Saint Paul Intuitive Eating Counseling
Through Intuitive Eating Counseling, you will learn how to listen to your body and trust its cues, feelings, and experiences. If you want to get off the diet rollercoaster, are tired of listening to the conflicting advice of the innumerable “experts” telling you how to eat and how to exercise, and want to start trusting your own body’s experience, Intuitive Eating may be right for you. If you want to learn more about the Intuitive Eating approach and other ways I can help you with body image, disordered eating, or eating disorders, contact me to schedule a session today.
What is Intuitive Eating?
Intuitive Eating is a process-driven approach that ultimately puts you back in the position of being the expert of your own body. It is a phased-based model that loosely follows 10 phases of being an intuitive eater, but like everything in life, don't expect it to be a neat, linear process! You can expect to engage with each of these phases through the course of our work together, and spend as much time with each phase as needed. This process will help you to engage critically and whole-heartedly with your mind, body, and spirit.
The ten principles of Intuitive Eating are (www.intuitiveeating.org/10-principles-of-intuitive-eating):
1) Reject the diet mentality: Recognize and reject the lies that diet culture has told you. Throw out your diet books and magazines, and reject the loud, conflicting voices telling what and how to eat. Learn the truth about why diets fail (rather than you failing the diet!) and how dieting ultimately harms your health and well-being.
2) Honor your hunger: Tune into your body’s cues, and keep yourself fed with adequate calories and carbohydrates. When you allow yourself to go hungry, a primal drive to overeat is triggered. Learning to honor your hunger, rather than feel afraid of your hunger, begins to help you learn to trust your body’s signals.
3) Make peace with food: Give yourself unconditional permission to eat. When you restrict (or try to restrict) certain types of food or entire food groups, you set yourself up to feel biologically or psychologically deprived, which will ultimately lead to uncontrollable cravings and binges.
4) Challenge the food police: Learn to reject the critical thoughts in your head that judge you by how “well” you eat and ascribe moral value to you based on your diet.
5) Respect your fullness: Pay attention to your body's cues that you are no longer hungry. Learn the signs that tell you when you are comfortably full, pausing during a meal to ask yourself how your food tastes, and check in with your fullness level.
6) Discover the satisfaction factor: Re-learn the pleasure of eating foods that delight, comfort, and satisfy you. Eat food that tastes delicious, smells amazing, looks appetizing, and enjoy it in an environment that is relaxed and inviting. Eat in a slow, mindful way and learn to savor your food again.
7) Honor your feelings without using food: While eating for comfort can be nourishing and healing, we also need ways of honoring our feelings apart from food. Find ways to connect with yourself and with loved ones that nurture and heal you.
8) Respect your body: Learn the truth about size diversity, and accept your genetic makeup. The human race was never meant to be homogenous in size, though diet culture likes to tell us that there is one “right" way to look and feel “healthy.” Reject those lies while learning to respect and accept your body exactly as it is.
9) Exercise - feel the difference: Stop using exercise as a way to punish yourself, to “make up for” things you ate, or a way to “earn" your food. Find the ways of moving your body that bring you joy and make you feel good.
10) Honor your health with gentle nutrition: Make food choices that help you to feel well and that honor your health, while keeping a flexible mindset. Know food choices do not determine your overall health, while noticing what food choices do help you to feel the way you want to feel.
Should I Consider Intuitive Eating Counseling?
If you agree with any of the following statements, you may want to consider intuitive eating counseling:
• I have cycled through many diets with varying degrees of success, and always feel as though I should be dieting
• I will be happier when I lose weight
• I feel that I am a better person with more “will power” when I eat less food in a day, or restrict certain food groups
• I am afraid that if I allow myself unconditional permission to eat, I may start eating and never stop!
• I feel like a failure for not being successful in my attempts at dieting, or for re-gaining the weight I have lost when dieting
• I’ve spent so many years following rules about what, when, and how to eat, that I’m not even sure when I’m hungry or full, or what I’m hungry for anymore
Intuitive Eating counseling is more than talk therapy. It’s a skill set that can help you change the way you view yourself, your diet, your body, and your relationship to the world around you. You deserve a relaxed relationship with food and with your body, and you deserve to be loved, accepted, and respected exactly as you are. Let’s change the way you approach nutrition and your relationship with your body together.
What Should I Expect from Intuitive Eating Counseling?
This is not a diet, and it is not a weight loss plan. Intuitive Eating is about changing the way you approach food and nutrition. It is about learning to accept your body and enjoy eating again. During Intuitive Eating counseling, you will develop a skillset that will benefit you throughout your life, helping you to feel healthier, more satisfied, and in tune with your body every day.