Oh hey, how are you? I’ve been distracted from the computer this week, but I have a good excuse in that I’ve been spending as much time outside as possible in the gorgeous, sunny weather we’ve had here in California:
I’m happy to be here today, though, because I’ve been meaning to write more about how the whole “intuitive eating” thing has been going for me, especially in terms of addressing disordered eating patterns. The term refers to the book by the same name that has been really important for my emotional health:
Incidentally, I’m featured today in an interview series about recovery from eating disorders hosted by my online friend, Jordan Younger, author of the Balanced Blonde blog. <—I’m so grateful to be in a place that can be considered recovery…YAY.
The whole concept of giving up dieting was life-changing, and maybe even life-saving, for me. As someone who has always had a difficult relationship with food and felt like my body needed changing, I fully admit that it’s a tough concept to let go of parameters for when and what to eat and to take a whole different approach.
At first glance, you might think that intuitive eating means eating crap with no guilt, but it’s really about self-awareness and mindfulness. My interpretation is that it’s more about listening to all of your needs and then choosing foods consciously. If you still have reservations about this idea, I would encourage you to check out the book before making a judgment; it’s powerful, powerful stuff.
Another book that I just picked up at the library recently and has had an impact on my thinking is The Primal Blueprint, by Mark Sisson:
I’m not as interested in the dietary aspects of this book as much as the information on exercise and rest in the context of our evolutionary biology. Mark is a former top-notch athlete and has come full-circle when it comes to the repetitive cardiovascular training, what he calls “chronic cardio.” You can listen to a podcast on the topic here.
Where am I going with all of this? Have I give up everything I learned about nutrition and healthy living? Nah, I don’t think so, I kind of think of it as Intuitive Living. The idea is that if I can stay in tune with my emotional needs, then I’m much better at identifying my physical needs including food, rest, recreation, and physical activity. I find myself asking questions before I jump into a pattern, such as would I benefit from extra sleep or would it be better to tackle an early morning workout? Would I feel better having dessert (no judgment!) or connecting with a friend? It changes every time.
It’s a challenge, no doubt, and I’m not free from comparing myself to others, judging myself for mistakes, or getting caught up in fads or charismatic personalities. And, I should say that Intuitive Living also means that I still have to do things that I really don’t want to do, but, hey, we all have responsibilities and that’s a part of modern life. But, when it comes down to it, when I am truly honest with myself and love myself for who I am today, then I feel more freedom and joy than I have ever known.
It feels so good for me to be able to express my thoughts on this topic here, because it keeps me sticking with it and I also love your input. Does this topic of intuitive eating or intuitive living resonate with you? Talk to me!
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