I have been working on Intuitive Eating for 6 years. 6 years! I was introduced to it at The Center for Change when I entered recovery from my Eating Disorder. It is a process and I have learned so much from it. I am forever grateful, happy, and fortunate to be an Intuitive Eater. Here are a few things I have learned:
1. Focus on healing your relationship with food. Not on your weight. As you heal your relationship with food your weight will get to its natural set point. This may be higher than you wish it was but overtime as you treat your body with love and respect and fuel it with healthy foods you will feel healthy and love your body because it is uniquely yours and you are being a healthy you, without comparing it to anyone else.
2. Make food your friend, not your enemy. Think of all the good food does for your body. There are so many healthy foods out there that feel SO good in your body and give you energy, health and life. Recognize that carbs, calories, & fat are NOT bad!!!!!!!! In fact, you need them. Just not too much. And your body can tell you when you've had too much. Also I have found it very important to not get too hungry, or too full. But to always strive to stay in the medium. But of course, there will be times when you do, so just be cautious of those times and take extra care.
3. Find healthy, delicious foods that you love and keep them in your house. This will help you go with the healthier option when you are making the choice of what to eat. This way both your body and your taste buds can feel good. Healthy AND delicious has become my motto. Throughout the IE process I have just found that it FEELS good to eat healthy and keep my body energized.
4. Recognize what Healthy REALLY means. low calorie doesn't mean healthy. Fad diets/ diet foods aren't healthy. Your body needs calories. Instead of focusing on what NOT to put into your body focus on what TO put into your body. Vitamins, nutrients, fruits, veggies, whole grains, etc. and remember you don't have to eat perfectly to be healthy. You can treat yourself to your favorite completely unhealthy treats sometimes too. Just use balance and moderation. If you have had struggles with binge eating there may be some foods that you just have to stay away from for a time and that is okay. Find what feels good to you mind, body and spirit.
5. Keep food in its place. Eat to live, don't live to eat. But also find the pleasure and satisfaction factor in your eating, that is very important!
6. Be okay with being different and don't compare what you eat to others. Dieting/calorie counting is the norm now days. To be successful with IE you have to disregard all the diet talk you'll hear and listen to how your body feels instead. Your body knows best.
7. Be patient and loving and kind towards yourself. Come from a place of body love, not body hate. Why is taking care of your body important to you? I want to take care of my body because it makes me a better mom/wife, I have more energy, my mind is more alert and clear, & I feel more connected to my spirit. I can literally tell a difference in my emotions when I am eating healthy vs. when I am not. I feel deeper joys and deeper sorrows when I eat healthy, but I like that. I want to feel raw emotion. I feel that when I overindulge in food it blocks out my emotions and I can't experience life to the fullest. I want to feel things as they really are. Remembering this is more motivating to me to take care of my body than thinking of losing weight. I have come to care more about living my life focused on the most important things than losing weight.
8. There will be many set backs and many mistakes. Don't hyperventilate. Just learn from them and improve little bits each day. Pray for help. You may think Heavenly Father doesn't care about your eating habits but he does. Especially if food is your weakness. He will help you. Study the Word of Wisdom and the sanctity of the body. You will come to love and appreciate your body and view it as the gift that it is. When you gain a testimony of that you can't help but care for your body out of love and view it less from the worlds eyes and more from Heavenly Fathers. At all times FOCUS on your spirit and how your spirit feels. We only need care for the body because of how it affects our spirits. All of God's laws are spiritual.
9. You don't have to do militant exercise to feel energized and healthy. Just a little bit of what feels good to your body everyday can make a big difference. I think sometimes we think I don't have time or the means to do a big workout so I just won't do anything at all. When really even just a short time in your living room of doing what feels good to your body can make a big difference in your energy level and health. You don't need a big exercise program. We don't need six packs. We just need to get moving and be active. FEEL the difference.
10. Love your body no matter what anybody else may say about it! Don't let anybody else's opinions of you tear you down. When you are doing whats right, you will have confidence. Keep your head up. Take care of yourself. You are a steward over your body.