I feel like you can learn a lot about a person and yourself when undertaking a project like building a custom home. My husband and I decided to round out 2021 by doing just that. (As a side note, it is still not complete and I am writing this in March of 2022. My patience is waning.) I have always considered myself an open person who is up to hearing outside ideas. That is, unless you want to change the entry chandelier I chose or add in a rain shower head to a perfectly fine walk-in shower. My husband has taught me how I do not accept new ideas easily. For every change or suggestion he had, I had a snarky comment waiting for him. He would literally have to petition every idea for days before I would consider it.
With that said, I completely understand why the idea of intuitive eating might take some time for any one of you to accept it as something that may improve your life. Take some time considering it if that makes you more comfortable. Many of the principles taught are against so much of what we have grown up learning. Let me start my petition to you by offering some examples of how it might actually be a good option.
Let’s start with the academic stuff. To date, there are over 125 studies showing benefits to eating intuitively (Tribole & Resch, 2020). Some of these benefits include:
- Improved cholesterol levels
- Better body image
- Higher self-esteem
- Improved metabolism
- Decreased rates of disordered eating
- Lower stress levels
- Life satisfaction
- Well-being & optimism
- Decreased blood pressure
Now let me share with you how it has benefitted me personally. That’s right, I am totally going to use my own anecdotal experience to try to sway you. I understand my experience is not universal, but it is also that thing I can speak to with the most expertise. Some of the ways intuitive eating has benefited me include:
- I have been able to figure out which foods, and food combinations, I like or don’t like. I used to have a long list of foods I disliked. Turns out, I actually do like a lot of the foods on my old list. I just was afraid to eat them.
- I can buy ice cream without the fear that I will want to eat the entire container in one sitting. Sometimes I forget the container is even in there. Unfortunately I have lost some ice cream to frost bite due to having it too long. What can ya do?
- There is so much more room in my brain to do stuff and to think about stuff. Stuff like what? Reading a good mystery novel. Practicing up my piano skills (still poor at best). Finishing our yearly family photo book. Building a house (it takes more time than I expected). It used to be that brain space was taken up by thoughts of what I had or had not eaten that day, what I was going to eat the rest of the day, how I could trick my body into feeling fuller, etc. Ugh … it stresses me out just reminiscing about that reality.
- My quality time with other people has improved. I used to be so caught up in what they were thinking about me, my body, and my eating choices, that I created a rift with everyone I saw. Intuitive eating has allowed me to bridge that rift so I can have more meaningful relationships.
- I can attend a party with food and not eat until I feel sick. The appeal of rich, comforting food has decreased since I now allow it regularly in my diet.
- I truly do feel like I am living a “fuller” life, both literally and figuratively.
Have I talked you into it yet? I hope so. If not, I can wait.
Tribole, E., & Resch, E. (2020). Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Anti-Diet Approach (4th edition). St. Martin’s Essentials.