Good Morning and Happy Friday!
I hope you’re enjoying reading about my Intuitive Eating. It’s been nice to look back and see the progress I’ve made towards giving up dieting and working towards feeling my best. Mentally, I love where I’m at and this series has really proved that to me.
So far, I’ve covered how I gave up the diet mentality, honoring my hunger cues, how I made peace with food and respecting my fullness. Today, I’m sharing my experience with one of my favorite principles of Intuitive Eating.
Principle #6 touches on the emotional aspect of eating and embracing the satisfaction factor. The IE website states that, “In our fury to be thin and healthy, we often overlook one of the most basic gifts of existence–the pleasure and satisfaction that can be found in the eating experience. When you eat what you really want, in an environment that is inviting and conducive, the pleasure you derive will be a powerful force in helping you feel satisfied and content. By providing this experience for yourself, you will find that it takes much less food to decide you’ve had “enough”.
For me, finding the satisfaction factor of food again took a lot of reflection and patience. First, I had to really stop and think about why I eat what I do. I realized that I was eating what I thought was “good for me,” not necessarily what I really wanted. While this was a good intention, I wasn’t actually enjoying food anymore. This principle made me slow down and get that back.
When I first started my IE journey, I ate the foods that I never let myself have- like bagels, ice cream, cookies, chocolate. Essentially, anything that the media says is “bad.” This is usually where the former dieter will give up on IE and get the urge to diet again, which I did but I kept on going. Eventually, these feelings leveled out and I had a clear idea of what I wanted to eat.
This principle really sunk in during our trip to France this past fall when I observed how the French eat. I love their mentality on food and try to carry this out in my daily life. Although, living in America it’s hard to avoid the non-stop food pressure from the media telling you to eat ALL THE THINGS and in a massive portion, which really desensitizes us to food. In France- eating is an experience of all the senses, something to enjoy and not something to be ashamed of or limit.
Ultimately, I learned that emotional eating is ok in moderation. But, my view of emotional eating has changed. Emotional eating out of stress, anger or boredom is ok sometimes, but not as a habit. Emotional eating as a celebration- like having one slice of Birthday cake, or your favorite family recipe on a holiday, or anything else in moderation is ok. When emotional eating is a bad thing is when it is an extreme, which for me happens when I deprive myself and it backfires. I’ve learned that, for me, as long as I’m not covering up the emotion with food that’s ok. And I think that’s great progress!