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Intuitive Eating Sounds Glorious. Count me in!

“Intuitive eating. You mean I can eat whatever I want?”

 

This is a common question I hear from people when I introduce them to this practice of relating to food.

 

To someone just hearing about intuitive eating, it sounds glorious, almost too good to be true.

 

“You mean I can eat all those foods I’ve deprived myself of all those years? And still lose weight? Where has this been all my life?”

 

Today I want to address 2 misconceptions about intuitive eating:

  1. Intuitive eating is not about losing weight.
  2. Intuitive eating is not about instant gratification.

 

Weight Loss is Not a Goal

It’s very hard for most chronic dieters to immediately embrace the idea that the path towards intuitive eating does not guarantee weight loss. As a chronic dieter, you’ve started each diet with one goal in mind – weight loss. You were willing to restrict your food intake, say no to eating your favorite foods, even turning down social occasions (where there would be a ton of food you’d have to face) all with the final goal in mind of losing weight.

 

You’re tired of this battle. You are at your wits end. You don’t want to count another calorie, point, carb grams or mile walked. You just want to eat. You just want to be.

 

So, when you hear that there are no food rules in intuitive eating, it sounds glorious.

But what about your desire to lose weight?

 

It is of utmost importance that you put weight loss on the back burner. This means put it out of your mind for a while. Don’t think about it. There is no promise that you will lose weight with intuitive eating. Some people do, some people don’t. Some lose weight, some gain weight, some stay the same. Your body will do what your body will do, and no one can tell you what that will be.

 

You were born with a genetic blueprint of what your natural weight is. All the years of dieting has messed with that natural body weight. So when you finally stop interfering with nature, your body will likely settle in to where it was intended to be all along. This might be at a size or weight that you are happy with, or it might not. The next step is then body acceptance. This is not an easy step by any means, but with the right support, you can get to a place where you really accept and respect wherever your body lands.

 

Intuitive Eating is Not Instant Gratification

See it, want it, eat it.

 

That’s what a lot of naysayers think intuitive is. But it’s far from this.

 

Intuitive eating is not about eating whatever you want, whenever you want. It’s about changing your relationship to food, your mind and your body.

 

As you move through your intuitive eating journey, you learn to ask yourself questions before you decide to eat. You recall how this food felt in your body the last time you ate it. You turn inward and ask yourself if you are physically hungry or if you are eating because the clock says its time. You explore whether there is an emotion underlying the choice to eat in that moment.

 

At first, it might seem like you are eating without thought. This is because you have opened up the gates to enjoy all foods, you have taken off the handcuffs that kept you in diet prison, and frankly, you are eating all the foods you didn’t allow yourself to eat for years.

 

This is part of the process, but over time, your eating will normalize. Eventually, you will come to a point that you choose foods that help your body feel energized, not because you think you “should”, but because this is what feels good in your body.

 

Is intuitive eating glorious? You betcha!

 

But embark on this journey for the right reasons: to change your relationship with food and your body so you can live a fun filled life without food worry and body shame.

 

To learn more about intuitive eating, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The First Step You MUST Take on Your Intuitive Eating Journey

After a lifetime of dieting, you have probably learned that placing restrictions on foods does not work for your body. Despite all the diets you have been on, your weight has continued to fluctuate. If you are feeling frustrated with your lack of progress, you are not alone. Many dieters frequently feel disappointed and defeated when they don’t see the results that the diets have promised.

 

If you are looking for an alternative to dieting (and I hope you are!), then you should consider practicing intuitive eating.

 

Intuitive eating is not another diet, it’s a lifestyle. When practicing intuitive eating, there are no restrictions on food and there is no counting of calories. Instead you listen to your body’s internal hunger and fullness cues and let that guide your eating.

 

Intuitive eaters do not demonize food, they do not categorize foods as “good” or “bad”. When food is categorized in such a way, it causes you to feel guilt when you do consume the “bad” foods. The shame that you feel when you do eat these foods can cause you to feel dissatisfied with your decisions and ultimately your body.

 

One of the key components in intuitive eating is rebuilding a trusting and happy relationship with your body. Dieting makes you feel as if your body does not measure up to societal expectations. Despite your misgivings, your body is beautiful and deserves your appreciation.

 

When you begin to listen to your body’s needs, you start to rebuild a trusting relationship. Your body instinctively know what foods you need to be satisfied.

 

Rebuilding a trusting relationship with food is certainly not easy. It will take some time to rediscover your body’s internal hunger and fullness signals, and then to trust that they will not mislead you. However, the experience is certainly worth it. When you listen to your body’s callings, you will feel more at peace with food and yourself.

 

The first step on your journey towards rebuilding the relationship with food, your body and yourself is to cultivate your Mind Trust™.

 

Mind Trust™ allows you to throw away the diet rules and food restrictions, to bust through your limiting beliefs and realize that you did not fail, the diets have failed you.

 

But how do you cultivate Mind Trust™ when you haven’t trusted your own food decisions for so long?

 

The answer is to break the spell that diets have over you. I know, this is not an easy feat. But you can do it.

 

Sign up BELOW to start your journey towards Mind Trust™ or learn more by clicking here!

 

 

There’s No Perfection in Intuitive Eating

One of my favorite motto’s is “There is no perfection in intuitive eating”. My clients can recite this in their sleep, they hear me saying it THAT often!

 

As a past dieter, you’ve likely fallen into the perfection trap. You have to follow your diet just perfectly, or else you’ve “cheated”, you’ve “fallen off track”, you’ve “messed up” or you’ve “failed again”. This is a tough way to live, with the “perfection cloud” hovering over your head at all times.

 

Honestly, there are so many ups and downs in life, it’s just not possible to be perfect. Nor, is it necessary. Striving for perfection only leads you to feeling like a failure when you cannot meet that impossible standard you set for yourself.

 

In intuitive eating, we don’t strive for perfection. The journey towards reclaiming your ability to listen to your inner body wisdom is a process where you learn a lot about yourself and you grow in so many ways. What you used to view as a “setback” in your dieting days you now view as a learning opportunity. This is a much more gentle, kind, compassionate approach.

 

Let me share an example with you.

 

My son and daughter in law went away on vacation and my young grandsons (ages 5 and 2 ½) were staying with me for a few days. Oh how I love those little boys!! But I will tell you that as little boys go, they are very active and kept me on my toes! I found that my schedule of eating and my choice of foods was out of my routine because I was tending to the boys as they were my top priority.

 

If I was still a dieter who worried about every morsel of food I ate, I probably would have freaked out that I couldn’t follow my “plan” (aka diet). But since I am no longer tied to diets, good and bad foods and harsh self-talk, I was able to go with the flow. No guilt, no freak-outs and no regret. And now that they boys have left, I am back to my routine and feel great.

 

Life is too short to worry about the little things. And food worry is one of those little things.

 

If you’ve been struggling with your relationship with food and your body for years, let’s put an end to it. Take advantage of my End of Summer Special where you can get up to 75% off my two most popular intuitive eating programs. Learn more and grab your special savings here!

 

If you’d prefer one-on-one private sessions with me, just click here to email me to set up a time to speak.

 

Your turn to take action: What will you do today to rid yourself of the idea that you have to be perfect? Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

 

3 Steps to Stop Overeating on Vacation

Summer is in full swing, it’s my favorite season! There’s less stress, no school carpools or tutors to schedule and it’s a time when my husband and I take some much needed time off.

 

In the days when I was dieting, I would often be apprehensive about an upcoming vacation. It would start with the thought of trying on all the summer clothes in my closet to see what “looked good” and have them piled high on my bed until I narrowed it down to what would make it into my suitcase.

 

Then of course it was the thought of what I would eat on vacation. Would the restaurants have food that was “on my diet”? What would happen to my weight if I ate out at a restaurant each evening? And what about the drinks? I don’t mean water, that I have no problem drinking. I mean the cocktails that I may want to enjoy at the pool or at dinner. How many calories and how much sugar will it have and how will it affect the number on the scale?

 

Oh my, this is just so exhausting, so forget it! I’ll just enjoy my vacation and start my diet again when I get home.

 

Does this sound familiar to you? Have you done this, or thought these same things? (Please comment below the blog in the comment section….)

 

The above scenario depicts what I call the “Vacation Diet Mindset”. Yep, there’s a name for this. You are so good on your diet all week/month/year long, but vacation comes and all that “goodness” gets tossed out the window. Why?

 

Well, since you’ve been depriving yourself of the food you love while dieting, you figure that when you are away on vacation and enjoying yourself, you might as well enjoy yourself with food too. But the problem is it leads you to overeating and overindulging and quite honestly, not respecting your body.

 

Here’s the thing. If you were not restricting all week/month/year before your vacation, you’d be enjoying all the food you love all the time and you wouldn’t have to go into “Vacation Diet Mindset” when you went away.

 

So how do you shift out of this mindset? Here’s 3 steps to get started:

  1. Commit to no longer dieting. And by dieting, I also mean your own self-designed diets and food rules you put into affect for yourself. I know that’s a tall order, but until you are able to give yourself unconditional permission to eat what you desire, you will restrict and deprive and fall into the Vacation Diet Mindset on your next vacation.

 

  1. Take the Mindful Eating Pledge. Basically, this means promising yourself that you will be mindful of the food choices you make and you will maintain an awareness so you can fully savor and enjoy the food you are eating. When you do this, you will find that it will be easier to recognize fullness and stop before you get overfull.

 

  1. Ask for Support. The journey towards returning to being an intuitive eater and achieving WholeBody Trust™ of your mind, your hunger and your food takes time and requires support. There is no reason you need to do this alone. Seek support from your loved ones, a registered dietitian nutritionist-certified intuitive eating counselor and a community of like-minded women on the same journey as you. It’s powerful!

 

Are you struggling with your intuitive eating journey and want to take it to the next level? Join us in the Intuitive Eating Mastery Circle. Learn more here.

 

End Your Struggle with Food and Dieting!

It’s interesting. Many people know their struggles in life, but choose not to do anything about it. I sometimes wonder why that is. Why would someone identify a challenge they are having in their life, but not want to do what they need to do to change it?

 

While I can be speaking about so many things right now, such as hating your job, a difficult marriage, a strained relationship with a parent or child, what I really want to address with you is your relationship with food and your body.

 

Is one of your biggest struggles in life food and eating?

 

Is one of your biggest struggles in life being unhappy with your body?

 

If you answered YES to the above questions, then are you struggling with dieting?

 

Most probably if you struggle with food, eating and your body image, then you are struggling with dieting. I can say this with certainty because you’ve been led to believe that in order to “fix” your eating and your body, you need to diet. You need to be told what to eat, when to eat, and how much to eat. Let someone else tell you all these things so you don’t have to make any decisions about food, and that’s how you will achieve the body you’ve always wanted.

 

Well, this is a lie.

 

And, I guess that you have realized this lie, but you are caught in the web of deceit in diet culture.

 

Diets are SO tempting. Heck, if someone told me I can lose 30 pounds in 30 days, I’d be suckered into trying that too. Except that I have broken out of the web of lies that diet culture has you believing. But I realize that it’s not so easy.

 

I also want to say that I know that some of you reading my blog have stopped dieting because you know that diets don’t work. But you are still spinning your wheels. That’s because diet culture is very sneaky. You THINK you’re no longer dieting, but you very well may be and not even know this.

 

Now, I am only bringing this to your attention because I want you to stop and ask yourself if you are ready to do what it takes to stop the diet madness. If you are ready to finally break the spell that diets have over you.

 

If so, then click below for an ONLINE EXPERIENCE that will get you started.

 

Yes, it’s free! But it doesn’t mean it’s easy. And that’s okay. Because if you are serious about finally ending the biggest struggle in your life > FOOD AND DIETING > then join this unique experience and participate to the fullest.

 

Click here if your biggest struggle in your life is food and dieting!

 

I hope to see you in the experience!

 

 

How Do I Learn to Trust Again?

It’s not easy. It’s just not easy to trust someone or something that has let you down time and time again.

 

You want to trust, you really do. But you can’t.

 

How do you regain that trust after you’ve been shamed, disappointed, and embarrassed – again!

 

I can be talking about anything here. It could be a relationship with a spouse, partner, friend, parent, teacher and so on.

 

But what I’m really talking about is … your body.

 

Countless women (and some men) have shared with me that they have lost the trust in their bodies to know what to eat, when to eat, and how much to eat. This is because for years, they have been following some sort of diet which dictates all things food. They no longer had to make any decisions when it came to what, how much and when to eat. They just followed the rules.

 

Is this you too? Have you been a dieter who was (or maybe still is) a good rule follower, eating what the plan tells you to eat? Even better, you loved when the food was delivered to your door step, no prep even required. Pop it in the oven and walla, dinner is served (and breakfast, lunch and snacks).

 

You may have realized by now that this just does not work. If you’ve started a diet in an effort to lose weight, and you followed the diet, you probably did lose weight. But that weight loss was short lived. You went off the diet, only to regain the weight back, plus more. So, you set out to find another diet and did it again. And again, and again, and again.

 

Each time you regained the weight, you felt shame and embarrassed. You blamed yourself. “What is wrong with me? Why can’t I just stick to this diet?” You are feeling shamed that you gained the weight back and shamed in front of your friends and family who now see that you gained the weight back. And you blame yourself and your body.

 

You might want to stop this cycle. If you’ve been reading my blogs for a while, you know that diets don’t work. You might even have contemplated contacting me to learn more about intuitive eating. But it’s scary not to diet anymore, even though the diets have failed you each and every time.

 

Left to your own devices, are you able to choose your own foods, know how much to eat, and when to eat?

 

I say YES! You probably don’t think so…at least not in this moment. This is because you don’t trust your body anymore.

 

Listen, that’s okay. For now. You will learn how to re-gain that trust in your body. I know you will. But there is one thing you must do first. And that is…

 

Be BRAVE!

 

And with this bravery, there are 3 decisions you must make.

  1. Decide that you WANT to learn to trust in your body and your food choices again.

 

  1. Decide that you will NOT CARE what others say to you about your decision to stop dieting.

 

  1. Decide that you BELIEVE that it is possible. What you believe, will happen.

 

Are you ready to be brave? Are you ready to learn to trust again? Contact me here!

 

Taking a Leap of Faith

When’s the last time you took a leap of faith?

 

I met with a new client last week. Let’s call her Lindsay.

 

Lindsay was referred to me by her friend’s husband, Bob. He had been a client of mine a few years ago, coming for medical nutrition therapy for diabetes management. While working with Bob on habit and behavior changes to better manage his blood glucose, he happened to lose weight. He referred Lindsay to me because she has been struggling with her weight for many years.

 

As a matter of fact, Lindsay has been dieting for 35 years. On and off diets, losing and gaining weight, and trying whatever she could to lose weight. When she heard that Bob lost weight working with me, she made an appointment. She felt THIS would be her answer.

 

I met with her and as soon as we started talking, it was apparent that her situation was very different than Bob’s. Bob didn’t come to see me with a focus on weight loss. His focus was on diabetes management, which we worked on with a weight neutral approach.

 

What does diabetes management from a ‘weight neutral’ approach mean?

 

It means encouraging individuals to engage in health promoting behaviors to manage their diabetes without focusing on weight and the number on the scale.

 

In Bob’s case, he happened to lose some weight in the process of taking care of himself and learning to manage his diabetes.

 

For Lindsay, it’s a whole different story. Lindsay does not have diabetes, or any medical conditions. She came to see me with one purpose in mind: weight loss.

 

When we started talking about Lindsay’s history with dieting, I helped her understand why a meal plan was not in her best interest. She knew in her heart of hearts that “following” a meal plan would become just like another diet, but she didn’t know another way.

 

Until I introduced her to INTUITIVE EATING!

 

Lindsay had never heard of intuitive eating before. She has been so immersed in diet culture that she never even considered that there was a way out. Lindsay thought she’d be dieting until the day she died.

 

Lindsay decided to take a leap of faith. As much as she said to me “Bonnie, I’m so scared”, she was ready to leave dieting behind. She just needed to know that I am here for her and will be here for her as she starts her journey back to the way she was born > an intuitive eater.

 

What about you? Are you scared to leave dieting behind? Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

How to Help Your Friends Who Can’t Stop Dieting

I received an email from a young woman (let’s call her Susan) this week who follows my work in intuitive eating. She was sharing with me how thankful she is that she never fell prey to the dieting gimmicks and fads that so many of her friends have, and still do. She is also thankful that I share so much with my community by way of blogs, videos, trainings, as it has helped her stay true to herself in trusting her body.

With her permission, I am sharing an excerpt from her email below.

________________

Growing up, I was never exposed to fad dieting at home. My mom had a great relationship with food and taught me how to live my life as an intuitive eater. This was especially helpful when I was in high school, and lunch periods were consumed by friends talking about which new diet they’re trying and how many pounds they were “supposed” to lose by the end of the week. Thankfully, I was rock solid in my beliefs and always brushed off the diet talk.

I was excited to start graduate school and be part of a program with many intelligent individuals and advance in my career. Yet, the dieting talk followed me here too!

“I wanna lose at least 2 pounds by Friday, think it’s possible? I didn’t bring any food for lunch so I’m hoping that’ll be at least one pound down today” read a text I received last Tuesday from a classmate. I thought being 25 years old and in a notorious graduate program, most people moved past the “dieting stage” and wouldn’t give into the pressure of restricting themselves. Apparently not.

I replied to the text and explained that restricting your intake of food will not cause you to lose weight. In fact, it will actually slow your metabolism down! Plus, starving yourself throughout the day will ultimately backfire when you get home and see the food that was prepared for dinner. You’ll be so famished that you’ll eat too much too fast, ignoring your inner body cues.

“Nah, I have a lot of self-control” was the reply. I shrugged and moved on, thinking “oh well”.

Fast forward a couple of hours, I received a text that read “Help! I inhaled my food and ate too fast. I was just starving! I’m in so much pain”.

I feel bad for my classmate. I really do. She has been on and off many diets in her life, and she’s only 25 years old! As you can see, I tried discussing intuitive eating with her, but she doesn’t understand it. She really believes that she needs to restrict her food and deny her hunger as the way to “change her body”. I texted her your website, DietFreeRadiantMe.com, and gently suggested she read some of your blogs and watch your videos. I hope she does.

Thank you for all you do, Bonnie.

________________________

Wow, emails like this pull at my heart strings for 2 reasons:

  1. My heart is warm and fuzzy that I have helped Susan stay true to herself and maintain the trust in her body and her food choices. The fact that I have put myself out there online and am able to reach people that I might not have been able to reach with my important message makes my heart sing.

 

  1. My heart aches for those who are still struggling with diets, still struggling with loving their bodies, and not yet trusting that if they listen to their body, it won’t let them down.

 

So, where do we go from here?

 

I will continue to put myself out there and continue to spread my message that no form of dieting is going to work for losing weight and keeping it off.

 

And as scary as it is to stop dieting, it’s time!

 

I encourage you to be brave and take the leap of faith. You don’t need to go it alone.

 

I’m here to support you every step of the way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Eating is a Non-Issue and Food Decisions Just Happen

When you want to get into a routine and build something new into your life, one way to do so is to schedule and plan.  As a chronic dieter, this was (or maybe still is) also true for you when it comes to eating for weight loss (a.k.a. dieting).

 

You schedule the number of meals you’ll eat that day based on when the plan tells you to, and you restructure your life around that plan.  You find that you’re constantly thinking about what you’re supposed to be eating next, will you be eating it “on time” and if you didn’t pack it with you, will you be able to find something comparable.  You find the only thing you are thinking about is food.

 

I want you to remember a time where you weren’t worrying about your weight or your food.  You lived your life and when you were hungry you ate, you stopped when you were full and you weren’t frantically wondering if a food fell into your plan if you wanted to have it.  For many of you trying to get back to this memory, it might take you all the way back to your childhood days—and that’s OK.

 

When you were younger and there’s less to worry about, that carefree attitude translated easier to food.  Eating was just something you did in between all the other fun things you did each day. And you enjoyed every bite you took.

 

This is intuitive eating at its finest….when

 

…..Eating is a Non-Issue and Food Decisions Just Happen

 

Now that you are older and have been influenced by the diet culture that surrounds you, well, it hasn’t been so easy for you to return to the way you were born.

 

I know you have this deep desire to become an intuitive eater again. I know this because I have spoken to hundreds of you wishing it were easier.  I know how easy it is to fall back into diet mentality, and I also know how important support is for you on this journey.

 

Free Training

Join me tomorrow, Thursday September 7 at 8 pm EST for a Facebook Live training where I will discuss how you can make intuitive eating second nature again.

 

I’m going live in my private Facebook group, so if you aren’t yet a member of our group, click here now to join us for free.

 

Here’s what you’ll learn during our Facebook Live training:

  • The #1 reason you struggle with implementing the intuitive eating principles
  • What it really takes to make intuitive eating a part of your being
  • How you can be at peace with food and yourself so you can enjoy life to the fullest

 

Oh, and if you are not on Facebook and want to watch the replay, just send me an email to Bonnie@DietFreeRadiantMe.com and I’ll send you the recording.

 

How to Break Through Your Limiting Beliefs Around Weight Loss

Roadblock breakthroughSomething is keeping you stuck. Something keeps you trying each new diet that hits the market even though you know by now that diets don’t work.

 

Okay, so when I say “diets don’t work”, let me clarify.

 

Diets DO work in the short term by helping you lose weight, but ultimately they FAIL in the long term because you gain that weight back, plus some! So why oh why do you keep trying to follow a diet? And let’s be real for a minute. When you visit a registered dietitian nutritionist and ask for a “meal plan”, that is just a nicer way to say diet. If you don’t understand what I mean, read my story here.

 

So, let’s understand a little about why you might be resistant to giving up dieting.

 

  • Perhaps you think that a diet is the only way to lose weight. (Wrong!)

 

  • Perhaps you are too scared to trust that you actually know how to eat if you would just listen to your body. (I get that this might be true, but I can help you learn to re-trust your body again!)

 

  • Perhaps you really don’t want to be successful in losing weight. (Bingo!)

 

Wait, what did I just say? You don’t really want to lose weight? That’s insane. Of course you do, that’s why you try diet after diet, right?

 

I want to focus on that third bullet point. Dig deep down and ask yourself if you really want to lose the weight forever. What are your fears around shedding the layers that are possibly protecting you? What do you need to be protected from?

 

Consider some of the following beliefs that you might be holding onto, and understand these are preventing you from moving forward on your journey towards a body you love.

 

Do you ever say any of the following?

 

“I’m destined to be fat.”

“I will gain the weight back so why bother.”

“I won’t be able to trust myself around food.”

“Losing weight and changing my habits is hard, I’ll never be able to do it.”

 

These are all beliefs that MUST be knocked down, smashed through and turned upside down or you will still stay stuck where you are forever!

 

Sit in a quiet room and think. Just think about these beliefs you have around losing weight and your body. Then commit to getting the support you need to change your thought patterns and your behaviors.

 

Listen, I know you want to do this yourself. I get it. It’s embarrassing to ask for support, so you think.

 

I’m here to tell you there’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Come join other women (and some men) who are on the journey towards breaking down these negative beliefs and who are now believing in themselves. Click here and join our community, for free.

 

And, if you’d like further individualized support, just fill out this request at www.TalkWithBonnie.com