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Can You Fail at Intuitive Eating?

The short answer is no! You cannot fail at intuitive eating. But let’s dig into this topic a bit because the idea of failure is top of mind for chronic dieters.

 

You’ve been down this road before. You want to lose weight so the only way you know how to do that is to go on a diet. You’re going along fine, eating what the diet tells you to, not eating what you “shouldn’t” and you start to feel lighter on your feet. Your clothes are fitting better and you are on a high.

 

Until you aren’t anymore.

 

What happened?

 

Well, you had a bad day at work, you lost a client, your boss yelled at you, you got a ticket driving home, and you had a fight with your partner. You walk in the house and you are in a really foul mood. You head straight to the kitchen and open the fridge to grab that chocolate cake you knew was in there, leftover from the party the other night. You dig in, and you tune out.

 

When you come out of your chocolate cake coma, you are really upset with yourself. You just blew your diet. Now you feel frustrated, angry with yourself, and the negative self-talk begins: “There you go again, screwing it all up”, “You can never stay on a diet, why do you even try”, “You are such a failure”.

 

The above is just one scenario where your desire to be “thin” led you to a diet which led you to feeling like a failure. What are some other scenarios?

 

2 Other Scenarios that Lead to Feelings of Failure

 

  1. Scenario #1: You want to lose weight and be “thin”. You go on a diet, restricting and depriving yourself of your favorite foods. At some point, you can’t stand the deprivation anymore…you must have “just a little” chocolate. You eat a piece, then another, and then another. Now, it’s an all out binge, as you vow to start again tomorrow. What happened here is that the restriction led to cravings which led to bingeing. Now, you feel miserable again and you have a deep desire to lose weight, again. You start the cycle all over> diet>restriction>deprivation>cravings>rebound eating>binge eating. And the feeling you have = FAILURE.

 

  1. Scenario #2: It’s the holiday season, and you’ve dieted your way into that little black dress. You are going to kill it at the holiday parties and family get-togethers. You can’t wait to hear all the compliments about your weight loss and how great you look. But wow, you are surrounded by all these goodies that you haven’t eaten for so long. You tell yourself you are not going to eat anything you “shouldn’t”. But then the inevitable happens. You aren’t paying attention, there’s a little too much alcohol and before you know it, you’ve dipped into the appetizers and pastries. At this point you tell yourself “I deserve it, I’m going to enjoy the holidays and not worry about the food. I’ll get back on my diet on January 1st.” And on January 1st, you wake up and feel miserable . You’ve regained much of the weight you lost, that little black dress doesn’t fit so well anymore, and you feel like a FAILURE.

 

What do you do? See scenario #1 above.

 

A Better Option than Dieting

 

I have another option for you where you will NEVER feel like a failure. And that option is > Intuitive Eating.

 

Intuitive eating is eating based on your physiological need to eat, based on your hunger and fullness signals, and NOT based on situations you are in or emotions you are feeling.

 

Intuitive eating is returning to eating the way you were born.

 

Now, just because you were born an intuitive eater, does not mean the journey back to it is an easy one if you’ve been dieting for years. You see, while as a baby you didn’t give much thought to eating, it was something you just knew (i.e. hunger pangs, cry for food; full belly, push away), as a dieting adult, you haven’t been listening to these signals. You’ve been relying on outside influences to guide your eating.

 

One of the biggest challenges I see with women who are learning to return to being intuitive eaters is TRUST. They are afraid to trust that their bodies will guide them correctly.

 

Is this you too?

 

I get it! You have lost trust in your body and in yourself to make your own food decisions because of all the “failures” from dieting (see scenarios above).

 

So, it’s of utmost importance that you understand that there is no pass or fail in intuitive eating.

 

Read and internalize this next sentence – I cannot fail at intuitive eating!

 

One of the biggest objections I hear from women who hesitate to commit to working on their relationship with food through intuitive eating is that they are afraid to fail again. That they’ve done it all and failed, so why should this work.

 

The reason? You have not tried this before. And if you have and you hit some roadblocks, then it’s more than likely that the diet mentality is still lingering. This is NOT FAILURE. This is part of the process.

 

A New Year Decision

 

Take this moment to commit to your intuitive eating journey. Repeat over and over “I cannot fail at intuitive eating” so a new neural pathway forms. Let this next year be the year where you leave dieting and all the negativity that comes with it behind.

 

I am taking new clients now for 2019. If you’d like to speak with me to see if we are a right fit for working together, just click here.

 

Say NO the Next Time Your Doctor Prescribes Weight Loss

It’s sad for me to write this but many doctors deepen the diet mentality of those struggling with their body and their relationship with food. I don’t think they do this to purposely harm, as they have taken an oath to “do no harm”. They just don’t know better.

 

But it’s time to wake them up!

 

Theresa is a chronic dieter, she has been on every diet imaginable to lose weight and mold her body into what society deems acceptable for her. She did lose weight on most of those diets, heck she’s a great rule follower, always was as a kid. But her weight loss was very short-lived. She always gained that weight back plus more.

 

I know you can relate.

 

But this time is different. She has PCOS and insulin resistance and her doctor is telling her to lose weight. He referred her to a nutritionist who will help manage her insulin by putting her on a special diet!

 

Theresa’s inner alarm went off! NO!

 

You see, Theresa has been working on changing her relationship with food through learning intuitive eating. And while she is still at the beginning of her journey, she is totally convinced that diets don’t work. Moreover, it’s the diet and diet mentality that have caused her to enter what was the never-ending restrict-binge cycle. So, the fact that her doctor recommended yet another diet for her really pissed her off.

 

“Doesn’t he realize that his “prescription” of weight loss has not and will never be the answer to managing my PCOS and insulin resistance”, she asked me?

 

Well one would think, but I guess not (sigh!)

 

I encouraged Theresa to go back to her doctor and ask him what treatment he would prescribe for a woman in a smaller body that has PCOS. That’s the treatment she wants.

 

When you go for your annual physical, the nurse tells you to “get on the scale”. You have every right to decline. Do not feel pressured to be weighed, even if the nurse says “I won’t tell you”. Nope! As one of my clients recently told her doctor: “I don’t want my health evaluated based in part by the number on a scale.” Bravo!

 

Betty went to her doctor for her annual checkup. All was well, her labs and blood pressure all great!

 

Doctor said “You should lose a few pounds”.

Betty: “why”?

Doctor: “You gained a few pounds this year”.

Betty: ” Well, last year I was restricting and had an eating disorder”.

Doctor: “Oh”.

End of visit.

 

Stand up for yourself when you go to the doctor. If you have health issues, insist he/she address them from a weight-neutral perspective.

 

What has been your experience with weight discussions at your doctor? Please share below!