Friends! You’ve made it back. Thanks for joining me as we venture through the “how to’s” of the intuitive eating principles. This time we will talk about how to make peace with food!
Any-who. The hardest part about intuitive eating is disconnecting morality and internal fears with specific foods. To make the transition from food being the enemy, to being completely neutral towards it.
Food becomes… well? Food. That’s it. The novelty of it basically wears off. Especially with your fear/favorite foods.
So, intuitive eating principle number 3.
How to make peace with food.
There are no good foods and bad foods.
Now please hear me. There are no good foods and bad foods. Especially in the sense that YOU are good or bad because of specific foods you do or do not eat.
I’m not going to sit here and say that a chocolate bar has the same nutritional values of some raw broccoli and that all foods are equal- they aren’t. BUT there is not one food that is BAD to eat. Not one. All foods are just food.
Chocolate isn’t bad.
Broccoli isn’t God’s gift to your diet.
Cookies are just fine.
Chicken can get boring as crap if it is the only kind of meat you’ll eat.
And for heaven’s sake- you are NOT a better human if you eat all the foods that diet culture has deemed “worthy” for consumption. You are not the scum between my toes if you eat all the foods that are banned for some reason or another. You just aren’t. Because food is just food.
(AND to hit on another topic that I won’t rant about right now… that fat person across the way eating Cheetos? You aren’t better than them if you are crunchin’ on your carrot sticks. Because food doesn’t make you good, or them bad. BECAUSE ITS JUST FOOD.)
Stop counting… everything.
If you really want to make peace with food- you’ll first acknowledge that there are no “good” and “bad” foods. Then you’ll give up the system that you use to measure a food’s inherent “goodness” or “badness.”
Counting macros, calories, colored tuperwares, points, or whatever other system you are using is all fine and dandy in theory. However, it is very hard to not use whatever counting value that you are using to measure the morality of each food.
It’s far too easy to become scared of and feel guilty for eating “yellow container foods,” “high-point foods,” foods with “too many grams of x, y, or z…”
It’s also far too easy to feel good about yourself if you ate only “green container foods,” “zero-point foods,” or foods that just happen to say that they are “organic.”
(Just so you know… organic- in simplest of terms- means to be derived from living matter… and there are a lot of peer-reviewed studies that suggest they aren’t really any healthier for you.)
To commit that there are no good and bad foods is to commit to leaving behind your system that deems foods “good” or “bad.”
Give yourself permission to eat what you want to eat.
Now that we have settled that there are no good and bad foods, you have full permission to tell yourself you can eat what you want to eat.
Now, the caveat is simply that you still need to be aware of your hunger cues…
BUT YOU ARE FREE TO EAT WHAT YOU WANT.
You’re craving a cookie? Awesome. Eat the cookie.
Are you drooling over Mom’s green bean casserole? Perfect. Eat it.
Do you just love steamed broccoli? Great- eat it.
With no more rules about certain foods being good or bad to eat- you get to eat it if you want it.
Tune into your hunger cues.
Now- with the freedom (and power) to eat what you want and when you want it, comes great responsibility.
You craved the cookie. Awesome.
You ate the cookie. Perfect.
You loved it and ate another. Great.
But you obviously don’t need 50 cookies, right? You have the responsibility to listen for the cue that your body will naturally give to you to tell you that the craving has been satisfied and your body doesn’t need any more cookies.
If you are in eating disorder recovery- especially from a disorder with restriction as the main behavior-, being aware of these cues and regaining the ability to listen can be super difficult.
But, it is one of the most important steps.