Have been for going on seven years. And it’s done a lot for me. Like, everything for me. I’ve written here about how I found intuitive eating and how it changed my life, but recently, as intuitive eating has become more second-nature and normal for me (I don’t have to tell myself to slow down to eat a piece of chocolate cake most of the time; I just do), I’ve been seeing a new added bonus to eating this way: a trust in my body and myself.
When you begin to really listen to what your body is telling you — and then respect it enough to take note, pay attention and act on it (or, in some cases not) — time and time again, it does you right. When you eat when you’re hungry, choose healthy foods most of the time but stop labeling foods as “good” or “bad,” and — for the love of God — drop the obsession with the scale and the number of calories in this or that, life opens up.
I always thought that intuitive eating was about me being healthier and happier, and it is. But the added bonus I didn’t expect: a boost to self confidence and a trust in myself that spills over to other areas of my life. If I get a bad feeling about a situation or a person, I’m more aware of it and more apt to listen to it. If I just know, deep-down, that my already scheduled HIIT session will be too much for me that day, I skip it and do a yoga DVD instead. If my gut says to forgo a party and do something more low-key instead — or call a friend or family out of the blue just because, I do it.
Turns out, paying attention to my hunger and fullness cues taught me to take notice of a lot of things my body was telling me — and not just at mealtime. Intuitive eating for me was an intro to being more mindful. And being more mindful and aware is really freakin’ awesome. Yes, sometimes it’s more challenging than not being aware, but it’s definitely worth it. When it comes to all areas of my life, I don’t just want to go through the motions; I want to experience all of it. I want to be aware.
You can read more about why intuitive eating works for me in the recent HuffPost Healthy Living article I wrote, but tell me, have you tried intuitive eating or exercising? Has it made you more mindful, too? —Jenn