Yesterday, a friend asked me how my efforts at Intuitive Eating were going. Honestly, I feel good about my new found awareness of my hunger signals. However, my weight is still fluctuating which sends out mental red flags telling me that I need to get back on a diet – any diet. I have dubbed that annoying inner voice my Fat Critic but you could also call it the Food Police.
As a matter of fact, the the fourth principle of intuitive eating is Challenge The Food Police. If you haven’t read my previous posts about intuitive eating – READ THEM NOW! Just kidding. I have been reviewing the 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating – as outlined in the book, “Intuitive Eating” by Evelyn Tribole, M.S, R.D. and Elyse Resch, M.S., R.D.
Challenge The Food Police
Scream a loud “NO” to thoughts in your head that declare you’re “good” for eating minimal calories or “bad” because you ate a piece of chocolate cake. The Food Police monitor the unreasonable rules that dieting has created. The police station is housed deep in your psyche and its loud speaker shouts negative barbs, hopeless phrases and guilt-provoking indictments. Chasing the Food Police away is a critical step in returning to Intuitive Eating.
How do you chase the food police away? To find some answers or at least some suggestions, I decided to join the Intuitive Eating Online Community. Their tagline is “Empowering You To Create A Healthy Relationshiop With Food, Mind and Body.” My kind of people! The community is based on the book “Intuitive Eating” by Evelyn Tribole, M.S, R.D. and Elyse Resch, M.S., R.D. The Intuitive Eating Online Community was created as a safe and nurturing place — free from “diet talk“, “fat talk“, and body bashing. It was also free to join so I did.
What I found was that I am not alone. Everything I have been thinking, feeling and experiencing has been thought, felt and experienced by others before. Everyone has a different method for coping with the food police in your head and in your life. Personally, I like the method mentioned in chapter 8 of the book – “Intuitive Eating” by Evelyn Tribole, M.S, R.D. and Elyse Resch, M.S., R.D.
Self-Awareness: The Ultimate Weapon Against The Food Police
The next time you see yourself eating in a way that feels uncomfortable, unsatisfying, or even out of control, give yourself the gift of remembering what you were thinking just before you took the first bite of food. Examine that thought and challenge it. As you get more adept at the Intuitive Eating process, you’ll be able to catch these food thoughts before they make you feel bad or cause undesirable behavior.
Banish the Food Police that keep you from making peace with food.
By listing to your instinctual signals, you’ll have the opportunity to form a healthy relationship with food.
I have these last two sentences taped above my desk. As I continue to learn more about Intuitive Eating and discover helpful tools and resources like the Intuitive Eating Online Community, I am beginning to understand that slowing down and giving myself time to think about what I am doing rather than racing through life in a reactionary manner is key to a healthier and more fulfilling lifestyle. This is not a simple task but it’s a lot easier knowing that there is a whole community out there doing just what I am doing. I am not in this alone.