My girls, Bridget and Dana, holistic health coaches and founders of Wellness Lately, love everything health, wellness, and making light of our life choices. Dana shares today's post on intuitive eating and reminds us to tune out of our diet culture and more into our bodies to find success. If you've ever found yourself on the diet rat race and are looking for more peace around food - you'll love this!
Ever feel like you know what to do but, you’re just not doing it? Like, you want to lose weight but you can’t seem to stick to a diet.
I used to feel like that too.
It made me obsessed with food and my body. I’d be fanatical about what I ate, count calories, run hard on the treadmill and all but starve myself on shitty, frozen Weight Watchers food. I’d drive myself crazy listening to all of the shoulds coming at me from the outside world.
It’s a terrible place to be. Miserable with your body. Confidence at an all-time low. And feeling like there’s something wrong with you because you just can’t seem to muster the willpower to lose the weight.
Oh, and it doesn’t even pretend to work. I was the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life.
I was stuck.
And this went on for years.
What I realize now is that I’d lost the connection to myself that I had as a kid.
You know, when you just eat what you want, when you’re hungry, and you stop when you’re full? When you don’t obsess about your body and feel like a psycho around food?
When you just eat and it’s not a big fucking deal.
Crazy, I know.
We lose that natural connection somewhere along the way. Somewhere on our misguided quests to shrink ourselves as tiny as possible because we somehow believe doing so is what will make us feel the way we want to feel in the world – which is loved, whole, and deserving of self-confidence and respect.
Man, we are batshit sometimes, are we not?
It’s not our fault that we slide into this. Most women do.
But it is our fault if we stay stuck there. Because there’s definitely a way out. It’s just not through exercising and dieting to get thin, like we’ve been led to believe.
Feeling good in your own skin is not on the other side of another diet.
Feeling good in your own skin requires reconnecting to that lost way of being in your body and around food. This way is called Intuitive Eating and I’ve been mildly obsessed with the concept lately.
Listen to this:
“We’ve all been there: angry with ourselves for overeating, for our lack of willpower, for failing at yet another diet that was supposed to be the last one. But the problem is not you. It’s that dieting, with its emphasis on rules and regulations, has stopped you from listening to your body – the key to both confidence and well-being.”
BAM! Intuitive Eating. They should teach this shit as a prerequisite for graduating high school.
Intuitive Eating will help you reject dieting, feel satisfied in eating and actually feel your feelings instead of shoving them down your gullet. How novel!
The first piece of Intuitive Eating that really caught my attention was the different eating styles it provides us with. Identifying what your deal is is a great way to start climbing out of this hole. So, which type below would you say you most identify with today?
Summary of Eating Styles (adapted from Intuitive Eating)
The Careful Eater
Trigger: Fitness and Health
Characteristics: Appears to be the perfect eater. Yet anguishes over each food morsel and its effect on the body. On the surface, this person seems health and fitness oriented. Inside, they’re straight tweaking.
The Unconscious Eater
Trigger: Eating while doing something else at the same time
Characteristics: This person is often unaware that she is eating, or how much is being eaten. To sit down and simply eat is often viewed as a waste of time. Eating is usually paired with another activity to be productive. There are four subtypes to this kind of crazy.
Subtype 1: The Chaotic Unconscious Eater
Trigger: Overscheduled life
Characteristics: This person’s eating style is haphazard – gulp ‘n go when the food is available. Seems to thrive on tension.
Subtype 2: The Refuse-Not Unconscious Eater
Trigger: Presence of food
Characteristics: This person is especially vulnerable to candy jars, or food present in meetings or sitting openly on the kitchen counter.
Subtype 3: The Waste-Not Unconscious Eater
Trigger: Free food
Characteristics: This person’s eating drive is often influenced by the value of the food dollar and is susceptible to all-you-can-eat buffets and free food. Yikes!
Subtype 4: The Emotional Unconscious Eater
Trigger: Uncomfortable emotions
Characteristics: Stress of uncomfortable feelings trigger eating – especially when alone. Aka. eating your feelings.
The Professional Dieter
Trigger: Feeling fat
Characteristics: This person is perpetually dieting, often trying the latest commercial diet or diet book. Quickest route to weight gain and self-loathing.
The Intuitive Eater
Trigger: Biological hunger
Characteristics: This person makes food choices without experiencing guilt or an ethical dilemma. Honors hunger, respects fullness, enjoys the pleasure of eating. Is normal.
As I look back at my own struggle, I can definitely see times where I’ve been a Professional Dieter, a Chaotic Unconscious Eater and an Emotional Unconscious Eater, or, you know, all three rolled into one adorable basketcase.
Thankfully, what I most identify with these days is The Intuitive Eater. It’s a great way to not hate yourself and to feel relaxed around food. Hellooooo leftover birthday cake!
What about you? Which eating style best represents where you’re currently at? Leave your answer in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you.
About Bridget & Dana:
Bridget Shannon and Dana Barron are holistic health coaches and the founders of Wellness Lately. Known for their light-hearted, humorous approach, they specialize in helping modern spiritual women shed the weight, have more fun and feel confident in their own skin.
Through their blog, podcast, and live events, they’re on a mission to help women stop “waiting on the weight” and live the life they dream about. Their signature program, Lighten Up, is a 90-day group coaching program that guides women through their holistic, non-diet approach. Learn more on their website, and grab their free guide The Holistic Weight Loss Handbook.