After years of dieting, I thought the answer would be “intuitive eating”.
This is it. Yesssss!
“I’ll eat whatever I want, but I just won’t eat too much. I’ll listen reallllyyy closely to my hunger, and all the signs my body is giving me about what I should be eating. And therefore I’ll eat, basically, perfectly, and I’ll be really skinny for GOOD just like I’ve always wanted, because it’ll be coming from within.
BOOM. Figured it OUT. Everything in moderation! It’s all fine in moderation!”
Here’s the problem: doing this “intuitive eating diet” or “hunger fullness diet” for the purpose of being skinny is already flawed. You’re already trying to manipulate the outcome, and already set up to feel guilty when your body wants things that you don’t want it to want.
And if there is one thing I have learned about real normal eating and real intuitive eating, it’s that that pendulum swing to the “I’m starving!!! I want ALL OF THE BROWNIES” is real and extremely necessary. In Minniemaud, (a method geared towards recovery from extreme restrictive eating disorders) part of that pendulum swing comes with Extreme Hunger. Where your body wants and actually needs tens of thousands of calories a day for metabolism and tissue repairs, and also… just Frickin’ Feed Me.
And my own experience recovering from not anorexia, and my experiences in helping people who have dieted for years, is that pendulum swing is a real part of this.
So deciding to “eat intuitively, but not too much” paired with the necessity of giving into extreme hunger on the path to normal eating is… the perfect storm. Or more specifically: it just won’t work. It backfires. It is still a diet.
That is why intuitive eating never worked for me all those years. And actually, I thought it was working for a bit each time. I lost weight sometimes. Because I used it as a diet. It was my little obsessive, but not as obsessive, way to think I was getting over it all.
But it’s not real healing, mind or body, and there was always the swing back. There was always the inevitable weight gain, or the decision to go on another, better diet. Because I was still able to ‘fall off the wagon’ and do it wrong.
Not only that, but being constantly stressed about whether you are eating the right amount, or the ‘right’ foods is miserable. It’s just not real freedom.
And it doesn’t actually work long run. You’re still fighting with your weight, silently fighting with your food, and living in the mental restriction.
So you’ve gotta go on the fuck it diet. For real. Fuck it.