If there is just one question just about everyone has through the process of transitioning to intuitive eating, it is probably about weight and weight gain. There are many people who choose to eat more intuitively eat.
From the chronic dieter who is always stuck in a binge restriction cycle, to the fitness expert who has been following a strict diet and exercise routine for a decade to maintain their physique. There are also people who are overweight or obese, who have mental food restrictions and label foods bad but still continue to eat them.
All three types of people can benefit from intuitive eating but also struggle with the thought of gaining weight (or not losing weight). Here are some ways to handle this emotional hurdle.
Have You Really Been Successful with Diets?
When people try to defend being on diets and not wanting to gain weight, the first thing they say is that they were successful in losing weight before. But were you really?
Be realistic about what diets have done what you consider successes, and why you want to IE in the first place.
Unless you are in a place where the first diet helped you lose weight, keep it off, AND not lead to binge eating or compulsive overeating, then it wasn’t really successful. Consider all of the implications of what happens during and after you are done dieting for weight loss, and really ask yourself if you consider that a success.
What is the Worst That Could Happen?
Think about the possibility of weight gain when it comes to intuitive eating. What is the absolute worst thing that could happen if you did gain weight? Take a moment to think about weight gain, and make a list of everything you think could happen if you gained weight. Think of it like a pros and cons list. A list of bad things that would happen, and a list of good things that would happen.
On the “bad” list, is there a trend you notice? Maybe it is mostly about how you look and not how you feel, or you are more concerned about what others might think about your weight gain. Remember that you have no idea what will happen to your body when you quit dieting, but right now, it is helpful to understand WHY you are so afraid of gaining weight.
Appreciate Everything Your Body Does for You
Take a moment to put aside the thoughts of your weight and body size, and think of all the amazing things your body does for you. Make a new list, this time about what your body does for you. Keep the list positive.
- Some examples might include:
- Walking or running
- Playing with your kids
- Taking your dogs for a walk
- Swimming or another of your favorite physical activities
- The ability to work or create things
There are so many wonderful things to appreciate about your body and your physical abilities, where weight really has nothing to do with it. Start practicing more gratitude for your body and the amazing things it provides you with.