Why I Recommend That Everyone Start Eating Like A Toddler
Have you been trying to lose that last “10 or 20 or 30 pounds” for what feels like your entire life? Believe me, I have been there, for the longest time I have lost and gained the same 15 pounds.
Our culture seems to have us all thinking that we are not worthy if our bodies do not look like a super model’s body. No one likes to feel unworthy. So, many of us turn to dieting in one form or another. We want to feel more worthy, so we try to shrink ourselves into society’s standard of beauty and perfection. That standard of beauty is defined by having a thin body, with a thigh-gap to match.
I have come to understand through my own journey that my body is a genetic creation that has its limits. Not only do I have strong, muscular legs, that can’t even pretend to be thin for Halloween, but my hip sockets are placed in such a way that my legs will ALWAYS rub together. That is genetics for you folks, no matter how little I eat or how much I exercise I will NEVER have a thigh-gap. Believe me, I have tried.
I used to think that was the worst thing in the world, but I can promise you that there are many, many worse travesties than not having a thigh gap.
Upon accepting that my beautiful body is the way she is, (yes, I now actually believe that she is beautiful), I have been able to really get in tune with her. I know how she feels when I feed her certain things, or what forms of activity work best for her. These are two examples of tapping into your body’s intuition, which, I must say, is a very peaceful place to be. We get along so much better when I don’t try and make her do something she doesn’t want to do, like run an extra 6 miles because I made her binge on chocolate cake.
Our cultural drive to be thin has been the facilitator for this broken bond between us and our bodies. But practicing eating intuitively is the way to start building up that trust again. As defined in the book Intuitive Eating, A Revolutionary Program that Works, eating intuitively is defined as listening to your own hunger signals, and eat whatever you choose without experiencing guilt or an ethical dilemma. In the book they describe how a toddler eats. Toddlers are not influenced by the diet industry or food rules that they set for themselves. When a toddler is given free access to food she will eat what she needs and not anymore (as long as there is no interference). To sum it up, toddlers are better at eating what their bodies need than most of the population.
So are you ready to eat like a toddler?
I sure as heck am!
However, it is important to remember that unlike toddlers, we have had a longer and probably more tumultuous relationship with our bodies. We all have an eating and exercise history, which is the result of old thought patterns that have been recycled in our brains for years, maybe even decades. Toddlers have the luxury of not having to retrain their brains like we do, but I promise you that you can retrain your brain to think new, constructive and loving thoughts towards yourself and your body. I know some of us have given up on ourselves, and have accepted that this is just the way we are. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks sort of thing, right? But guess what? You sure as heck can.
For many of us, intuitive eating is new and scary. We think we are loosen up our grip on our eating, but the reality is that we are paying more attention to ourselves and what we eat and when. There is no counting, no obsessive exercise, no guilt. This may sound like a dream, but you can make it a reality. By committing to yourself and your body, you will find that she holds an awesome amount of wisdom that you may have never known about.
All you have to do is listen.
My Intuitive Eating Toolbox will help you get started on you and your body’s journey of mending fences and getting back on the same side. The Hunger Meter will be your best friend. This is a tool that will help you practice understanding your body’s hunger cues and equally important, FULLNESS cues. There is a step-by-step intuitive eating guide in the toolbox as well, this will help you practice intuitive eating when you have an eating experience.
I know for me and a lot of others, emotional eating is a constant struggle. For some it might not have even occurred to you that you eat because you are feeling an uncomfortable emotion. I have you covered there too. I have a downloadable in my toolbox that helps you get to know the difference between emotional hunger and physical hunger. This is just the beginning of getting to know yourself and your body better.
If you are interested in having more support in your journey, I suggest that you schedule a mini session with me. I will give you a few tips on how you can start eating like a toddler.