Hey girl (insert Ryan Gosling meme), stop dieting, and live your life. Stop the calorie counting, delete those fitness apps off your phone, cancel your diet program subscriptions, and live your life. Diet Culture tells us being fat is the worst possible thing in the world, carbs are the devil, you better not eat more than 12 almonds in a sitting, and we should spend all our time and money in the pursuit of thinness. I’m here to tell you there’s another way, and that way is Intuitive Eating. Stop dieting for good and live your life with Intuitive Eating.
Intuitive Eating (IE) tells us that we can be happy in whatever body we are in, all bodies are good bodies, fat is not a bad word, we can eat a variety of foods, and carbs are delicious. IE tells us that Diet Culture is some serious BS, we have all been fed a bunch of nonsense, and to live your damn life. The IE world is one where we don’t count calories; we don’t go on diets, we certainly don’t own a scale because our weight does not define us, and we get to eat cupcakes. Heck yes, sign me up!
I love me some food, all foods, and have always felt shame for enjoying food. In my initial research of IE, I read somewhere that a client had told her therapist she loved food and could never stick to a diet because of her big appetite. This specific therapist’s response was, “what a gift!” This spoke to me so hard and was the beginning of a new way of thinking, which led to a new happier way of living.
Intuitive Eating is the concept of listening to your body and doing what feels right to you. It removes the guilt and shame we all feel when we eat certain foods when we can’t stick to a diet, and when we don’t look the way society tells us to look.
IE was founded by two dietitians, Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, in the 90s and is comprised of 10 principles; Reject the Diet Mentality, Honor Your Hunger, Make Peace with Food, Challenge the Food Police, Discover the Satisfaction Factor, Feel Your Fullness, Cope with Your Emotions with Kindness, Respect Your Body, Movement- Feel the Difference, and Honor Your Health- Gentle Nutrition. They developed IE after meeting with patient after patient and realizing diets don’t work. Not only do diets not work, but they also cause more harm than good.
I have spent a good portion of my life believing I needed to be on a diet because I wasn’t “thin.” I’ve spent a good part of my life feeling shame or guilt for my food choices and then punishing myself with exercise for those choices. I’ve spent countless hours counting calories and measuring food. I’ve spent so much money on exercise programs, apps, and special food for diets that never worked for me. I always thought it was my fault for not being able to stick to a diet and for not being able to lose weight. Then I found IE, which told me it wasn’t my fault, our bodies are meant to fluctuate and change, and shame on diet culture for making all of us think these terrible things. It was the message I needed to hear, and I think a lot of women need to hear.
You deserve to live a life without restriction. You deserve to eat foods that are satisfying and make you happy. You deserve to move your body in a way that feels good to you. You deserve to take up as much space in this world as you need and want.
It is definitely a shift in thinking which doesn’t happen overnight, and there are still days I struggle, but since finding IE, I’ve never been happier. There are a ton of resources to get started on your IE journey, and here are a few that have helped me:
Book: Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works by Evelyn Tribole, M.S., R.D. and Elyse Resch, M.S., R.D., F.A.D.A., C.E.D.R.D
Podcast: Food Psych with Christy Harrison
Lauren Rieker @laurenrieker_rd_
Lauren Cadillac @feelgooddietitian
Positive Body Image @positivebodyimage
Megan Hayne Crabbe @bodyposipanda
Dr. Rachel Millner @drrachelmillner
Nutrition/ body image counseling is also another available resource. I’ve not gotten to that point in my journey yet, but if it is something you want to look into, Lauren Rieker is the owner and founder of Renovate your Plate, and they offer a lot of different programs for support in this area.
Food has no moral value, and you are not on this earth to lose weight. Also, you don’t have to like kale. Give diet culture the middle finger. Stop dieting and live your life with Intuitive Eating