Intuitive Eating: The Journey To Self-Love

I started my intuitive eating journey about 2 months ago, prompted by frustration with my body image. It has been a challenging experience to say the least. With the support of my nutritionist, and other found resources, I feel that I am starting to get the hang of body acceptance, which is allowing me to see glimpses of body love.

I have heard tell of this mystical unconditional self-love, where people love themselves no matter what their weight. Coming from a disordered eating past, I never thought this would be possible for me. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to have body love if I was at a heavier weight. I felt that my frustration and my critical eye towards my body would keep me thin. But with the support of books and podcasts I have been able to see that as no way to live.

My Intention

These days, my routine is filled with support for my unconditional self-love journey. I set an intention each day. My intentions include sitting down when I eat every meal and snack. I have struggled with the snacking before a meal or when cooking. My thinking consisted of, “I am hungry now so I will have one bite.” But as we all know one bite can turn into two, and three, and then losing track of hunger and fullness cues. I also noticed that when I snacked before a meal the meal didn’t taste as good as it did when my first bite was off of my plate full of beautiful food.

Presentation has been an important key to my intuitiveness. I now think about how the food looks on my plate. Previously, I didn’t think it mattered; it seemed like a lot of extra effort just to eat the food a few minutes later.  However, by engaging in the thoughtfulness of food presentation, I signal to myself that I am worth the extra effort.  This has changed my perception of my food but it also has been showing up in other parts of my life; taking moments to appreciate the beauty of the world around me and finding joy in the little things.

I have still been weighing myself and giving some thought to my calorie consumption here and there. But I feel that I have made great progress in my journey. Ballparking calories in my head is helpful so that I have an idea of what I ate and what I will be eating. And honestly the calorie count has begun to be converted into the food itself. I plan my meals around what I feel like eating before a meal and how I want to feel after the meal.

My nutritionist said that my need for exact calorie count, by using an online app, is my way of feeling in control when my life feels chaotic. Interestingly enough, I know that was my coping mechanism when I was struggling with anorexia. But it seems that old habits die hard. However, I do feel that I have a greater sense of myself and what my body enjoys rather than what I “should” be eating.

On the exercise front I have been changing things up a bit. In the past, I was a cardio queen. But again my perspective has shifted. I believe it is time to ease off the cardio a little to see what happens. I am focusing more on walking and stretching, which make me feel really good and not exhausted for the rest of the day. A few days a week I do high intensity cardio training, interspersed with lifting. To give you an idea about my previous exercise routine, it consisted of cardio exercise everyday and weight training 3-4 days a week. And sprinkling some walks in between for good measure.

Cardio is my addiction. I am slowly pulling away from this addiction, but it will be challenging for me. I know many other addicts have come before me, and it is encouraging to know that it is possible to find balance both with exercise and food. I am excited to see what other amazing things I do with my time, now that I am almost done worrying about calories and cardio exercise.

Gratefully,

Megan P^2

P.S. If this post resinates with you, reach out to me, tell me about your thoughts. I would love to hear from you!