What Intuitive Eating did for me.
A school counselor recommended the Intuitive Eating book to me in October 2008 after I’d appeared in her office, yet again struggling with restrictive eating and self-hatred that tainted everything I did.
So I bought the book and read it. I read it again like I was reading the final Harry Potter book, and my mind opened to the novel idea that I could actually rely on my body to tell me what it needs. I was intrigued, but at first I treated it like every other diet book, with the same obsessive hope “This is the one. This one will set me free.” So I threw myself a little donut and cheesecake party, followed by a Reese’s and Lucky Charms party that lasted a few months and I got frustrated that things weren’t happening just as the book said they would. Wasn’t my initial experimentation with forbidden food supposed to taper off, then shrink to a minimum while I intuitively chose to eat salad and oatmeal? After about a year and a half, I realized Intuitive eating is not a linear process. I know the book mentioned that somewhere, but my brain just said “yeah yeah, whatever, now get to the part where I don’t diet anymore and I still lose weight.”
I’ve “started over” a bunch of times, because took me awhile to let go of the dieting mindset and make peace with food, and I still struggle, but finally I learned that IE is more to me than learning how to eat again. It created a spiderweb affect in my mind, connecting to a hundred other things I needed to deal with that I had no idea were there, such as my issues with fear and anxiety, my deep-seated self-esteem issues, my resistance to change and my inability to let go.
IE was the first domino that set me on my journey of putting myself back together and building myself up, thinking for myself and learning who I really am. It was the first step in learning to love myself and my body the way I am. I haven’t gotten any smaller since starting IE, and I never weigh myself, but weight doesn’t matter that much to me anymore. IE was the beginning of my new life, because I learned that I can trust myself and that change is in my own hands.
Have you ever had a turning point like this in your life? I’d love to hear about it.