Does it “work” and what does “working” mean to you?
At the beginning, when I didn’t realize I was becoming an intuitive eater, “working” actually meant gaining some weight, working out because I wanted to and wanted to be healthy (not because I wanted to burn calories). Now “working” means maintenance of what I learned – honoring my hunger cues, forgiving myself if I didn’t think I ate well, and letting myself enjoy all types of foods. “Working” also includes loving myself. “Working” also means NOT realizing I’m eating intuitively, meaning I eat and feel the way I do about myself as second nature.
For others “working” might mean losing weight. It might mean gaining weight. “Working” could also mean getting rid of negative talk or adding positive talk to your life. The definition of working is going to be different for everyone and that’s the beauty of intuitive eating – your experience is your own and what “works” for one might not “work” for another.
What are your biggest challenges with intuitive eating? How do you face them?
1) I would say that my first biggest challenge is getting over the thought that people might be judging me, as a Registered Dietitian, based on the foods I eat. I enjoy ALL types of foods – this includes the sweets and salty snacks. Guess what? I eat them. This doesn’t mean I eat them every day, but this doesn’t mean that I never eat them. I’ve been in situations where I know people are looking at my plate and analyzing it. Some people will even comment on what I’m eating because they think it’s “okay” since I’m an RD. I’ve literally responded with the words, “some of the best eaters I know are RD’s.” I’m actually not sure how that response gets interpreted, but seriously, a lot of RD’s I know, know how to chow down! And THAT’S OKAY!
Additionally, I’ve also had to take time explaining to people that I want you to feel okay having a cookie. I want you to feel like you can. I don’t want you to feel like you have to be restrictive in front of me or when you’re by yourself. This is all part of the making peace with food part of intuitive eating.
2) The other challenge for me with intuitive eating is when I’m training. I get the hunger signals more often and I while I fulfill them, I have to keep in mind to not over eat or fuel my body improperly. So finding a balance while training can be a challenge, but the more times I experience training, the better I get at finding that balance. I think it’s going to be interesting this year when I start training while nursing – this is going to be another first in my intuitive eating experience! Nursing alone will intuitive eating will be a first. Remind me to write about it!
Other posts in the Intuitive Eating Series: