Updated: Sep 2, 2019
Halt. Go no further.
If you haven't already, be sure to check out my previous post which introduces intuitive eating and its 10 principles. Once you've read that, you will be all set to start implementing some IE techniques!
Okay. Now that we're all on the same page and eager to start taking action on our intuitive eating journeys, you may be wondering...
HOW THE HECK DO I BEGIN?
WHERE DO I EVEN START?
Ah yes, very important questions.
I wish I could tell you that the intuitive eating path has a clear start and a clear finish. But it does not.
Becoming reacquainted with our bodies, our taste buds, and our emotions are all wildly personal experiences. Therefore, no two intuitive eating journeys will look alike.
Hear me again, NO TWO INTUITIVE EATING JOURNEYS WILL LOOK ALIKE.
One of my favorite takeaways from IE is the core teaching that our relationships with our bodies and food are entirely our own.
It is not your job to monitor what is on my plate. It is not your business whether I eat sweets for breakfast or breakfast for dinner. And it is DEFINITELY not your responsibility to keep track of or comment on my weight.
Let that sink in for a moment.
Having the personal freedom to eat what you want, when you want is a birth right. YOUR BODY belongs to YOU. Your body is yours to take care of, to make happy, to honor, to feed, to nourish, to enjoy. The way you choose to do these things requires no defense, explanation, or justification.
And just as you do not have to explain your weight and food choices to others, others do not have to explain their weight and food choices to you.
So, right now, let's take the very first step you can take on your intuitive eating journey. A promise, an oath, to stay in your lane when it comes to monitoring the food and weight of those around you.
Find a quiet place. Take a deep breath. Feel into your heart center. And let these words resonate within you as you say them out loud or write them in a journal.
I, [name], promise to mind my own business when it comes to the food choices of anyone around me unless someone specifically asks for my input.
If I, [name], feel that someone close to me is in danger of harming themselves with their food choices, I will ask permission to discuss their weight or food choices with them before offering my advice.
On the flip side - I, [name], recognize that I do not owe anyone an explanation for my food choices or the shape of my body.
How does that feel?
Maybe you have questions.
All of that is okay. Everything is okay.
In a roundabout way, I have given you your unofficial starting place: A pledge to approach your body, your food, and the comments you make about other people's bodies and food in a new way.
As you become more aware of your tendencies and urges to comment on the food choices of those around you, I encourage you to also begin noticing the comments you make aloud or internally about yourself.
This is your beginning.
In order to truly begin the IE journey, you are going to have to consciously part ways with the dieting lifestyle and the goal of losing weight.
I know, I knowwwww, that is a big statement I'm making.
I know that many of you out there are unsatisfied with the size and shape of your body. Let me normalize this and say that you are not alone. In fact, you are in the majority and the reason I have a job. :) And more importantly, you are the reason I have a passion and a mission.
Just because pursuing weight loss is "the norm" does not mean it is the higher path.
The benefits of finding self acceptance and compassion of where you are right this moment are HUGE and warrant a blog post all to themselves.
For now, I will simply tell you that in order to move forward with intuitive eating, you must be willing to accept that losing weight may not be the end result. I say "may" because for some of you, changing your relationship with food and meal times may indeed result in weight loss. For some of you your weight may stay the same. And for some of you your weight may increase. All outcomes are viewed as equally acceptable from the mindset of an intuitive eater.
I am here to support you through the journey and through the process.
Make a pledge to stop commenting on the food choices and weight of those around you (unless you suspect harm and have permission to broach this topic).
Make a pledge to stop providing explanations for your own food choices and weight (unless you are choosing to share your experiences with others in an intentional way).
Begin noticing and challenging your thoughts and actions that are rooted in the desire to lose weight. Begin asking yourself, "if my goal is not to lose weight, what can my new goal be?"
Looking for more concrete steps to begin shifting your relationship with food and your body? Download my free guide of actionable steps you can take TODAY to loosen your grip on the diet mentality. It's free. It's awesome. And it could have been in your inbox by now if you hurry up and get itttttt.
I am here for you with love and support always. Please don't hesitate to reach out!
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