discussing how giving up control does not make you weak but rather can lead you to a positive relationship with food & your body.
One of the questions I get most from you guys is “How can I learn to eat intuitively?”
For those of you that have been following along, I’ve just started my Intuitive Eating series and will definitely delve further into the idea of how you can start the process of becoming an intuitive eater; however, this past weekend as I was thinking about how I could approach the topic, one of the things that kept coming to the forefront of my mind was the idea of CONTROL. It’s a topic that I think is worth discussing (especially in light of it being National Eating Disorder Awareness Week).
Whether it’s control over the type of food or amount of food we eat, how many calories/carbs/fat, etc. are in our food, the number showing up on the scale or the size of our clothing, I think most everyone, eating disorder or not, can understand this feeling to some extent. And in addition, the feeling that if you’re not working to control those things, then you’re failing.
If you feel this way or have ever felt this way, you’re not alone. I think it’s a really common and normal feeling to have. It’s an incredibly prevalent message out there – “It’s all about willpower” or “Be stronger than your cravings!”
But I’m going to tell you something right now:
Giving control over to your body does NOT make you weak.
If you caught my first post on Intuitive Eating, then you know that one of the cornerstones of intuitive eating is giving yourself unconditional permission to eat with attunement. This means in harmony with your body, relying on your internal hunger & fullness cues to guide you and relinquishing that outside control you’ve been told you need to have.
So for those of you that have asked how you can begin your journey towards intuitive eating, a good first step is getting comfortable with the idea of relinquishing control over to your body.
I think this concept is by far one of the HARDEST parts of recovery from an eating disorder or disordered eating mindset. You’ve spent the course of your eating disorder or disordered eating patterns telling yourself the exact opposite of this. I won’t lie, breaking away from this is not easy, it won’t be a linear path and it will take a lot of effort. And all of that is OKAY. Recovery itself is not linear or easy and with every setback you may feel like you’re failing, but you’re not. You learn from each setback along the way and ultimately that is moving you forward in your recovery.
For those of you that want to start down a path of intuitive eating, spend the next week getting comfortable with the idea of giving control over to your body. Think about how it makes you feel and how you might be able to push past people, thoughts or things that may cause you to want to take back that control. Just THINKING about it rather than actually doing it may sound like inaction. However, preparing yourself mentally and emotionally to give control over to your body is actually a critical first step.
There likely will be parts of this journey that are uncomfortable for you (especially if you’re use to strict control) so it’s important to begin once you’ve given yourself time to digest the concept and have a plan of action in place for how you might be able to push past obstacles you may face along the way. Once you feel ready and begin that journey, it has all the ability to lead you to a more healthy and positive relationship with both food and your body.5