March 30, 2021

Ep 152 - What to do when intuitive eating feels unhealthy

Welcome to How to Love Your Body, the podcast that guides you out of diet culture, into a lifestyle of intuitive eating and towards a life of wellness without the obsession.

A big concern for many people is that the first phase of this work can feel a little “unhealthy” at times. Eating more than usual and often foods that you didn't allow yourself to eat before. Many people take a break from working out as well. All of this PLUS the idea that you’re letting go of the ideal body you've been working towards for the past 10-30 years, that can feel scary and a little icky.

So if you’ve started your journey towards intuitive eating but isn’t feeling very good physically this is the episode for you.

What is the goal with intuitive eating? What is the end game of undieting?

First and foremost it is about letting go of the diet mentality. This is #1 always, it’s about untangling yourself from the harmful messaging that dieting is healthy, that thinner is better and that we have long term control over our weight.

This awareness and new way of thinking is the basis of this work.

However, people can often get stuck in being aware of the diet mentality but living with one foot in and one foot out - often without even knowing it.

 

How can you tell if you’re half in and half out?

 

  • You are allowing all foods but it doesn’t feel good physically
  • You’re understanding that you can’t control your body size like you were told you could but you also don’t trust that your body can handle itself
  • You don’t feel at peace with food - it’s still something you worry about quite often

When we are half in and half out of the diet mentality (it can be hard to uproot all of the beliefs and thoughts that we bring with us from diet culture - but it’s absolutely possible, don’t worry), we cannot take the final steps to wellness without the obsession which MOST people are looking for - and if this is something you don’t care about that is entirely fine as well.

We have done 2 polls on our instagram recently and 98% percent of people say this is what they are working towards wellness without the obsession WWTO.

So we are diving into some things you can work on to steer yourself towards wellness without it ever coming from a place of fear, inadequacy and shame like diet culture teaches us.

What are the things we need to do in order to find wellness in this intuitive eating work?

  1. Motivations MUST move from a “fixing” mindset to an “honoring” mindset

Meaning:

Dieting, weight loss and typical “health” teachings come from a place of fixing and fear. Your body isn’t good enough you need to fix it, those foods are so bad for you, cut this out, remove that from your diet, workout more to burn more calories. You need to be smaller, fitter, and look different…. These motivations of fear, shame and fixing burn out really fast. They also lead to all or nothing thinking, keeping us trapped in the cycle.

So instead we want to incorporate wellness from a place of self compassion and abundance. Instead of needing to fix, you want to ADD things in that honor yourself and your body. So instead of thinking that anything is wrong, we come at this work from an understanding that you are complete and whole just the way you are AND how do you want to feel? What can you ADD to make you feel good and enjoy life to its fullest?

Instead of restriction or “willpower” this type of wellness must always be an addition.

Examples:

  • Adding a salad with your pizza
  • Adding a walk in after sitting at your desk all day
  • Adding a nap when you’re tired
  • Adding certain foods that help with any conditions you may be struggling with

The body does not retaliate against adding but it will backfire when you use restriction to try to get to a place of wellness.

2. Letting go of shoulds and asking yourself what do I actually WANT?

This is a tricky one for a lot of people. Sometimes when we say to let go of all rules and all shoulds this leads to a period of rebelling and that is completely normal. 

What do I want??? All the foods I haven’t been allowing myself for the last decade, thank you very much!

And that is important, that phase needs to occur for most people but when you let go of all shoulds and rules and think about what you actually WANT it can look like this:

What do I want to eat, I can have anything at all…

This permission allows us to take a step back and think about it for a minute without the rebellion energy that comes from breaking the rules.

Sometimes your tastebuds might want cookies for dinner but you might also want to feel good afterwards and you know that wouldn’t feel too great so you opt to make a more traditional meal and then enjoy cookies as well. Leaving you feeling more nourished while also honoring your desire for the cookies. 

Some people believe that if you have to put any effort into wellness it is no longer non-diet but this is not true.

Sometimes you KNOW that walk or yoga class would feel amazing, and you know you enjoy it once you start but getting going feels hard sometimes. To honor yourself this may mean you push yourself to get going now and then. Without rules or shoulds but instead with the mindset of wanting to feel good in your body.

Analogies always help with this, say you want to achieve a goal in your business, you know the outcome is what you want, and you know you love your work but there are days when you have to do tasks that aren’t any fun. Does this mean you shouldn’t do them?

No.

You can choose not to but if the goal is something you really want for yourself then you have to push yourself now and then.

The diet culture version of this would be if you wanted to get a raise at work just to keep up with the Jones’, you hate your job, don’t want to be there but it’s what society expects of you, to climb the ladder and to highly value material success.

That is a similar situation technically but the energy around it is full of should’s, others expectations and overall harm, not benefit.

So your endeavor to wellness without the obsession can feel like the first example, a little but of effort is needed at times, it’s not always 100% enjoyable BUT it is overall peaceful, pleasurable and for YOU, not for anyone else, not to fit into a box of what society says you should do but your own genuine desires. 

3. Being able to shift when things don’t feel good

Here is a situation that we hear a lot:

I’m allowing all food but the past week I’ve just been eating and eating and it feels horrible, I almost just want to go back on a diet.

THIS is all or nothing thinking that follows us from diet culture. This doesn’t feel good, let’s do a complete 180 and overhaul everything I’m doing and get on a strict plan.

NO!

Instead we want to cultivate the tools to make small shifts within intuitive eating to feel better.

What does this look like?

  • Getting back into the present moment, what would feel good right now? 
  • Not eating many veggies? Add in some with your dinner tonight.
  • Haven’t been moving and want to get going? Go for a walk

It’s about small steps in the right direction (where YOU want to go), not big, drastic, overnight changes.

This of course is all easier said than done and is largely mindset based and that is why we are so excited to be offering our exclusive Wellness Without the Obsession workshop as April’s monthly bonus in The UnDiet Collective.

We will be running this workshop live on April 7th (the replay will also be available) for our members in The UnDiet Collective.

You have the opportunity to join us (with a yearly subscription - which is only $15/m) starting today March 30 to April 1 at noon pacific.

To learn more go to thebodylovesociety.com/app or email us at hello@thebodylovesociety.com if you have any questions, you can also send us a DM on instagram we are @thebodylovesociety .

See you next week!!

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