thought I was going to have.
And now I feel even more frustrated because I've wasted all this time, this energy, spiritual energy, emotional energy, physical energy, and relational energy, right? Like they've just wasted all this energy not to experience it.
Now, the promise I'm going to share with you is not a promise that I'm giving you, but it's a promise that comes from God, okay?
I approach my practice from a faith base using the Bible. I like to bring out God's written word, the truth, to encourage my clients. The promise that I have for you today, it comes from him, not from me.
And it's always my hope and prayer that as speaking with you and with my clients, that you hear God's speaking through me because this is not about me and my success, but it is about helping you develop a more intimate relationship with the Lord to help you have an increased desire to be present with him.
As you exist in that presence with him, He will guide you and show you and release you from the chains and the burdens of dieting, the drive to be thin and eating disorders.
The promise I want to share with you, and this is where I'm kind of, my tagline comes from as well.
It is John 10:10 and it says the thief does not come except to steal and to kill and to destroy I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly.
I introduce myself as Kelley, the warrior dietitian, and I help women be free of food, body, and weight obsession so they can experience what the promise of a full and abundant life.
Why do I say that?
First of all? Because it's a promise by God, that you can have that and live.
Secondly is because dieting strips life away from you.
It does not cultivate life. It does not develop relationships. It does not cultivate truth in your life.
You spin your wheels trying to find happiness, trying to find acceptance, trying to find love, trying to find someone who maybe has heard your voice. Life gets stripped away from you because you start focusing so much on the number, on the scale that you lose who you are.
Maybe you assume an identity associated with dieting, being healthy and living in a way that you're always worried about the number on the scale, whether or not you're going to gain weight. This way of living strips you of being able to be present in this life.
I want you to experience your best life. The promise of a full and abundant life that comes from God.
Supply list tool #1: the Bible.
Open it up and dig through it. The Bible is foundational to the work that I do in helping you be free of food, body, and weight obsession.
Supply list tool #2: Intuitive Eating book & workbook (they also have a teen edition)
That is the first day of your supply list for intuitive eating. Join me in a few days for day two.
If you're ready to get off that diet cycle, be sure to put your questions in the comments and I will be there to answer them for you as well.