Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Imagine this scenario.  You ask for and eat a hearty bowl of oatmeal made with your favorite high calcium beverage with something to sweeten it up a bit.  Maybe you throw in some raisins depending on how you feel that day.  You might swirl in a tablespoon of nut butter cause you like it and know it has a bit of protein too to last longer.

Let’s say you didn’t have any nuts or nut butter in your oatmeal so that sounds great 3-4 hours later with your apple.  But maybe since you did have it at breakfast, naw, not now.  You think, apple and goldfish or apple and cheese?  Hmm, I (almost) always like cheese so that is good and cool, a little bit of calcium and protein.

This is a typical morning…. for my almost 3 year old.  Obviously without running commentary by her.  Almost all of us  are born knowing what works best from the foods provided for us.  (I couldn’t honestly say all because there is a rare condition called Prader Willi Syndrome that prevents signals of fullness; another story and day)

This is why I so adamantly believe that we can relearn to recognize, remain attuned to and honor our signals of hunger and fullness.  And that is the first step.  We cannot, without agenda from any old eating disorder or diet rules incorporate or experiment with nutrition freely until we are working through:

1)  eating with full permission

2)  dropped the agenda to weigh less

Let’s get clear about #1.  

Eating with permission means eating what you want when you are hungry.  Or not.  It is eating with awareness of what you are doing:  eating because you are hungry, eating because it seems to be the best of what you have available, eating because there may not be an opportunity for a while. You may have to alter what full permission looks like depending on any medical nutrition needs (if you have celiac, I would not advise of course going off your gluten-free diet but allowing more freedom with the foods that won’t cause a flare-up, for example).

 It is choosing to eat what you really want, not what your mother, brother, doctor, web guru thinks you should but eating it because you think it is best for your satisfaction at this moment.  This may or may not include considering nutrition quantity or quality.  It is not a free-for-all.  It is trusting that even if your eating seems a little against what the experts deem as good nutrition, you can trust your body to eventually balance it all out.  And it will get you freer as soon as you allow the process to unfold. 

And #2

It is sooo hard to eat to satisfaction and fullness if you have a weight-loss agenda.  I know some you start your attuned eating journey with hopes that it might help you lose weight.  I have seen many clients try to use an attuned, intuitive eating approach of tracking hunger and fullness numbers to not get full hoping it will cause weight loss….now.  However, because after months or years of restriction, I have seen this backfire on people time and time again.  The obsession creeps back in and binging becomes a reality.  

Give yourself a chance to become an attuned eater and know your body better before you go fiddling with your fullness numbers.  I don’t recommend doing that but of course it is always your choice.  Learn to appreciate how your body functions if you have decided you can’t love/like/accept your body right now.  Stopping the hate really is key to becoming an expert on your body.

Please share if you found this helpful!  The more we can spread the message of attuned eating, joyful movement and appreciating all bodies, the more room we will have for each other and energy for bigger issues.

Much Love!