Intuitive Eating Myth #5: Always Listen to Your Body No Matter What
The “intuitive” in intuitive eating is indicating intuition…and the definition of intuition is to be attuned. To be attuned means to make aware (you are welcome for the english lesson). Awareness means awareness of ALL parts of your body. One of these very important parts of your body is your BRAIN. Intuitive eating means making “MINDful” considerations when eating…are you catching my drift?
Now, let me give you some examples.
1. Yesterday, I went to Chipotle. When ordering, I was using my brain and not just my body. When ordering, I used my brain to reason that I will not add beans to my burrito because I know that it will cause me to have a stomach ache. Then while eating my fabulous burrito, although my tummy may have said, “yum this is awesome, I can eat this whole thing,” my brain reasoned, “Jamie, when you overeat you don’t feel good. Maybe you will enjoy it more when you aren't so full….I am thinking, breakfast burrito?” Now, with intuitive eating, there are no rules. So I could have went either way and it would have been perfectly okay! When making these food decisions, that is all it is, is a decision. A decision listening to your mind and body, rather than some made up set of rules.
2. When catching a flight or a long road trip, what do you do? You THINK. You consider the fact that you are going to get hungry and should pack some satisfying foods. Or you may THINK, hey I am not hungry now, but if I don't eat, I will be starved by time I can have time to eat, so I better eat now.
3. When you go for ice-cream and your body says yum but your mind reminds you that you are lactose intolerant.
4. When you are putting your meal together and you know that adding some good fats and veggies on top of that pasta will keep you satisfied longer.
Your body and brain cannot be separated. Everything in our body is connected with one part affecting the other, so when using one part, we can’t just disregard another. Take self-care and stress management for example, when you consider doing some self-care but have a huge to-do list, your body may not want to quit moving, but your mind is saying, hey chill out take a break, it will benefit your body even though your body may not know it yet.
As compared to dieting however, in these examples above, if we still want the ice-cream or if we make the choice to skip the veggies on the plate, that is all it is. It is a decision that we made. It is not a moral choice. It doesn't make us good or bad. And it doesn't need anymore consideration after the choice has been made. With intuitive eating, we consider that eating that extra serving may make us full but it also says that it is okay to be full.
So, the answer is no. We aren't mindless creatures. We can’t separate our brain from decisions. And we shouldn’t.