Intuitive Eating and your natural weight
Intuitive Eating isn’t a weight loss program.
It is an incredibly normal desire to want ‘weight loss’. Why? Because every corner we turn is a reminder that we should be trying to get smaller. From before and after celebration photos on your Instagram feed, to switching on the television to watch the morning news show talking about the latest ‘weight loss diet’, to a flick through a magazine, heck – it’s plastered on signs as you’re zooming to work down the highway! I like to re-iterate that it’s an incredibly normal thing to experience the desire to lose weight in the current culture we live in.
It is a hard truth for a lot of people to swallow that our weight is not an accurate indicator of our health, especially Health Professionals not trained in frameworks like Health At Every Size, Non-Diet, Intuitive Eating, so and so forth. An abundance of research (and experience) tells us – it is not our weight that makes us ‘healthy’, but our ‘behaviours’. Think about it: A lot of us are willing to adopt some pretty restrictive, horrendous, and health harming behaviours, in order to shed a few kilos. (AKA: all restrictive diets – even ‘wellness’/’lifestyle’ co-opted). At what point do we begin realise this isn’t actually helping, and start to challenge this?
Intuitive eating is not a weight loss program. If you find yourself crossing paths with someone who offers Intuitive Eating for the purpose of weight loss – run away, FAST – it is unethical.
The fact of the matter is that we all have a natural weight. A natural weight that is very VARIED according to who we are. Our weight naturally settles at where it feels best for us when we are eating with awareness and connection to our hunger and fullness cues, eating food mindfully when comforting with food (because yes, comfort is a normal role food plays – in the absence of ‘numbing’), partaking in enjoyable movement that makes our body and mind feel good, and eating in a way that is satisfying for us and for how the food makes our mind and body feel, and most importantly: eating guilt free. AKA: Intuitive Eating. The hub to all of this is being connected to ourselves.
You often find your natural weight when you head down the journey of Intuitive Eating. For some, weight may go up, for others, weight may go down, for the rest, weight may not change at all. If you’ve been restricting food intake for a long time and ignoring hunger cues then it’s likely weight MAY experience a shift upward. If you’ve been ignoring fullness cues, using food to mindlessly numb, and not partaking in enjoyable movement – it’s likely weight MAY shift downward. But you really cannot tell what weight is going to do and weight is not a focus of Intuitive Eating.
It’s normal to have the desire for weight loss but it’s important that this desire is put on the ‘back burner’ while in the journey of Intuitive Eating. If it’s the sole focus, it will constantly disrupt and sabotage all of your chances of becoming a fully fledged Intuitive Eater. It will be the voice in the back of your head that is screaming all the doubts and inhibiting your progression of the path of Intuitive Eating.
Intuitive Eating therefore, often results in discovery of your natural weight. It is important to note that natural weight looks different on everyone and there is no one way, shape, form, or weight that we are all meant to be.
I can’t help but slide this in here: “Did you know that in the 1600’s women in thin bodies use to dress up in bulky garments to fit in with the larger body ideal? This illustrates perfectly that it’s not actually weight we are about… conforming to social ideals is what we’re truly addicted to”. – Joni Seeto
We truly just wanted to be accepted. Intuitive Eating allows you to accept from a space within. There’s nothing greater than that.
The Intuitive Dietitian xx