If you read any “mindful eating” advice, it will tell you that the keys to a good relationship with food are:
- Eat What You Want, When You’re Hungry
- Stop When You’re Satisfied
And I agree. After all, it is logical and natural- and following those guidelines will lead you to health and nourishment. In the right state the body should be able to do this no problem.
So why is it so hard? Why do people hear this advice and think I can’t trust myself to stop when I’m satisfied!? I’ll stuff myself! I can’t trust myself to listen to my own desires? I’ll never stop eating! I’ll only eat cookies!
Why It Hasn’t Worked
It has been so hard to trust yourself because your mind is still scared that food is scarce. The only reason stopping when you are full is hard, is because you are petrified you won’t feed yourself well in the future. And why shouldn’t you be? You haven’t seemed to be feeding yourself well in the past!
When you aren’t scared that you will deny yourself food in the future, stopping when you are satisfied is the pleasurable thing to do. And it is not a struggle or a fight.
That is why committing to not depriving food quantity or type is essential to intuitive eating. The body and mind know when you are tricking it; Well I’ll say I’m allowed to eat ice cream, but I better stop at 1/2 cup. If I can’t stop at a half a cup I must not be listening to my hunger anyway, because who would really be hungry for ice cream. Its not nutrition like liver or kale!
Fuck It. Seriously.
You will have an impossible time making peace with food, and letting yourself happily stop when you are good and satisfied if you are still telling yourself, Ok, I’ll let myself eat as much pasta as I want tonight, but I better not want this tomorrow too, because it can’t be good to have too much pasta two days in a row.
No! Your worried mind cannot know what you need. AND as long as you are making weird arbitrary rules you heard from Cosmo Magazine or The South Beach Diet, your body will not be able to relax and actually eat what it wants. And it will not be able to relax and actually stop when it wants.
Because truly, once you get used to it, it become easy.
The hard part, is being strong enough to get to the easy part.
So Where To Start?
- Commit to letting yourself eat whatever you crave. Whatever. You. Crave.
- Trust that it is a process and be in it for the journey. You won’t trust yourself overnight. It takes time.
- Expect you may gain weight in the process- see it as part of the healing. Hard but often very necessary.
Trust Trust Trust.
Easier said than done, but Oh So Worth It.