Intuitive Eating Part 2: Get A Positive Body Image
I found it really interesting to go through all of your comments on my article on intutive eating. While browsing them all, a few very positive comments caught my eye:
“I believe that intuitive eating is a great way!”
“I’ve always been doing this. I stop when I’m full. And I’ve always felt good that way.”
However, there were also some rather desperate lines, like:
“The principles sound good to me, but why is it so difficult to follow them??”
I realized that many of you want to eat intuitively, yet don’t know how to start. So, let’s start from the beginning and take a look at our bodies together….
Our body, image of the enemy
The pear cries: “My butt is huge.”
The orange shouts: “I hate my skin.”
The banana complains: “I want curves.”
The melon grumbles: “I am fat.”
If they only knew how sweet they are…
When we’re struggling to accept our physical appearance, it’s not easy to establish a positive relationship with our body. The more we focus on problem zones, the worse we feel. When feeling bad, we often resort to comfort food. Then, we gain weight and voilà, we’re in a vicious cycle.
Intuitive eating starts in your head
Focusing on the negative – our problem zones – leads to weight gain instead of weight loss. So, how about changing your attitude towards your body?
Motivational coach, T. Harv Eker, explains: “Your programming leads to your thoughts. Your thoughts lead to your feelings. Your feelings lead to your actions. Your actions lead to your results. Just like you change the programming of your PC, the first step to better results is changing your mental programming.”
Stop negative thoughts about your body and start perceiving instead of ignoring it, support it instead of sabotaging it, appreaciate it instead of rejecting it. This is how you can establish a positive connection to your body.
Your feeling of satiety is key
Positive associations with my body help me feel which and how much food my body really needs. This way, I automatically perceive hunger and satiety more consciously.
Even if you hear your parents’ voice telling you to “eat up” in your head, it’s critical that you listen to your body and perceive satiety (fullness) when it comes. The hard part: put down your cutlery and actually stop eating.
Elyse Resch writes in her book Intuitive Eating. A Revolutionary Program That Works: “The calories wouldn’t be a problem, if we’d only respect our feeling of satiety.”
Concrete steps towards a positive body image
1. Exercise: During fitness activities your muscles are working, your lungs are breathing, your heart is beating. You can feel your body.
2. Relationships: Positive experiences of community, attachment and affection make you happier with yourself and help you realize that others accept you just the way you are – despite that body you might be unsatisfied with.
3. Awareness: Relaxation techniques, meditation, breathing exercises or consciously experiencing a walk surrounded by nature help you focus on your soul instead of your body.
Did you know that even Scarlett Johansson is not 100% happy with her body? When asked whether she liked her body, Scarlett said in an interview: “My body is okay, but I don’t like my thighs and I’m not totally happy with my waist, either.”
You see, even the most desired actresses are at odds with their problem zones. That’s just how it is. We all think about our appearance. The question is: HOW will you think about yourself from now on? Will you keep the negative thoughts that keep you in that vicious cycle? Or, will you switch to positive thoughts that will help you establish a good relationship with your body, eat when you’re hungry and stop eating when you feel full? If you choose number two, you can soon call yourself an intuitive eater.
By for now,