Common IE misconception explored
Intuitive Eating has a lot of misconceptions attached to it. These often come from people who have not taken the time to properly learn the **Evidence Based Framework** that is Intuitive Eating.
Truth bomb: Intuitive Eating is an EVIDENCE BASED FRAMEWORK. It’s not an opinion. It’s not a trend. It’s not fluff. It’s a framework. A self-care framework at that. And it’s Evidence Based.
One of these common misconceptions is that you can “eat whatever you want, whenever the hell you want”.
(Not the case).
Now, I do think it’s important to highlight that toward the start &/or while inside the journey of IE, amidst the nitty gritty of it all, it can, and is OKAY, to look like finally eating whatever it is that you want, and however much of it you want.
(With a nifty little tool that will teach us everything we ever need to know about ourselves called – AWARENESS... & reflection).
Working with a practitioner trained in IE helps to create that interceptive awareness too if you’re unfamiliar with being aware & the reflective process.
Awareness and reflection is an integral part of the journey inward.
I like to be really transparent with people so when they reach a stage or a point, they can be prepared for it (as much as they can be!), and it IS true that sometimes, the beginning stages of the Intuitive Eating journey (or any stage!), when deprivation (whether psychological, physiological - sometimes both!) of particular foods is FINALLY cast aside, it can (and does often) look like the first two images. This is really normal, and also, really okay.
It’s a pretty normal response to eat all the food if we have been under under-eating for some time, and/or when we finally remove the morality (i.e. guilt/shame) attached to certain foods.
This is actually an incredibly important part of the journey.
But it’s important to note: It doesn’t end there.
Gentle Nutrition is the 10th Principle of Intuitive Eating. And it’s there because Nutrition actually doesn’t have so much to do with “Developing a positive relationship with food” so much as the following does: releasing food fear &/or morality attached to food, feeding ourselves enough in regards to hunger/fullness, finding enjoyable movement, and finding ways to cope with our emotions other than solely using food. Once we’ve got our “relationship with food healed”, we move to Gentle Nutrition.
Dietitians, Nutritionists and any practitioner practising IE with clients and trained in it, LOVE nutrition! It's why we started our journeys in the first place.
But, it is difficult, and sometimes detrimental, to discuss 'nutrition' with someone in a diet mentality mind.
We start with the relationship with food and body... first and foremost. And move forward from there, with the last principle a discussion on Gentle Nutrition.
While the end result of being an Intuitive Eater will often look like balance and you’ll be aware of what foods feel comfortable in your body, as well as the foods that satisfy you, according to your hunger and fullness, and successfully find other strategies to cope with emotion other than solely using food (PS food totally has it’s place in comfort eating even when you’re a fully fledged Intuitive Eater!!!! You bet it does), the spaces in BETWEEN and while first learning Intuitive Eating, things CAN look like the first two images. (Again this is OKAY).
I wanted to highlight this because often in these spaces people think they are doing something wrong. In fact, they are not! Intuitive Eating is no right or wrong. It’s about having trust and this is also why I think it’s paramount to have a support network when learning a new practice such as Intuitive Eating.
I felt a big pull to share this because there isn’t a right way or wrong way to do IE or be an Intuitive Eater. It’s SO individual. It also takes weeks, to months, to years and I also wholeheartedly believe it’s a practice. Meaning it’s a work in progress, rather than the ascertainment of, or a “goal” to reach. Even the most fully fledged Intuitive Eaters are still working hard on that interceptive awareness until it becomes a part of their being with fluidity.
The Intuitive Dietitian xx