Trying Intuitive Eating on Your Own: The Big Risk

We’ve worked with many women who’ve been trying intuitive eating on their own for some time but don’t feel like they’re getting it. For some it’s been a few months. For others a few years. But the common denominator is that they still don’t feel quite normal around food. They might not be formally dieting anymore but they’re not intuitive eaters yet either. 

Herein lies the biggest risk of trying intuitive eating without support: lingering longer than necessary in the uncomfortable grey area in between. 

This grey area is what we call stage 2 of intuitive eating. It’s a difficult, messy phase. The phase where it’s hard to tell if you’re doing it quite right. We’re diving into this topic over on the pod today as well. You can check that out here:

Stage 2 of Intuitive Eating

  1. It requires a level of hyperconsciousness that can make you feel a little crazier around food, when the whole point, you thought, was to feel less crazy around food. 
  2. You’ll be giving yourself unconditional permission to eat, which is deeply uncomfortable and scary after a lifetime of dieting.
  3. You’ll be learning to honor your hunger which can feel like failing on a diet. 
  4. You might be eating more food than your body actually needs because it is difficult to feel your fullness and it takes time to rebuild trust with yourself around food and for your appetite to level out. 
  5. If you’ve been an emotional eater and you are no longer coping with food, you’ll actually have to feel those feelings, which can be uncomfortable. 
  6. You may be eating a disproportionate amount of foods that had previously been forbidden and that might not leave you feeling physically well. 
  7. When you’re dieting you have an outlet for body discomfort, when you take that option away, but still don’t have the tools to navigate body issues in another way, it can feel amplified. 

This is all normal and expected. 

You must let yourself go through this stage for as long as you need. You are making up for years of deprivation, negative self-talk, and guilt. You are rebuilding positive food experiences. You’re stacking a thousand little wins and insights up until they make for a massive shift. 

But it’s hard.

Some Examples

You let go of the restriction and you’ve been keeping yourself well-fed but you still don’t put the popcorn away when you know you’re not hungry. 

You’d been exercising religiously for months but all the sudden, you just can’t get yourself to do it. 

You tried on a pair of jeans that didn’t fit and it sent you directly to the kitchen for a binge. 

You cannot get the mental calculations of macros, points and calories, or judgement of your food choices out of your brain.

What do you do? These are the moments when you might be thinking “Well, this isn’t work.” or “Dieting felt easier.”

This is Why We Encourage Getting Support

Find someone who’s been through it and who’s been trained in intuitive eating to support you. 

We’re not saying that you need someone else to tell you what to do. We strongly believe that you are the best expert on your own body. But in stage 2 of intuitive eating you likely don’t believe that just yet.

You are still unlearning a lifetime of bullshit thrust upon you by diet culture. You’re still clearing away the debris. So imagine guidance and support as a cast that holds you together until you reconnect to your own wisdom. 

The women we see who get stuck in phase 2 have given up the rules but don’t know what to do from there. They don’t know how to actually rid themselves of the guilt and shame and emotional dependence on food. They don’t know how to reconnect to their body, build interoceptive awareness or sharpen their hunger and fullness cues. And, most importantly, they don’t have anyone to talk to about this because everyone around them is on Keto or Weight Watchers. Most people in their lives are so entrenched in diet culture that they couldn’t support them if they wanted to. 

Now we are absolutely not saying that no one ever makes this journey alone. People certainly do. We both did. But it took us literally years. And it doesn’t have to be that long for you. 

If you’ve been stuck in stage 2 for longer than you’d like, or you’re just getting started and are already confused and freaked out thinking “this can’t be right, can it?” Perhaps it’s time to get support for yourself. 

In our intuitive eating group coaching program we guide and support you from diet rock bottom straight through to stage 4 or beyond in a matter of months. We teach you everything you need to know to heal your relationship with food and dramatically improve your body image. And we support you week by week, insight by insight, until you feel fortified in this new way of living your life, free from this endless battle with food and your body. 

So, is it time for you to reach out and get that support? If so, book a free breakthrough session with us today. We’ll discuss exactly what’s not working, what you’re missing in order to fix it and show you the step by step plan to finally put this struggle behind you. 

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