How To Start Eating Intuitively |9 Things That Made The Transition Easier For Me

How To Start Eating Intuitively |9 Things That Made The Transition Easier For Me

Diet culture is smart. It convinces us that we have to follow a specific program or meal plan IF we have any hopes of losing weight or becoming healthy for that matter. It knows just what to say to get us absorbed in its weight loss messages and health promises.

After a while even when we try to free ourselves from diet culture and give up dieting completely we oftentimes feel stuck. Just plain stuck!  Stuck, not knowing what to do or how to move forward. This was definitely my story. I went through years and years of my life trying diet after diet, meal plan after meal plan and nothing seemed to work long term. Maybe you can relate.

I eventually decided to give up dieting completely and made it a goal to lose weight naturally, without following a diet or a meal plan that someone made for me. I would have to say… I was “successful” at losing weight. I lost over 40 pounds. Because I had lost this weight, without dieting, I thought that meant that I had built a healthy relationship with food and was officially free from diet culture. Unfortunately for me… that was just not the case.

Here’s the thing, not too long ago I started reading a book on Intuitive Eating and discovered that although I had lost over 40 pounds and ate pretty “healthy,” I didn’t actually have food freedom. Diet culture’s beliefs were so ingrained in my head that even after I truly believed that I had escaped, it had still been there influencing me without me even knowing. (You can read more about that in the post, My Emotional Goodbye Letter To Diet Culture.)

Here’s a link to the book on Intuitive Eating just in case you want to check it out. Just so you know, if you purchase the book through this link I may receive a small commission from Amazon.

Why I Decided To Put Weight Loss On The Back Burner…

Recently, after years and years of being influenced by diet culture, I decided that I needed to put weight loss on the back burner and start eating intuitively, in an attempt to get healthy, free myself from food drama, and truly build a healthy relationship with food. (In the post, Why I Decided To Put Weight Loss On The Back Burner And Start Eating Intuitively, I talk about this decision in detail. I also explain what intuitive eating is and the four biggest benefits that I discovered.)

Is This You???

Maybe you are like me and you’ve been influenced by diet culture most of your life, but you’ve come realize that dieting will never work long-term. You want so badly to live free from food drama and completely get the voice of diet culture out of your head. Your desire is to get healthy and you are willing to put weight loss on the back burner to make that happen.

You’re ready to go out on a limb and try something that you’ve never tried before… listening to your body and what it wants by beginning to eat intuitively, BUT you just don’t know where to start. That’s exactly why I decided to write this post! Transitioning to intuitive eating after years of dieting is not easy… honestly, it’s downright scary, but there are some things that I did to make the transition easier and I wanted to share them with you.

9 Things That Made My Transition Intuitive Eating Easier

#1 Got Rid Of Clothes That Did Not Fit Me

I got rid of all the clothes in my closet that did not fit me and I am slowly replacing them with clothes that actually fit me, at the weight that I am right now. I realized that keeping clothes that do not fit does not serve me in any way. They do not help me to accept the body that I have. By keeping them, they would keep me thinking about the what-ifs and dreaming about the possibility of one day being able to fit into them. If I need smaller clothes in the future then I will buy them when that time comes.

#2 Threw My Scale Away

I used to weigh myself weekly. When I started eating intuitively, I decided to accept my body as it is right now as I work towards true food freedom. To be able to do that I needed to take weight loss off of the table and not focus on it at all.

I decided to get rid of my scale because I will no longer define my worth by the number on a scale. I will no longer let the scale be the determining factor as to whether I am healthy or not… sexy or not… have willpower or not… or am one step closer to an “acceptable” weight or not.

The scale no longer has a place in my home. I will determine my health by how I am feeling, not by the number on the scale.

#3 Threw Away Any Products That Reminded Me Of Dieting

If you have been reading my blog for a while then you know that about a year and a half ago I gave up dieting and set out to lose weight naturally. For some reason though, I still held on to things from past diets like plate dividers and container systems that tell you how much you should eat. Although I never used them, once I gave up on dieting, I still hung onto them “just in case.” When I decided to start eating intuitively I thought it was a good time to get rid of them, once and for all! When times get hard, which I’m sure they will, I do not want to be reminded or tempted to diet.

#4 Threw Away All Diet Focused Books And Cookbooks

On my bookshelf, I had diet books and cookbooks from the past that I would look at from time to time. I decided to get rid of them because I did not want to pass by them, on a daily basis, and be triggered by them and their diet messages.

#5 Unfollowed Certain People On Social Media

If you are anything like I was, you follow lots of people promoting weight loss on social media. I used to do it because it gave me “motivation” to continue on to get to my “goal” weight when things got hard.

The reality is, the only thing that following those people did for me was kept me surrounded by the thoughts of diet culture on a daily basis. They constantly reminded me of what I should and should not be doing IF I wanted to be “healthy” and lose weight. I eliminated those messages from my life, by unfollowing everyone who advocates weight loss on social media. The transition to intuitive eating is hard enough and daily triggers from diet culture will only make it harder.

#6 Followed People On Social Media Who Advocated for Intuitive Eating

Right after I unfollowed everyone advocating weight loss on social media, I made it a point to follow people who advocated for Intuitive Eating. That way when I am looking for motivation, I have a place to go that is full of the right type of motivation. The motivation that they will give will push me to be better, encourage me to listen to my body, and confirm that I am valued at the size and weight that I am at right now. These messages are totally different from what I used to get from those immersed in diet culture.

#7 Vowed Not To Look At Calories On Food

I realized that after years of dieting and being told the “importance” of checking calories, I am now very triggered by calories on food labels.

Calories make me second guess my food choices and inevitably make me want to eat less, even if my body is telling me to eat more of that thing. I do not look at calories anymore. If I want to check the ingredient list on a package, I will use my hand to cover the top of the nutrition label so I can only see the ingredient list. I know that looking at calories on food labels will set me back so I’m choosing to try my best to eliminate that trigger from my life. This is still pretty challenging for me right now, but I know in the long run I will be better off.

#8 Removed Food Rules That I Didn’t Know I Had Set For Myself

As a result of diet culture’s perceptions and beliefs, even after I had given up dieting, I still had food rules that I had set for myself. I wasn’t even aware that I had mentally set these rules. Things like:

“I probably shouldn’t have too many carbs during any one day.”

“I shouldn’t eat too late.”

“I should use portion control.”

“I shouldn’t eat white sugar.”

By removing these food rules I am able to live my life freely, eating the foods that I want, without any guilt, shame, or regret.

#9 Committed To The Process

I’m not silly enough to think that becoming an intuitive eater will be an easy process. After all, I am attempting to undo years of mental damage caused by beliefs that diet culture instilled in me. I’ve also fallen out of touch with my body and true hunger and fullness cues. I know that this will be a hard and extended process, but I’ve committed myself to the process. I will keep going no matter how hard it is or how long it takes.

These are the 9 things that I did when I fully committed to intuitive eating and they really have made a world of a difference for me. Starting to intuitively eat after years of dieting is hard… real dang hard! I know that for a fact because I’m in the trenches trying to figure this intuitive eating thing out myself. When I find things that actually work for me, I want to make it a point to come on here and share because if I can help to make the process even a little easier for you, I want to.

 

Do you think any of these things will help you out as you make the transition to intuitive eating?

 

If you have any questions or want more detail on anything that I mentioned here, feel free to reach out to me by commenting on this post or sending me an email at timmeisha@simplyastressfreekitchen.com. I would love to connect and I am more than happy to help in any way that I can.

 

XO,

Timmeisha

Related Posts:

Why I Decided To Put Weight Loss On The Back Burner And Start Eating Intuitively

My Emotional Goodbye Letter To Diet Culture

What I Eat In A Day As An Intuitive Eater #1

What I Eat In A Day As An Intuitive Eater #2

What I Eat In A Day As An Intuitive Eater #3

Want to remember this? Save this post to your favorite Pinterest Board!

How To Start Eating Intuitively Today!Here's What You Need To Know To Begin Eating IntuitivelyEating Intuitively Important Things To KnowDo These Things To Start Eating IntuitivelyMost Important Things To Do When Starting To Eat Intuitively



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.