Months ago my fiancee said these words to me: you know if you just ate what your body wanted the day would come when you would crave a salad. WHAT? NO. If I ate what I want ultimately I would begin living off nothing but Cheetos and Coca Cola, right? RIGHT?
Aren’t we all taught somewhere along the way that if we do not control our bodies our bodies will control us? That, in the long run, if we do not watch our food, our weight with a magnifying glass, fifty pounds will sneak up on us while we are sleeping and stack themselves onto our shapely waist and thighs? Well, it turns out food, and weight, and our bodies, don’t work like that, and it also turns out that we aren’t as bad off in the fight to stay healthy as we might think.
You see, our bodies give us allowances, allowances to enjoy a slice of birthday cake on someone’s birthday, to eat a scoop of ice cream on a day we just really feel like a scoop of ice cream. That allowance is basically our body’s ability to balance its own needs and wants, without our constant interference. Our bodies strike the balance for us, and you’ll be surprised to find that your body will actually crave the fruits and veggies, after you satisfy all those other cravings first.
BOOK REVIEW SPOILER ENDING AHEAD:
Some time ago, a book came out that revolutionized the eating and food and body image world, Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD and Elyse Resch, MS, RD, FADA. That book rocked my world, twice. I could not believe what I was reading. Could it be possible that I just had to listen to my body and that would help me maintain my weight and be healthy, feel good and be happy? I will never be able to say enough how amazing I think these two ladies are for finally confronting these issues with the most realistic and wonderful solution ever-listen to your body. Basically, eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full, and eat what your body wants, when it wants it. Pretty simple, right? Well, the principles might be simple to understand but putting those principles into practice is harder than you might think (or perhaps it is easier than you think, depending on your perspective). Take baby steps, as the book suggests.
Hundreds of baby steps later, I am now an intuitive eater and the results are amazing. When I do feel like eating broccoli, I enjoy every bite, and it tastes good. When I feel like eating chocolate, it’s the same. You see there are no good and bad foods, and thanks to the geniuses behind Intuitive Eating, the research backs that up now. Eating is not a chore that requires much on my part mentally. I just let my body take the lead.
So, the bottom line is that to be healthy and happy listening to your body is the answer. Let your body be the captain of the ship. Just enjoy the ride. (and you just might find that once you are eating intuitively, you start thinking a lot more about everything else, besides food).
**This post is dedicated to Evelyn Tribole, MS and Elyse Resch, MS, RD, and FADA, for changing my whole world, in what seems now like overnight. Thank you ladies for giving me my life and root beer floats back.