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Eat Like a Natural

Somewhere down the line, I falsely learned that I couldn’t be trusted to make appropriate, healthy food choices for myself. I looked to others for guidance, becoming obsessed with what and how much everyone else was eating. This practice got me into real trouble throughout my childhood and adolescence.

My friends were significantly shorter than me and when I mirrored what they were eating, I deprived myself, ignoring my hunger/fullness cues. It didn’t take long before I started binge eating after those inadequate meals. This behavior really solidified my belief that I wasn’t to be trusted around food. And so, I tried even harder to eat like everyone else, which definitely didn’t help.

The home page to my website reads, “Eat like a natural… and never have to diet again.” When you start to trust that your body knows how to make appropriate and normal food choices, then you can truly begin to recover from dieting. The process of eating itself is pretty intuitive, when you're hungry - eat! But, if we dogmatically follow rules and doctrines (i.e. following BS advice such as, "when you're hungry - drink a glass of water" in the name of minimizing calorie intake), we disconnect from our bodies and evade the health we're so desperately seeking. Restriction begets overeating and stress.

Unfortunately restrictive cleanses and diets disguised as “lifestyles” are being touted as healthy choices. It's important to recognize that when participating in this restrictive version of health, we ignore our bodies’ desires and actually inhibit our wellness journeys.

Sure, I love a green smoothie as much as the next wellness junkie, but I also make a point to listen and validate my body’s needs and feelings. I know from past experience that living on green smoothies alone is just not very satisfying or sustainable. I feel and perform my best when I’m checking in with my body and adjusting my eating and exercise routine to match its needs on a daily basis.

(Pictured above: me trying and failing to hold a smoothie while walking... )

So if your New Year’s resolutions aren't agreeing with your body (mentally and/or physically), then I encourage you to re-evaluate your plans and goals. Stop depriving and overexercising your body in a manner that isn't in line with your true needs. I invite you to consider intuitive eating as a means to cultivate a truly supportive self-care plan.

Here are the 10 principles of intuitive eating*:

1. Reject the Diet Mentality

2. Honor Your Hunger

3. Make Peace with Food

4. Challenge the Food Police

5. Respect Your Fullness

6. Discover the Satisfaction Factor

7. Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food

8. Respect Your Body

9. Exercise–Feel the Difference

10 Honor Your Health

*These are guiding principles, there are no set rules with intuitive eating. It's a flexible philosophy meant to honor your body.

Intuitive eating is by no means an easy process. It takes a courageous willingness to face your relationships with food and your body. It likely requires you to take a good look at other areas of your life that you may be avoiding via dieting and body checking. But, I promise you, finding food freedom will improve the quality of your life exponentially and open you up to a wealth of opportunities.

If you haven't already, check out Intuitive Eating and The Intuitive Eating Workbook. And, if you feel like you need some extra guidance, I’d be thrilled to work with you individually and uncover what’s normal for you. Just head on over to the nutrition counseling page for more information.

Until next time, trust yo' self!

512-650-8853  |  Austin TX

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