Weight, dieting, body image, and the myriad of other topics associated with these three words are constantly subjects of thought, discussion, and observance due to incessant marketing in America. If you read my first blog about Intuitive Eating and you are back, welcome back! If you are just tuning in, Intuitive Eating is a book written by two fabulous dietitians, Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD and Elyse Resch MS, RD. It can also be considered a guiding light out of inappropriate guilt and shame with food and our bodies and an introduction to freedom with food and peace with the body.
There are 10 principles of intuitive eating. The first two, “Reject the Diet Mentality” and “Honor your Hunger”, were our topics of discussion last time. Today we will dive right into principles 3 and 4!
“Make Peace with Food”
is principle number three. Several years ago while leading an exposure group for clients with bulimia, I had a client declare to the group as she chose her doughnut out of the box provided for the group, “I am now going to shake hands with this doughnut.” She proceeded to eat it and enjoy it, but her declaration was a funny and clever way of saying that she had decided to be willing to make peace with a fear food that in the past she had been afraid of and binged on probably many times.
So many people with history of yo-yo dieting, disordered eating, or eating disorders are at war with food. Food is the enemy and must be avoided therefore conquered. Not all food of course. There are the foods that don’t cause any trepidation at all like celery, lettuce, rice cakes and all of their friends which also have little to no flavor, enjoyment, or calories. But then there are the “bad foods” like pizza, ice cream, and French fries that really just have to be avoided at all costs.
The only problem is this always leads to a preoccupation with these foods that are labeled as “bad” and avoided and can, in some cases, lead to overeating or binge eating. It is the belief of many dietitians, myself included, that there are actually no good foods or bad foods. Food is just food and once full permission with all foods are given there will peace. All food will be appreciated and eaten in variety, balance, and moderation.
“Challenge the Food Police”
is the fourth principle and is closely related to making peace with food. You see, making peace with food and ultimately intuitive eating is only possible when you silence that critical voice making all the rules about what is “right” and “good” to eat and what is “wrong” and “bad” to eat. If all foods are on an even playing field and all food can be enjoyed equally when they sound good and would be satisfying to your body, then you can fire the squad of task masters screaming at you in your head!
If you have enjoyed this short synopsis of the principles of Intuitive Eating you can find more information at www.intuitiveeating.com and stay tuned for my next blog about the next two principles of Intuitive Eating, “Feel Your Fullness” and “Discover the Satisfaction Factor.” Until then, may you begin or continue the journey to freedom with food and peace with your body! If you have further questions or need direction about getting help for disordered eating or treatment for an eating disorder, please contact me HERE.