How to Start your Intuitive Eating Journey This Year
It’s the start of a new year, and culture- whether it be conversations, morning shows, social media or the news- is rife with talk of ‘Getting healthy in the new year’, which we all know is code for, “I’m on a diet- cheer me on until I fall off of it, then don’t ever talk to me about my New Year’s diet again,”.
What if, then, you committed to not making the same mistake again this year-- making a commitment you couldn’t keep-- or maybe you have promised yourself, this year will be the year-- but the restrictive plan you’re on is already starting to feel constraining (and if you’re honest, you don’t see it lasting, either).
But you WANT it to last. You WANT to find your balance. You WANT to live the healthy life you’ve imagined for yourself… and you can’t see beyond the latest trends. There’s so much promise in them… you want what they say you can have. Even if you know the likelihood is high that they don’t last.
I want that for you, too, friend.
I want you to live the healthy, happy life you desire and imagine for yourself- because I know firsthand the power of having energy, focus and a passion for life that comes with living a healthy life-- things that aren't found on an instagram ad with before and after pictures. They DO come with finding YOUR beautiful balance-- a balance that isn’t as elusive as it may seem… but doesn't come from jumping on and off the diet rollercoaster.
Balance doesn’t result from extremes-- extremes result from extremes- and extremes don’t last.
What does last is finding that beautiful middle ground- that place where your mind and body connect- that place where what you want is followed by the behaviors that will help you get there.
Where your relationship with your body and yourself is so solid, slipping up isn’t an option- not because you won’t have off days, but because you’ve redefined the idea of a slip-up. There is no failure when you are eating and living in alignment with your body’s needs and desires.
There is no failure when you are eating and living in alignment with your body’s needs and desires.
Readjustment comes easily when you are focused on honoring your body, not punishing it.
Realigning your actions with what truly feels good in your body isn’t difficult when you are actually tuned in.
Balance isn’t found through force-- it’s found by slowly making your way to the middle.
The space where food doesn’t feel like a fight. Where you can recognize your body’s cues- and respond. Where you are focusing on self care, instead of self control.
This is Intuitive Eating. And the coolest part about Intuitive Eating? Intuitive eating makes way for intuitive living… making room for the life you want to live based on the way you want to feel.
Balance isn’t found through force-- it’s found by slowly making your way to the middle.
So where do you start if you desire this- to find that middle ground, that place of balance, that place where how you want to feel and the actions you take are aligned?
1. Ditch the dogma and focus on embracing the gray. Eating isn’t a religion. Values matter-- but rules don’t create balance. Putting rules (like only eating a certain number of portions or not eating until noon), restrictions (like cutting out entire food groups) and eat-this, don't-eat-that lists around your food choices-- black and white thinking-- it triggers our natural desire to rebel, to push back against what makes us feel constrained. Living in a constant battle with ourselves will never lead to true health and happiness. But when we work on ditching the dogma, and embracing the gray, knowing each one of us has unique needs, we can discover what we need best, and tune in to when we need to make changes- without any rulebook necessary. Download my ditch the diet dogma worksheet to start ditching the dogma and embracing the gray, once and for all.
And friend, I get that ditching the rules can feel almost impossible when this is something you’ve relied on for years as a crutch to living what feels like a healthy, balanced life. I was there, too. I’m a rule follower. For me, following rules is easy. Tuning in is the hard work. But if it doesn’t last, it doesn’t align with your life-- the hard truth is it’s not truly your balance. This is exactly what I work with clients on-- ditching the idea of following rules created by someone you’ve never even met and finding freedom and balance with food and life. There is no shame in getting help in living the life you desire. Sign up for a free 45 minute consult to chat about coaching together to find your beautiful balance.
2. Read the Intuitive Eating book. I’m a huge reader, and there is a huge stack of books I’d love to share with you, to read, but I want you to start here. Intuitive Eating has changed my life, the way I view food and my body; as well as the life of so many of my clients- but it’s important you get your information from the source- the book, and certified intuitive eating counselors (such as myself). There is a lot of diet talk out there disguising itself as Intuitive Eating-- this is the real deal, that has stood the test of time for 25 years, and is clinically verified by over 100 studies. It's the best $7.99 you'll ever spend on your health and happiness.
3. Begin choosing foods that truly satisfy. Quick: what are your favorite foods? For many of us who have been in the diet industry’s sneaky hold for years, we have NO idea what foods we ACTUALLY like to eat. This is SUCH an important part of the Intuitive Eating process-- once we ditch the dogma, it’s time to find out what we actually LIKE to eat! You might be surprised what nutrient-dense foods you love (I loooove sauteed kale) and what foods you actually don’t like, but were eating because you felt like you should (I’m not actually a fan of raw carrots) or you binged on, because you told yourself they were bad-- and when you gave yourself permission, you overdid it (I honest to goodness do NOT like cake. Unless it’s cheesecake, then pass the slice pleaseandthankyou).
Choosing satisfying foods is a game changer, because when we eat the foods we actually like, we’re not constantly eating to try and ‘fix’ a craving-- we can eat an amount that feels good to us, and it’s actually easier to eat less, when we’re enjoying the foods we eat. There is no guilt in eating foods you love.
And yes- there might be a phase where you feel like you’re only craving the foods you didn’t allow yourself when you were restricting yourself. This is normal, and I promise-- it will pass. There is a whole world full of nutrient dense foods, you WILL find foods you love and make you feel good. Finding a balance between fun foods and foods that nourish, comes much easier when you have more options available-- not less. Ice cream is less appealing (and you want less of it) when you can have it every day.
4. Begin to connect with your hunger (and fullness). As moms especially, it can be easy to go through life disconnected from our bodies. We ignore those subtle hunger cues and let ourselves get over-hungry (or worse, hangry), eat more than our fill-- or feel like we're ravenous the rest of the day-- and beat ourselves up for it. Our bodies need fuel! Honoring your body now will make it easier to honor your body in the future.
Subtle hunger cues (beyond just a growling stomach) may include:
Difficulty making decisions
Feeling irritable or annoyed
Difficulty concentrating, lack of focus
Feeling restless or uncomfortable
Thinking about or fantasizing about food
5. Get support. It can be hard to go about this journey alone. Join us in The Supermama Society, my Intuitive Eating Group Coaching Membership, for solid information on what it means to live a healthy balanced life; a community of likeminded women with their own struggles and triumphs, who also desire a life that is healthy, nourished and fulfilled- without feeling constantly bogged down by restrictions.
The Supermama Society isn’t a massive membership with hundreds of women, where you will feel like just another name-- it’s an intentionally small community- where you are seen- you are heard and you are valued-- and we’re rooting for each other. I want you to get the support you need to find your beautiful balance, even if one-on-one coaching isn’t available for you or your budget right now. Designed with busy moms in mind with a monthly masterclass and self-paced workbook, weekly mini audio lessons, exclusive recipes, mom-friendly workouts and a Facebook group to stay connected, get your questions answered in our monthly live Q + A and receive the support you desire in finding your beautiful balance. Registration is only open for one week- Get your first week free, here.