Whether you are well on your way to becoming an Intuitive Eater or just starting to play with this concept of rejecting the diet mentality, Intuitive Eating can be quite a dynamic journey full of surprises and unexpected twist and turns. As practitioners, we often get to share incredible “aha moments” with our clients when something resonates in a way that it has never before. These experiences are one of our favorite parts of doing this work because it shows just how special and unique one’s own progress can be. Many of these clients also come into the program with certain expectations typically revolving around changes in their food choices and body size. However, it always brings us such joy to revel in the many unexpected victories that arise when they’ve given themselves a chance to tune into their internal wisdom.
Here are some of those unexpected outcomes that you may look forward to as you continue to grow in your Intuitive Eating journey.
You no longer have to rely exclusively on willpower to engage in healthful behaviors.
Intuitive Eating leads you to discover your own “why” that drives you to take care of yourself, rather than focusing on “shoulds” that override your own feelings. Eating your vegetables and moving your body no longer have to feel like an obligation motivated by fear, but rather is driven by a spirit of empowerment and self-efficacy.
You discover your favorite foods.
When your desires are no longer rooted in a reaction to deprivation, you may be surprised to find those stale donuts in the break room no longer have the appeal they used to. Blanket statements and beliefs like, “I’m a sugar addict,” and, “I can’t have chips in the house,” or, “If I have one bite I’ll have the whole thing,” now feel irrelevant because The Unconditional Permission to Eat has given you the opportunity to realize your actual taste preferences.
You build trust within yourself.
As you become more of an Intuitive Eater and practice showing up for yourself and your health, you start to see how that trust not only improves your food choices, but how you carry yourself, navigate challenging life circumstances, and engage in your relationships. This provides fuel for growth and confidence to thrive, offering you autonomy in the way you choose to present yourself in life.
You stop obsessing about weight and start thinking about more interesting topics.
When we stop body checking, stepping on and off the scale, and judging our pants size, our minds gain a lot of free space to engage in thoughts and activities that bring us real joy and fulfillment. New Hobbies? Personal projects? Exciting endeavors? There’s no telling what you might experience. The practice of letting go and being present opens up new conversations and connections instead of being distracted by what others may be (and probably aren’t) thinking about our body.
You get comfortable being uncomfortable.
Intuitive Eating expands our capacity to honor both positive and negative emotions and offer compassion and kindness within those experiences of discomfort. Some may be disappointed to hear that Intuitive Eating is not all rainbows and daisies. Sure, it may sound nice to reject the diet mentality, but when we really do the work and commit to listening and honoring our needs, that will inevitably create challenging moments when we feel painful tensions between conflicting emotions. However, as you grow in understanding of your complex mental, emotional, and physical needs, you will experience strength and resilience within the complexity of life’s ebbs and flows.