The Number One Fear of New Intuitive Eaters

Dropping the diet rules is scary. Learn the number one fear with intuitive eating and a simple activity to get past it.

This past weekend we went up to Clemson for the Louisville football game (which we won, thank-you-very-much!). While I was tailgating, I ran into a friend from college who I hadn't seen in years.

As we were catching up, she said, "You know, I was talking about you the other day! I follow your blog and was telling my boyfriend how you do something called intuitive eating. I was joking with him that my intuitive eating would just tell me to eat junk all day!"

Obviously, it was a joke, but it touches on a real fear I hear with clients who are new to intuitive eating. If I give myself permission to eat anything I want, what will stop me from living off a steady diet of potato chips and ice cream?

When external dieting rules have dictated your eating, as they have for most people (whether they think they're dieting or not) and then those rules are removed, what is there to keep you in check?

Time for an activity break. If you have a box of straws in your house, go grab one right now. Seriously.

Put a straw in your mouth and breathe through it for a few minutes. If you like, multitask and give yourself a manicure or do the dishes while you're at it.

What you'll find is that it's possible, and while you likely won't keel over and pass out (if you do, please don't sue me!), but it's certainly not comfortable.

Now, remove the straw and try to breathe normally. For a few seconds there, you'll gasp for air. Of course, it's just your body trying to catch up and reoxegenate to a healthful level. After a little bit, your body gets enough oxygen and you can breathe normally.

So what's this have to do with food? Well, food is a basic need, just like oxygen. And while you can survive with less food than your body needs, you're not exactly thriving. Remove the dieting rules (aka the straw), and you'll "gasp," which in food terms, may equate to a lot more potato chips and ice cream than normal. But eventually, you'll be able to eat normally again, according to your body's needs, without really having to think about it.