From my recent newsletter:
Someone recently asked for details on what it looks like to be a successful intuitive eater. Do we ever stop counting calories and thinking about our weight?
Yes and no.
Someone also asked me recently if I was "happy" with my new approach to food and my body.
Both questions got me thinking about how we all expect, and are told, that the goal in life is to have a happy ending and that if we are doing something right then EVERYTHING will be great.
That is the story we are told about dieting and about being thin.
It's the story we are told about being wealthy.
It's the story we are told if we have a partner and get married and have kids or a dog or a house.
So it makes sense that as we choose intuitive eating and self acceptance that we will judge whether we are doing a good job by how "perfect" it is - that is - never thinking about food and body again and riding off into the sunset happy and full of love and acceptance for our bodies and our lives.
Unfortunately, nothing works like that. There is no shiny happy ending.
However, there is something actually better, if you are willing to do the work.
What you get when you choose self-acceptance is a sense of being grounded and a sense of realness. You learn there are choices in every situation and there are always more possibilities than you think.
You will find true freedom - because you know you will be ok no matter what happens.
Self-love doesn't mean you won't still feel bad on occasion - about your body or anything else. But it does mean you won't be devastated when this happens and you will be able to keep these thoughts and feelings in perspective.
You will be a different person than you were before when you do this work and less bothered by what used to bother you.
This work also reminds you what you value in life and what is important to you. And when times get tough - knowing you are honoring your values in whatever you do is such a deeper and richer experience than simply being "happy".
The reality is sometimes you might think about your weight and sometimes you might have an illness or aches or pains and not know what to do and you might wonder if you are doing something wrong.
There is no magical end where you stop being human and stop having these thoughts entirely, but we always have choices and we get to choose what we think and what we feel in any situation.
This gives us the freedom to go forth and engage with life on an entirely different level. We are strong and powerful and capable, which we always have been, but now we know it.
It's amazing that something that seems so simple - re-learning how to feed ourselves, leads to a deeper trust and capability than we ever knew was possible and it extends to all areas of our lives. It's more than happy but it's hard to describe.
And to think we would have had this capability all along if diet culture and well-meaning friends and family didn't interfere with our food and lead us to lose trust with ourselves in the first place. Something to think about.
photocredit: Wout Vanacker - Unsplash