I think of Intuitive Eating like driving a car. If you had never been in a car or been taught anything about what a car does or how it works, driving one would be VERY difficult if not impossible. If you grew up on a farm and were taught how to drive tractors at a young age, you would probably pick up driving a car with ease. For most of us, learning to drive is a learning curve. You have to be taught and then practice it for months and months before you are given a license. Then, it still takes a while to become fully comfortable and capable. It can take years to become a really good driver. But after gaining experience and muscle memory, you can pretty much drive on auto pilot, unless you are driving in difficult circumstances and then you need to pay more attention.
To take the analogy further, there may be other reasons you struggle to learn to drive based on your abilities, your environment, or the things people have told you about driving. If you experienced someone constantly telling you how dangerous driving is, you might get such bad anxiety while driving you couldn’t focus. If your nervous system is very dysregulated, driving would be more difficult. If you had difficulties with sensory motor processing, you might need to develop additional skills to be able to drive safely. If you were told you aren’t any good at driving, you can’t trust yourself on the road, or there is something wrong with you, developing the confidence to drive would be hard.
Similarly, learning the basic skills of body attunement, being able to feel into your body and respond to its signals, is foundational for Intuitive Eating. But if you’ve never developed the habit to feel when you are full because you were taught to eat until your plate is empty, if you were actively taught to disregard your body signals, or that those signals are bad, how can you expect that you will just know how?
And that’s the problem.
Like driving, the barriers need to be addressed; you have to learn how. It takes time, support, and perseverance.
If you experience these challenges around body attunement the simplified Intuitive Eating messaging out there could contribute to you feeling like there is something wrong with you that you can’t just “tune in” to your body and live happily ever after. Your physiology (how your body works), the support you have, and life experiences (like how you were cared for and your environment) play a huge role in your relationship with food and body.
This is why considering your attachment style with food is critical and allows you to take all of these pieces into account.
Learning your Food Attachment Style™ will help bridge the gap. It will help you understand why you have struggled and what to do about your unique challenges so you can finally have the relationship with food and your body that you want.
You can have peace, satisfaction, and ease.
You can be friends with your body.
Take the Food Attachment Style™ Quiz here.
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The first step to healing our relationship with food is reconnecting with the signals our body gives us. One of the ways to do that is by checking in with your hunger before you eat. Here's my spin on the traditional hunger scale.