Do you not trust yourself around certain foods? Are you constantly reading fitness influencer’s blog posts or Instagram captions trying to find the secret to losing weight or maintaining your size? Or maybe you’re tracking your macronutrients and following a training plan to a “T” hoping to get that dream summer body?
Does that sound like you? Cause it was certainly me. The funny part about all of those things is they’re a false sense of control. The health & fitness industry is not a 100 billion dollar industry because it teaches individuals sustainable health. It’s worth that much because it disenfranchises its users with unrealistic and unpersonalized meal plans, training plans, and supplements. It teaches us to place our health in the hands of someone else who supposedly knows best while setting us up for failure.
Success and failure is whittled down to the “will power” of the individual. When in reality, “failure” is simply living. Yes, you will eat something that’s not included on your meal plan some days. Yes, you will get hungry outside of your rigid eating plan. Yes, you’ll be too sick or busy or exhausted to complete the scheduled exercise. We’re humans and that means our lives are unpredictably messy at times. It’s not your lack of willpower that’s the problem, it’s the false sense of control the health & fitness industry has sold to you.
Having your health in your own hands allows flexibility, true personalization, sustainability, and fun in your wellness. Yup, fun! No one knows your body better than you do. Intuitive eating and training puts you back in the driver’s seat. What fuel and movement you need to feel your best is going to change everyday. Cultivating body attunement and connecting deeply to your body allows you to love it fully, move it freely, and feed your body, mind, and soul. Additionally, you are more likely to incorporate health-promoting behaviors, such as exercise and eating vegetables, on a consistent basis without the forceful, negative ties to a rigid plan. When you are able to take back control of your body, it’s not only a more positive health experience, it’s empowering too.
So how do you take the first step? You’ve been relying on others to tell you what to do for so long. Here are some actionable steps to start building trust in yourself and your body today.
Start paying attention!
How does that make you feel? Take a minute to pause and scan your body, mind, and soul. How does stress feel in your body? What about hunger? Anger? Exhaustion? Pride? Joy? Start to pay attention to your experience in your body throughout the day. This is the foundation for body attunement which you’ll use to make educated decisions to best serve you.
Not to your spin instructor or your Whole30 obsessed friend. Listen to your body. Early in childhood, we’re taught to ignore our body’s language. Hungry outside of meal times? Drink water and wait. Full before your plate is clean? Sit there until you finish it. We tune out what our body is trying to tell us instead of listening to what it has to say.
Bringing attention to these cues is a great place to start. You don’t necessarily have to act on these acknowledgments in the beginning but start recognizing them. Over time you’ll know your boundaries for hunger and fullness, exercise, sleep, and so much more.
If you’ve read or listened to anything I’ve written before, you’re probably thinking, really, again? Yes, really. Curiosity is key to intuitive eating. Nonjudgmental curiosity. This goes hand in hand with paying attention. Ask why you feel a certain way. Be curious as to how your body reacts to certain foods, movements, and situations at different times. Be like that obnoxious 5 year old who seems to only know the word “why?” This is the data collecting that is necessary to start implementing intuition into your health.
Science over pseudoscience
We often fully believe those given a big platform over those with big research. The Instagram influencer selling miracle diets or pills and a quick fix to the problems you think you’re having can be a lot more appealing than a research paper. Educating yourself on how your body works can help debunk these myths.
When you fully understand how your liver and kidney work, you won’t be sold on detox teas. Be skeptical of things you read on the internet. Make sure you are gathering your information from multiple credible sources. As a rule of thumb, anything promising quick results is usually too good to be true.
Acknowledge the root of your fears
Why are you so distrusting of yourself? Why are you afraid of taking your health into your own hands? It is usually a deeper issue. Personally, I was terrified of gaining weight because I was afraid my partner would find me unattractive and stop loving me. When in reality, my partner wasn’t in love with me because of my body. If you asked all of the most important people in your life why they love you, none of them would list your physical attributes. They love your mind, your wit, your warm heart, and your soul. They love you, not the body that is your vessel.
Acknowledge what you’re truly scared of happening if you let go of the strict rules put forward by diet culture and take your health back into your own hands. Once you have a deeper understanding of what’s propelling your fears, you can work on dismantling them and rebuilding trust in yourself to do what’s truly best for you.
It’s easy to just hand over control of your life to someone else. Retuning into your body and learning to eat intuitively takes time and effort. It’s a freeing, empowering, and beneficial experience. Take your health back into your own hands. The trust you gain along the way with yourself will impact your life in so many ways.
Are you interested in learning more about intuitive eating? Are you ready to ditch diet culture and start on your intuitive eating journey? Watch my free training video on how to improve your relationship with food and your body now. Get 3 actionable steps you can implement today.