Many people are afraid to totally let go of dieting, of the control of it all. We’re afraid to let go of the possibility of being thin, and by extension, desired and accepted.
It’s totally understandable; and while I would highly recommend jumping into intuitive eating with both feet in order to maximize the chances of success in severing ties with diet culture, I think there’s lessons to be learned by dipping a toe in, as well.
Still, there are some caveats I have to warn you of first.
Intuitive eating is a long-term process with certain steps toward healing that should be done one by one, in sequential order. There are 10 principles that should be implemented one by one.
The principles of honoring your fullness and satiety come before honoring gentle nutrition. In other words, you need to go through the steps of allowing all foods and experiencing fullness before you can implement more “traditional” nutrition practices. If you practice gentle nutrition too soon in the process, you will be too worried about what foods are “healthy” which defeats the purpose. We need to stop restriction and demonization of any foods first, stop any fears of foods first.
I warn you, though: That means there is a period where you definitely eat more “junk” foods or foods you didn’t normally allow yourself. This is COMPLETELY NORMAL and this brief period will not harm your actual health. We’re made to believe even one food item with added sugar will surely shave five years off our lives, but it’s just not true.
I experienced this phase just like everyone else. I ate more ice cream, more carbs, more sugar, more fat…because those were the kinds of foods I had been depriving myself of. I had to expose myself to them and create habituation and routine with them in order for them to “lose their luster” and their desire in my mind.
After you do this for a while, you start craving more nutrient dense foods and you can incorporate gentle nutrition and consider the nutrition in the foods you eat and how you will feel after eating them.
Here are FOUR ways , though, that you can simply try it out short term. I’d rather have you try this journey than not try to all!
Let me know which one you plan to try. It only takes one day, one step toward food freedom progress!