I had some real misconceptions about intuitive eating. At times, I associated it with giving up, not caring, gaining weight, or only eating junk food. Then at other times, I thought of it as diet plan with rules that may or may not work for me. None or that is correct. Intuitive eating is eating according to my own body and mind. It's in line with my own values. I value health, freedom, flexibility, and fun. It's all of those! It's what each individual person most needs. If you like variety, or you like structure, or you like to snack, or you like big meals, it will always be what you need, and if your needs change, it will too. Once that clicks, you have no use for other people's meal plans and miracle solutions. It's the coolest thing ever!
It reminds me of a Tabitha Farrar video on her relationship with movement. Someone asked if she exercised now, like that would be frowned upon, or not allowed if you've ever had a problem with compulsive exercise. She said something like, "When you're recovered, you can do whatever the f**k you want! That's the point." I loved that. It made me think about the way I eat. When I was deep in diet mentality, or first trying to untangle myself from it, any attempt to eat a little healthier, or eat more plants, or anything like that would stress me out, feel restrictive, and then blow up in my face. That's because I always made it about weight, fear, and rules. Right/wrong, good/bad, succeed/fail, I couldn't conceive it in any other way.
Now that weight, fear, and rules don't enter into my food decisions, I can always eat in whatever way feels best today. I never feel like I'm locked into something, or not allowed something. I don't feel like it's possible to make a mistake, or like I'm stuck on some path that may be wrong for me. Of course I'm not! If I don't like my lunch, or my fullness level, or my energy after a meal, I can make different choices in the next instant to perfectly suit what I do need and want. THAT is intuitive eating. It's the ability to recognize what I need and honor it without anybody's permission or approval. I truly thought that if I was going to "do" intuitive eating, it would be about following some principles written by some dietitian ladies. 🤣 Like that would be my new thing that I did, always what somebody else said. NO! Those dietitians are only trying to teach us to think for ourselves and reconnect with what WE need. Once you've got that, you're free! The idea of following a list of food rules will seem as absurd as sticking to a pee routine, or a breathing schedule, maybe a blinking scheme. "I don't need help with those. Thanks. Happens all by itself." Food can be like that!