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Intuitive Eating: I Don’t Know Where to Start

It’s Intuitive Eating Wednesday when I answer your questions and troubleshoot your challenges around intuitive eating and emotional eating.

 

This week’s Intuitive Eating Wednesday Question comes from Sandy, and it is:

“Bonnie, I have decided not to start a diet in the New Year! And while I’m excited about this, I just don’t know where to begin my intuitive eating journey. I have the original Intuitive Eating book, which I’ve read twice, but I just feel overwhelmed. Can you help me?”

 

Yes, of course, thank you Sandy for writing in to me.

 

As I started to put together some steps for Sandy, I thought about you.

 

Are you in the same place as Sandy?

 

Have you historically started a new diet or “healthy way of life” (a.k.a. diet) every January 1st?

 

Have you decided that this year it will be different….no more dieting, but you don’t know where to start your intuitive eating journey?

 

First, let me congratulate you for making the commitment to yourself to not diet in 2018! That is huge! I realize that it might have been a difficult decision with all the diet ads and marketing of the ‘right’ way to eat and exercise to shrink or sculpt your body (into something that is not sustainable anyway)!

 

Second, I feel your overwhelm. There is so much information on the internet about how “to do” intuitive eating, but often these suggestions contradict one another.

 

Most of my clients that finally reach out to me for help have already dabbled in intuitive eating. That dabbling can look like a few things:

  1. They’ve read the book Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elsye Resch.
  2. They’ve taken an online course in intuitive eating.
  3. They’ve been receiving support in the myriad of free private Facebook groups that offer intuitive eating support (by the way, if you’re not a member of my group yet, click here).

 

So the question is, with all this ‘dabbling’, why are you still feeling overwhelmed and questioning “where do I start”?

 

I believe the answer lies in the following reasons:

  1. You’ve read the intuitive eating book, but are having trouble implementing the principles because while reading the book helps you become familiar with intuitive eating, for most people (I’m not saying all people, but most people), they need more structure and coaching to help implement the principles into their daily life. Is this you too?

 

  1. You’ve taken an online course but admittedly didn’t show up for yourself by taking appropriate action. Or, the course lacked the private coaching that you really need to take this to the next level. Or, the course was marketed as an intuitive eating course, but in fact once you got into it, it was really dieting.

 

  1. You’re a member of a number of free Facebook groups but you aren’t receiving individualized coaching by certified intuitive eating counselors in these settings, nor should they be giving you coaching for free. This would be a disservice to you and to their clients who have invested in themselves. The free groups can only take you so far.

 

So what’s your next ‘first’ step?

 

Grab your freebie here: 5 Steps to a Body You Love Without Dieting. This will give you the step-by-step approach I take my clients through.

 

Then, if you want me to walk you through this step-by-step journey, contact me here.

 

Did You Get Sucked in to the New Year’s Diet Scheme?

I’m sure it feels like everyone you know is starting a new diet or workout regime this month. In the past I’m sure that even YOU have fallen into the hypnosis of the “January start a new diet” trend set by the diet industry. I want to challenge you to try a different approach to your health this year.

 

The truth is that every “new diet” you see is actually the same. There is always going to be the latest trend hitting the internet or newsstands. But at the end of the day, all diets have one thing in common: someone other than yourself is telling you what to eat, when to eat, and how to eat.  And truth be told, they aren’t going to help you feel better about your relationship with food OR yourself.

 

So, let’s not kick off 2017 with a cloud of dieting thoughts over your head, okay? It’s time to jump OFF the diet roller coaster and to start listening to your inner wisdom.

 

Who better to listen to than your own body?

 

Okay, so this sounds all great, right? And the new programs that are being marketed now are calling themselves “Lifestyle Programs”. But let me let you in on a little secret. Those “Lifestyle Programs” are just fancy names for diets. They say they want to help you make lifestyle changes, but they are still giving you lists of foods to eat and not to eat.

 

Oh, by the way, don’t even get me started on those doctors with Harvard degrees that are promoting “Detoxes”. Give me a break! Anyone is going to lose weight if they drink these concoctions for a week or a month. Then what happens after the detox is over? You know what happens….

 

But I divert. Let me get back on course here.
If you are riding the diet roller coaster, you’re probably unhappy with your body and have an unhealthy relationship with food.

 

Coming next month I have a free training called “The 5 Steps to Break Free of Dieting” where I explain the 5 steps you need to get the body and life you love without the pain and restriction of dieting.

 

Come join our Facebook community group to get notified when this free training will take place, or check back to this blog next week for more information!

 

Evaluate and Feel Great!

Woman with thumbs upWhen you have a diet mentality, there are a lot of things that can take away from you feeling positive about yourself.  Remember those days you didn’t follow “the plan” and you felt that you had failed?  Feeling like you needed to hide to eat something you wanted to eat because that would make it less of a disgrace to your “diet,” or feeling pressure to order food you don’t even want because the people around you know you’re dieting and you can’t let them see you “cheat.”  Not to mention the only way of evaluating yourself on a diet is by weighing yourself, which as you know, is not a true testament to success in a healthy lifestyle.

The beauty of intuitive eating is it opens up a world that wants you to feel good about yourself.  If you have been progressing on a mindful eating journey, now is a great time to step back and look at all the positive progress you have made.  I want you to evaluate where you are at in the following:

  • Have you been able to look in the mirror and start finding more things that you like about yourself?
  • Do you find yourself eating foods you previously deemed “evil” and being able to enjoy them?
  • Have you tuned out negative self-talk and started to focus on positive aspects of the lifestyle you are living?
  • Have you asked your loved ones around you for their support in this healthy journey?
  • Is your scale collecting dust in your home somewhere because it is no longer a symbol of success in your mind?
  • Are you exercising because of how it makes you feel rather than to negate calories?
  • Are you stopping when you’re full and eating when you’re hungry?

If you said yes to any of these questions then you should feel proud.  These are huge hurdles to jump over when overcoming the diet mentality and to clear any of them is a great accomplishment.  The more of these questions you can answer as “yes,” the better you will continue to feel about your healthy lifestyle and your relationship with the food you eat.

Your turn to take action:  How do you feel about your intuitive eating progress so far?

Fitting All Your Favorites into a Healthy Eating Plan

Tell me if this sounds familiar.  You are about to embark on the latest diet plan of the moment.  This diet requires you to avoid eating certain food that you love most; maybe that’s pasta, chocolate cake, or in some cases, even fruit is forbidden.  You assign a date for which you are going to “start” this plan and in the days leading up to the “start” you overindulge in all the foods you love that you will have to give up while you are on this diet.  Why do you put yourself through this torture?

Intuitive eating restricts no foods.  It encourages learning to make a place for all your favorites by exercising your right to honor your hunger, while still respecting your fullness.  Eat healthfully but allow yourself to enjoy food without punishing yourself or feeling guilty.  If you truly want a bagel for breakfast, then by all means, have a bagel; but tune in.  You may find that once you take the label off that bagel, half will be all you need to feel satisfied.

Food should not make you feel bad.  Diet plans foster this mentality if you decide to eat something that is not on “the diet,” conjuring up words like “cheating” and “falling off”—both negative terms that take away from the joy that those foods can and should bring you.  Yet when you are eating intuitively and giving yourself permission to eat any food, how much and how often you eat that food completely changes.  You are mentally more clear and less stressed about what you eat, which usually leads to better eating habits in the long run.

So don’t forbid your favorite foods.  Everything can be part of a healthy eating plan as long as you are listening to your hunger and fullness signals.

Your turn to take action: What food do you love that you have given up in the past?