Intuitive Eating Enlightenment

I haven’t written many posts about food and nutrition. Don’t be fooled – this is not any indication that I don’t care about food. Let it be known that I LOVE food. But I am not a master chef nor do I have a tremendous amount of knowledge or insight into the science of diet and nutrition. So I suppose I feel like I have fewer interesting things to say about food than the next fitness blogger.

But recently I read a diet post that I couldn’t help but discuss and share. Hayley is a fellow running blogger who I recently started following. Her post about her journey to Intuitive Eating was extremely thoughtful and spoke to me and my like-minded views about dieting and human interactions with food.

The general concept of Intuitive Eating is simple enough: Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full, eat healthfully but allow yourself to indulge and enjoy food without punishing yourself or feeling guilty. It is not a diet with rules and restrictions but a set of values that can serve as a guide to a positive relationship with food and a positive perception of ourselves.

Do I think that the Intuitive Eating concept would have played out well for me several years ago (i.e. in college when I was eating minimal vegetables and infinite sodas and late night french fries with reckless abandon)? Perhaps not. But in the past several years I have begun to appreciate the way that healthy foods make me feel. Greek yogurt, spinach salads, and almond butter are now some of the foods that I enjoy most. Water is nearly always my drink of choice. And most nights I am completely content with my dessert looking like this…

Red grapes are my current fruit obsession. I buy a giant bag and demolish it within the first several nights of the week.

Red grapes are my current fruit obsession. I buy a giant bag and demolish it within the first several nights of the week.

But, then again, a handful of nights I still really want my dessert to look like this…

Coldstone Mint Mint Chocolate Chocolate Chip. I can't even say the lengthy name of this specialty ice cream without drooling.

Coldstone Mint Mint Chocolate Chocolate Chip. I can’t even say the lengthy name of this specialty ice cream without drooling.

And one of my favorite foods in the world is still pizza…

One of Jeremy's and my homemade pizzas. Yum!

One of Jeremy’s and my homemade pizzas. Yum!

I appreciate that the principles of Intuitive Eating insist that I should enjoy those things without dwelling ceaselessly over calorie count or deciding that, because I ate them, I am suddenly fat. The Intuitive Eating website states this perfectly: “You will not suddenly get a nutrient deficiency or gain weight from one snack, one meal, or one day of eating. It’s what you eat consistently over time that matters, progress not perfection is what counts.”

Calorie tracking, eliminating food groups, and cleanses may work for some people but I know that for me personally none of those will ever be a lasting lifestyle choice. The Intuitive Eating concepts seem perfectly natural, which is why they appeal to me.

For the most part, these concepts already speak to my current approach to dieting but I hope that keeping them in mind will help me to improve my attitude in some regards. For example, I hope to completely rid myself of that inner negativity that sometimes surfaces when I indulge and makes me feel guilty for what I have eaten (who hasn’t heard this voice at some point in their lives?). I am a healthy person so why should I dwell over the things that are already in my stomach instead of allowing myself to enjoy them?

I hope that everyone will check out Hayley’s blog (because it’s awesome) and will share their thoughts about this post!

Happy 4th of July Week!

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4 thoughts on “Intuitive Eating Enlightenment

    • Because everyone’s brain really always wants Coldstone. It just takes a small reminder to trigger the craving. Sorry, I may have just re-triggered it with this delayed reply!

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