Body Acceptance · Body Image · HAES · Intuitive Eating

Intuitive Eating and Body Acceptance

I could write page after page about my life-long struggle with disordered eating. I’m sure I’ll write more on this in the future, because I’m incredibly passionate about helping other women undo the diet mentality and stop wasting their lives away trying to be a certain shape and size like I did for literally TWENTY FIVE FUCKING YEARS, ohm’gosh. For now, though, as I work with an eating disorder dietitian to help me finally give up diets and food labels once and for all, I don’t think I’m in the right mindset to tell my story just yet.

Giving dieting the middle finger and letting go of the ridiculously lean, chiseled, fat-free physique I’d been striving for means filling life up with things that make me happy that are unrelated to food, exercise, and my body. I knew I was preoccupied with food and my body before, but fucking shitballs, now that I’m really starting to flow with life by spending extra time with friends and family, going on more adventures with my kids, making it a point to be spontaneous in the day-to-day, breaking out of my old routines and habits, and making self-care a non-negotiable priority, I am finally fully seeing how much time and energy was wasted on maintaining a certain body size that is NOT the body size I am meant to be. I wouldn’t have to work so gah damned hard at it if it was. 

In any case, the entire month of June has been about learning how to eat and exercise intuitively and accepting my body. Not only accepting it as it is right now in this very moment, but accepting that it will continue to change throughout my life. I anticipate some weight gain since I quit my dreadful 4 a.m. weekday sweatfests in exchange for gentle movement that feels good after work (which, at the moment, means yoga, walking, and spontaneous living room dance parties). I know I’ll gain some body fat because I’m not eating a carefully calculated squeaky-clean “paleo” diet anymore; the mere *thought* of consuming a big hunk of meat with a side of sweet potato and vegetables makes me want to stick a fork in my eye.

Not quite a month in and I already notice I am softer, more curvy. My boobs are filling my bra again, my hips and thighs fitting more snugly into my jeans. Some days this is so, so hard for me to accept, and on others I appreciate and even love the way my body looks. My saving grace during the hard times is remembering that I’m now working for my body, not against it. We are friends. I’m no longer trying to change it; I’m finally just letting it do it’s thing, embracing my natural shape and femininity. This is ultimately so much better than scrutinizing every morsel that passes my lips, forcing myself to do workouts I hate, and *still* not being happy with my body. I mean, duh.

Lately I’ve been enjoying deep conversations with other women about the diet industry and how we should totally quit that shit. Since I only recently dove head-first into this journey of self-acceptance, I don’t exactly feel qualified to give advice on the process, but I *can* share the websites and resources that have been helpful to me over the last month. I hope they help you, too.

Imma Eat That

I relate to just about every post Kylie writes. So much so, in fact, that she is who I’m working with to help heal my relationship with food and my body. Here are a few of my favorite posts:

Maddy Moon

I’m new to Maddy’s work and just love her! She’s a bright, quirky ray of sunshine and advocate for self-compassion and personal growth. She has a podcast that I now listen to regularly as well as several YouTube videos and blog posts on everything from intuitive eating to weight gaineating disorder recovery, relationships, and self-acceptance.

The Real Life RD

Robyn is awesome. She teaches women about the importance of eating enough to regulate hormones, have a healthy metabolism and reproductive system, and take good overall care of themselves. She believes in intuitive eating and movement and her posts always make me happy (and hungry!). Noteworthy:

(Pssst… you should definitely listen to Robyn’s interview on The Healthy Maven podcast.)

Hot & Healthy Habits

This site is new to me and I wish I would have found it sooner. Founded by two ex-dieters, their mission is to inspire women to break out of the dieting/body-loathing cycle and live fuller lives that don’t include scrutinizing your cellulite or counting macros. Check out their values. I’m all about it.

Christy Harrison

I discovered Christy when Kylie was interviewed on her podcast. She runs a great body-positive Facebook group in addition to her amazing podcast, which talks about body image, intuitive eating, and eating disorder recovery. I especially love the episodes with Sumner Brooks, Katie Dalebout, Evelyn Tribole, Simi Biotic, and Kelsey Miller.

Onward and upward, y’all. Life should be enjoyed no matter what size pants you wear.

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