Intuitive Eating Success Requires Progress Not Perfection

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This post is wrapping up the supply lists for intuitive eating success by talking about progress, not perfection, and embracing patience and grace in this walk of undoing all the years of dieting that you've been in.

Often we are seeking some form of perfection.

Whether we're eating perfectly with our food, exercising perfectly, a perfect body, a perfect boyfriend or girlfriend or spouse, or the perfect family. The perfect… whatever you want to insert.

In the pursuit of happiness and weight loss, you may pursue a perfect food relationship. Or, are you seeking peace in your life and hoping that fixing your body will give you that?

Perfect peace comes from Jesus, not a diet or number on the scale.

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. ~Isaiah 26.3

Dieting offers us perfection in our food relationship, in our body and in our overall happiness in life. However, dieting is of the world as it sets up to idolize and chase something (the thin ideal) with such fervor that we miss out on chasing God.

The world is not of God. It's is not where he wants us to have our mind and our focus.

Ninety nine percent of the women I work with struggle with perfection on some level. a theme that often arises is feeling like they were never “good enough.” So, in pursuit of this acceptance, they turned (intentionally or not) to controlling their food and body. If they could just look the part (perfect), they would be love & accepted.

I once read somewhere, this wonderful quote that I love to use more and more

to strive for perfection is to set yourself up for failure and help sure is that like we can't be perfect.

We are not God. Therefore, we cannot enter into anything in perfection, but we can keep striving to become more and more Christ-like.

  • What are you chasing?

  • What are you wanting to experience in life?

  • Is it a number on the scale, or is it the prize of upward calling in Christ that he has for you?

I want you to remember that this process of intuitive eating is exactly that. It's a process. It takes time. There's going to be baby steps, and sometimes there's going to be leaps and bounds of changes, victories and success stories. Other times you're just going to have to sit in the yuck of it, experience what that's a like, and allow your body to connect with that. In that process, learn how to draw on the strength of the Lord so you can navigate the emotions and feelings that are coming up.

Progress not perfection.

Think about how long you've had a disrupted relationship with food and your body.

How long you've been dieting? How many diets have you been on? And how long has your brain been trained that health is weight and weight is health. How much time to you spend focused on losing weight and the foods you need to limit?

It takes time to rewire your brain. The good news is your brain's neuroplastic and it can be rewired. You can bring in new truth that is going to support you better in life and your relationship with food. It can allow you to step into the experience and promise of a full and abundant life. You'll be living life more fully when you're not tied to the chains of the scale or rigid diet rules and restrictions. You will be truly free, and in that, you'll start to see baby steps and sometimes leaps and bounds. I also want to encourage you to be patient, and I don't know about you, but patience is a word that can make me nervous because I am still practicing how to be patient!

I like immediate gratification, and most of us do. I've had to learn to be patient, especially having three kiddos. I'm always working on patience, and I'm not always very good at it.

The bible gives us several examples of exercising patience:

  1. Abraham and Sarah had to be patient waiting to have children.

  2. Joseph showed patience as he was going through many different trials.

  3. Job was being tested by the devil.

They were patient and they had hope in Christ that God was going to be bringing them to a fuller awareness of God's purpose in their life. Now, some may say, well, ditching dieting isn't the same as running away from brothers who are trying to harm you. Everybody's experience is different. Dieting can consume you spiritually and can consume your relationship with God.

I hope that you will be able to find God in the storm of letting go of dieting and stepping into intuitive eating. That you would be able to rest on the assurance of his promises throughout that process and that you will be patient with yourself.

There are people we talked about in the last series, whether that a professional team or the friends and family that you've asked to come on board with you being patient and giving yourself grace like they're going to be times when maybe you overeat. Intuitive eating is not permission to go and binge eat all the time. That's a misconception that people lose control of eating and never be able to stop. There's going to be times when you shoot past the mark, and you feel a little uncomfortable.

Earlier in this series we talked about learning from your body, learning from those missteps, if you want to call them that. I don't even think there are missteps. It's there are things that happen that we can learn from and be more aware of to find out what supports our body best. Give yourself space and grace to be able to have those things happen and then learn from them without judgment to know that you're going to have good days and you're going to have bad days. You're going to have days where you want to step on that scale again, and maybe you do. And instead of beating yourself up for it and hating what you see, just offering yourself that, that grace like, okay, you know what? I did it, and this is what it meant to me, and now I'm going to pick up my pieces and try to put them back together and get back with my team, get back with my support and continue my journey.

It's not necessarily a smooth transition out of dieting and into intuitive eating. Take your time with it. You might find that as you're working through the different principles of intuitive eating that you need a little bit more time in a certain area and that's okay. There's not a time limit on it, You have to go at your pace and at your level of patience without giving up and trying to turn back to dieting.

I want to encourage you to take a deep breath to slow down and not try to get it all figured out in one day or five days or even in five months. It's going to take some time. Think about the season of life that you're in. Are you in a season that you can give it your fullest and best attention that you deserve to give yourself in this process?

If not, if things are super stressful, maybe think of just one of the areas of intuitive eating to just give a little bit of time and attention to, to start retraining your habits, retraining your internal dialogue, retraining your connection with hunger and fullness and being able to eat more peacefully when it comes to your meal and snack times.

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