Intuitive Eating – what and why?

Before I start writing about my intuitive eating dabblings, I thought I should define the concept and explain how I reached the point of giving it a red hot go. I started talking about this in the Scott The Strawberry post but need to go a bit deeper.

(This has all been churning round in my head for months so it’s rather long. If you’re not interested in the whys and wherefores just skip this one!)

Here is a definition of intuitive eating from the lazy person’s pal, Wikipedia:

Intuitive eating is a nutrition philosophy based on the premise that becoming more attuned to the body’s natural hunger signals is a more effective way to attain a healthy weight; rather than keeping track of the amounts of energy and fats in foods. It’s a process that is intended to create a healthy relationship with food, mind, and body.

Intuitive Eating, just like the many books available today, goes by many names, including non-dieting or the non-diet approach, normal eating, wisdom eating, conscious eating and more.

That bit in bold is what’s really driving me. I said on the podcast that, “my interest in intuitive eating has come from a lifetime of dieting and disordered eating”. It felt good to admit that. I was convinced I didn’t do diets any more, but I had sure starting engaging in the old all-or-nothing diet-y behaviours, such as:

  • alternating saintly calorie counting with binging
  • sneaking food
  • obsessing over the scale
  • exercising for punishment, not enjoyment
  • constantly thinking about food
  • feeling like my mind and body are at war
  • equating weight with self-worth

A brief recap of how I got to this point:

  • Put on my first diet aged about 8
  • Serial Weight Watcher throughout my teens and twenties
  • Hit 351 pounds by age 23
  • Lost 175 pounds over five years using one year of Weight Watchers, a six-month stint at SureSlim, then 3.5 years of my own method of eating mostly whole foods, regular exercise and counting calories.
  • Kept weight off for a couple of years – sometimes easily and other times it’s a rather stinky battle.
  • Life got crazy. Long murky period of depression. Old habits sneaked back in. Increasingly turned to food to switch off from crappy feelings and situations. Weight climbs upward.
  • Realised that despite losing a stack of weight, I had never formed a truly healthy relationship with food.
  • Became determined to find a sustainable, forever kind of approach to food, mind and body.

For awhile there I was convinced I had things licked and that I had found my own version of “normal”. I wrote in 2006-07 that I exercised regularly because I loved it, not to punish myself. I ate good clean food 90% of the time because it made me feel good. I felt like mind and body were in harmony.

But after digging deep I see now I’d created a huge undercurrent of pressure that kept me from diving into a slab of chocolate… pressures that had nothing to do with a genuine desire to Lead A Healthy Lifestyle, such as:

  • I’ve got to lose weight so I can write an ending for my book
  • I’ve got to keep this weight off so I look decent to promote my book
  • I’ve got to keep this weight off so I can go on the telly in America
  • I’ve got to keep this weight off so people don’t think I’m a fraud and a failure

So when life got really difficult and overwhelming – all those motivations were completely meaningless. My self-belief had nosedived. I thought horrible things about myself and my body that I thought I was no longer capable of.

It wasn’t a conscious decision, but at some point those motivations were not enough to keep from diving back into old, comforting habits. I just plain stopped caring about myself. It showed in my thoughts, my actions (or lack thereof), and eventually showed up on my body.

It finally dawned on me after nearly three months of Shrink sessions why I had “f*cked things up so badly” and “failed at maintenance” and “couldn’t get my eating back under control”. It was because I wasn’t losing or maintaining my weight for me. It was all external reasons, events and pressures. I didn’t keep up the healthy habits because I wasn’t doing them because I wanted to, for myself.

(Which strikes me as so nutty now, because who else really bloody cares!?)

So I asked myself the questions that I now ask myself every day: What do you want? What kind of life do you want to lead? What kind of person do you want to be?

I don’t think I’ve ever written a cheeeeeesier paragraph on this blog but those questions have really helped change the way I think and act. I’ve said it before but I believe that unless you are making changes to your life because you truly, wholeheartedly desire them for yourself, they are never going to stick.

I’ve long been a chronic people pleaser and worried endlessly about what people thought of me. When I started losing weight way back in 2001, I genuinely wanted to do so for me – but there was also a strong desire to look acceptable to the general population. As I lost some pounds, moved overseas and travelled around my confidence really took off. For the first time in my life I felt comfortable in my own skin and loved the fit, healthy person I’d become.

But when these new beliefs got tested – when my weight got all mixed up with my writing and career and thus my self-worth – I gotta admit, it messed with my head in a major way.

So I’ve been unravelling all this stuff. Asking if I am doing something because I genuinely want to, or if I thought it was the right thing to do or would please other people. Wacky times, dear comrades. Learning more about intuitive eating has been part of that process. But I think I’ve rambled on enough for one day!

54 thoughts on “Intuitive Eating – what and why?

  1. I love you dietgirl, you will always be a superhero to me ***

    footnote – it has taken me 2 years to loose 10kg, but along the way I learnt something, and that was how to maintain (in a kind of up and down way), so as the frustration kicks in of not loosing much, I try and console myself with that simple achievment.

    You motivate me. Thank you

  2. Can I just say – I really like your Pussycat blog, and obviously you’re a good writer. Would it help to write a book about the Tour de France or something? Something where you get to be witty and hilarious, to be personally distanced from the topic, and to look at buff guys in tight lycra.

    Unless of course you think you would be overwhelmed by guilt about not cycling around France, in which case make it scrapbooking or deep sea creatures or something where you think “Whoa that’s totally cool, glad it’s not me”.

  3. YES!!

    For me—as we’ve chatted about—it started in a way just thinking DOES THIS GET ME CLOSER TO OR FURTHER FROM MY GOALS?

    and then at least making the CHOICE (hello beer & chickenwings!) even if it dragged me away from my goals and not having it be a mindless thing.

    an accidental choice.

    a subconscious sabotage.

  4. I have recently been through exactly what you describe. So I am kind of relieved it is not “just me”.

    I have recently read book by Dr Amanda Sainsbury-Salis
    whose focus is fully intune with intuitive eating. It has really helped me become a lot less freaked by the whole weight loss journey and I feel a lot more peaceful and balanced about it all, thankfully!

  5. I’m new to this blog and have found it really inspiring.
    You may have covered this already, but I wondered if you’ve “done” Paul McKenna (so to speak)? It’s been my only brush with intuitive eating and it worked after a fashion but I’ve always found it impossible to keep it up.

  6. I’ve been going back and forth on this for a REALLY long time. I really want to keep up with the intuitive eating but totally afraid that old emotional eating habits will creep back in. You know this weekend I went to Paris and tried really really hard to employ the intuitive eating method. Things I learned: I’m actually rarely hungry + Love looking at the perfection of the pastry shops but don’t actually want to dig in + Love to eat when I am hungry (as opposed to eating when not) + love buckwheat crepes (not such much the sweet ones) + Had a great time, did not overeat, did not get on the scale the minute I came home…Score!

  7. Thanks for your commnets!

    @MumTum80 – I’ve heard some good reports about PMcK but not tried myself…

    @Julia – Can so relate to this – I had similiar experiences in Rome! Stood outside this amazing pastry shop and thought, “Looks good but I’m not hungry”. Part of me was happy just to take a photo of it all then another part was almost… disappointed? that I didn’t “take advantage” of the bounty before me πŸ˜›

  8. (((HUGS))) awesome post darl and so relevant to so many of us (me:fighting with weight = self-worth). Ramble on some more DG! We love you! We have to Skype soon mate ((hugs))

  9. I so identify with this. I’ve gotten so caught in the whole weight loss process that it becomes losing weight for the sake of losing weight. Then when that process stops, because you can’t keep it up forever, you realise you haven’t relearnt any bad habits just replaced one obsession with another.

  10. I so admire how you go about this whole being fit and healthy thing. Intuitive eating sounds like it is helping with the whole head part of the healthy equation, which is great. I’m so pleased for you. I’m definitely not in an intuitive eating place myself yet, but maybe someday.

  11. Being a fashionable weight is just a shortcut to getting people to like you, and it’s a heck of a difficult shortcut! People appreciate your humor, honesty, and writing ability once they get to know you. They just won’t see those things the instant they meet you like they see your figure. Once people learn about your REAL assets, they’ll pretty much ignore your size no matter what it is!

  12. Intuitive eating is such a valuable skill to have, but I find I don’t trust myself to be honest enough with myself to keep it up in the long run. Having said that, I just got back from a month back-packing in Costa Rica, where I did a half-way house of very rough food-tracking, and just trusting myself and how my clothes felt, and I was amazed to return home only a 1lb heavier. I think the main thing is that this doesn’t have to be a quick fix – we have the rest of our lives to improve one little bit at a time and learn all this stuff.

  13. Wow, that was a lot of pressure you had set up there. Your post really has me thinking. I liked your cheesy paragraph, I need to ask myself these questions more often.

  14. Really enjoyed reading this. I think long blog posts are great. I used to write them a lot — a kind of thinking out loud that can be really helpful to read.

    I think intuitive eating is so appealing because it suggests a healthy, happy relationship with food. I have not had much luck with it in practice. I think I have a tendency to equate intuitive eating with overeating, and I know that isn’t really what it is. I would enjoy seeing a post on the nuts and bolts of really making it work.

  15. There have been studies done on the effectiveness of intuitive eating, unfortunately I havent come across any that suggest its an effective way of controlling weight in the long term.

    For me CBT has been the only thing that has helped me make long term health changes.

    Hope it works for you though and hope to read your next book soon!

  16. This post certainly echoes what I’ve been going through as well; I grew up overweight, constantly going back and forth between diets and prolonged bouts of compulsive overeating.

    I dropped over 90 pounds with obsessive Weight Watchers Points counting, calorie counting and (at times, excessive) exercise.

    And, here I am, struggling to keep the weight off. Although now, it no longer feels like much of a struggle because I too have looked into intuitive eating which has forced me to look into *myself*, something I didn’t do too much of when I spent over 2 years dropping that 90 pounds.

    I can’t yet claim to be “cured,” but I do feel a lot closer to being happy with myself, regardless of size, weight and the (probably non-existent) thoughts of others. This feeling is also effecting my eating and exercise habits, slowly putting them into a long overdue healthy balance.

    I’m starting to ramble as well, but wanted to again thank for sharing your experience with all of this. Between you, me and countless others, it seems we all start out with the best intentions when committing to weight-loss and a healthy life, but inadvertently put way too much pressure on ourselves and sometimes set the bar too high when defining “success.” I think, in terms of weight loss, maintenance and overall health, we’re often already successful and don’t even realize it because of various internal/external (and perhaps unrealistic) expectations.

    I wish you well in this self-exploration and know that you’re certainly not alone!

  17. I have been looking at intuitive eating as well … I do believe that it is so much healthier than counting every calorie and every ounce that you put into your body.

    I totally relate to your “exercise as punishment” statement. I really want to keep exercise as a positive experience – something that I do for me, and for no one else and I don’t want to use it as a punishment, because I think it will turn my focus in the wrong direction.

    Thanks as always for being honest with your friends on the interwebs, who are dealing with the EXACT same thing.

  18. The times in my life when I ate just because I was hungry are so rare, I can probably count them on one hand. Before I embarked on my “get healthy” campaign on Jan. 1, I never allowed myself to get hungry, I was constantly snacking, from boredom or because it tasted good. I constantly have to ask myself now, “Am I hungry?” Because most of the time, I am not, I’m just eating ‘to be eating.’ Please write more about your quest to figure out intuitive eating, cause I think we’re all trying to come to terms with it. It’s the only way to maintain.
    A long time ago you wrote, “There’s enough dodgy things that could happen to a person without voluntarily shortening your lifespan with crappy lifestyle choices……I want to see my grandkiddies and roam the world and be able to ride a bike when I’m an old lady, all the while still eating my greens with my own teeth. It’s a powerful incentive that’s easy to lose sight of.” WISE words, they’re taped by my computer to remind me to make GOOD lifestyle choices. Thanks Dietgirl, even in your battle to take off the extra pounds, you remain an inspiration to me!

  19. Where do you suppose the disconnect happens? When do we stop eating what our body needs and only when we’re hungry? I ask because I haven’t figured that out yet and it’s tormenting me. If we could only get that sussed out then we could make it stop for every little child (and then adult) everywhere.

    Why can’t it be easy???

  20. Oh man there is so much amazing stuff in your comments, I don’t know where to begin! The trouble with writing about this stuff is that it always raises more questions than it answers! I have started and abandoned about 20 posts in the past few months, my head is just o’erbrimming! πŸ™‚

    Thanks everyone…

  21. It’s comforting to know that even superheros like DietGirl struggle at times. I have no doubt you will get your cape back on and fly high again. You are still my hero. πŸ˜‰

  22. Coincidentally, I relistened to the Intuitive Eating podcast last night. It seemed to me that it was an emotional topic for you, and as always, I appreciate your honesty and willingness to share. I remember sitting in the therapist’s office in my 30s, having just dropped out of grad school, feeling like a failure, and she said, “What do you want?” and I had no freakin’ clue. We spend so much of our lives following external cues, that it can be extremely difficult to figure out what we really want for ourselves. I’ve dabbled with Intuitive Eating in the past, but found I wasn’t able to do the kind of reflection that is necessary to make it work. Right now, I like the structure of a calorie total to guide me, but I _do_ make allowances for days when I’m genuinely hungrier and need a few more calories… And I refuse to feel guilty about that, since the best bit of info I’ve gathered from your podcasts is to do what works for me, and don’t worry about what the experts say! ; )

  23. This is great. I’ve thought before about how this “doing it just for myself” notion… it’s both the best and the worst advice to be read or given (or give). Best, because in the end that’s what it boils down to. Worst, because it’s just about the most cliched thing one could say. Yes, this is what it boils down to, but it’s NOT about being told to just do it for yourself… I firmly believe we have to arrive at this idea and be fully ready to live it. And as you point out, staying in that zone isn’t straightforward either. Checks and balances. Or, in other words – the need for harmony. πŸ™‚

    Totally agree with the first commenter, you are a superhero – and will be. πŸ™‚ *hugs*

  24. I have many reasons for why i want to lose the weight. Not all of them are for me. But, the vitally imporatnt ones are because of reasons that will benefit me first. SO I think it is Ok to include doing this for others in your list of reasons, as long as it is ME first, then the rest. Simply if there is no ME around because I failed and leve this world early due to bad habits, what does it matter who else I should have done it for?

    Take care, always!

  25. I wish I could say something wise and profound, but it is bedtime I and I’ve got nothing.

    I am going to say don’t look at any of this time as wasted. It all counts, and now that you’ve come to this point go forward knowing many people in the blogosphere are cheering you on with the hope that you do what is best for yourself.

  26. Krissie you're sooo bang on about the "do it for yourself" being the best/worst advice… so many people have said that to me in years gone by and I was all "blah blah blah whatever". It really was a point I had to arrive at myself after taking a lot of strange paths and making mistakes. But I am with Kate D in thinking that it wasn't time wasted πŸ™‚

    Thank you all for commenting, you’re superstars!

  27. Wooohooo!!! I love this post! And not just because I’ve followed a nearly identical path in coming to Intuitive Eating. I adore your honesty. And your willingness to be really curious about yourself and your motivations. (Hi Geneen! Yes I like to parrot you at random.) But mostly I love seeing people find a way to be healthy without being crazy. We are inundated with healthy/crazy people to the point where we think we have to be a little bit nuts to lose weight or get healthier. I’d always hoped that wasn’t true but now I’m finally seeing that it’s not! Go Shauna!!

    PS> Your book pressure stuff? Almost cried with relief reading it!! Not that I’ve got any TV offers but still…;)

  28. This is the first time I’ve posted here. The fact that you can admit that food is still a struggle is such a huge inspiration for me. Because it’s REAL and we can all identify with it. I’m off to google this intuitive eating …..

  29. So, this post could not have been more perfectly timed for me. I have a family member that just entered a rehad facility for his personal addiction. Your statement “I believe that unless you are making changes to your life because you truly, wholeheartedly desire them for yourself, they are never going to stick.” is one that I will pass along to him. Thanks for sharing yourself with the rest of us.

  30. I actually have found you more inspiring that you have had your ups and downs and still struggle despite your book and blogging success. Even if you gained all your weight back I would still follow you Shauna, because you are real. All those famous diets and infomercials always make it look easy and make it look as if the people had no motivational hiccups along the way. Who can relate to that?! Keep up the good work and know that your readers truly understand and accept you for you!

  31. Oh my gosh. Mindful eating is such a simple concept, but so hard to put into practice. At least for me. I’m glad you wrote about this. I don’t think it’s cheesy. These are exactly the sorts of issues I am personally struggling with and it’s so nice to read about your perspective. Thanks for sharing!

  32. Yikes about the typos in my previous comment, lol!
    Definitely not wasted time, no – and this is yet another thing we’ve got to believe, (and have the belief come from within, not just be told), that all effort counts. Even if it’s going in circles (which can be a very purposeful activity anyway). It’s about living and learning. Screw those who say mistakes or roundabout ways of getting places are wrong. To use a simple example – how many times do babies fall before they learn to walk? And even once they do learn to walk, does this mean they never ever fall or trip again? Of course not. πŸ™‚

  33. It goes in cycles for me. When I’m stressed, I tend to eat to cope. I also get derailed (like you wrote about) when I start thinking about weight loss for reasons other than “I want to do this for me”. In those situations, the person eating intuitively seems to be about age 5: and she eats like a 5 year-old would if you turned her loose in a candy store! When this happens, I try to be a “good parent” to myself and put some healthy boundaries in place about eating real food, staying away from sugar, etc. I find it helpful to just keep checking in to see “who” is doing the shopping.

  34. Dude, this is so true! I love the cheesiness. You rule and it’s a horrible bind you got yourself in Shauny, it makes me sad. But I’m glad you’re happier now!!!! You know how I was on the Atkins diet like a madwoman? Wwell, I lost 3 kg (an achievement because the scale hadn’t budged for 9 months!), but it was HELL and so counterintuitive to common sense, so I stopped. Honestly, one morning I cried because I couldn’t eat porridge (baby bear phenomenon).

    Now I’m on a balance of healthful foods I know make me feel good (physically), rather than some insane restrictive diet. I have spent 2 years trying to get back into my old clothes pre twins only to find that now they pretty much fit, I don’t want them anymore! I’ve decided to stop saying I’ve got about 5 or so kg of weight to lose till I’m ‘normal’ and accept that THIS is normal and a strong body will continue to develop, in time, with healthy eating and healthy exercise … and really good cake and chocolate every now and then!

    Sorry for rambly rambler. xx

  35. Love it, shauny.
    I have just gotten on the mindfulness wagon.
    I feel that my psyche with regards to eating has improved, but my trousers are still tight.
    The mindful eating is difficult to reconcile with the restriction required to lose weight. I am trying, trying to find a balance because I feel awkward in my skin.

  36. Oh Shauna! As always you describe everything so perfectly that I am nodding my head vigorously at every single paragraph. It’s just like reading your book. I’ve been through, or am going through, some of this stuff myself, and your podcast about intuitive eating has really intrigued me. I’ve starting my own thoughts about Who do I want to be? and other deep reflection that is never comfortable.

    As far as the cheesiness – I always think of the time that I finally managed to quit smoking for good (several failed attempts). I decided ahead of time that I would do every stupid, touch-feely, cheesy, hippie-blather, pop-psychology exercise that the little booklet recommended. I would give myself NO CHANCE to fail. Or at least, I would make sure that I neglected no opportunities for success; I wouldn’t knowingly reject valid methods. And that is so unlike me, it’s so hard for me to do that cheesy stuff! But it worked.

    I guess sometimes you have to be willing to make a fool of yourself, to yourself, to accomplish what you want. Be brave enough to let yourself look a ninny.

  37. Loved this. Could have read a lot more. Don’t stop writing just b/c you think you’re rambling … clearly we don’t mind! Don’t abandon any more posts! Just toss ’em up and see what sticks.

    Re: doing it for yourself: maybe this is why, while I’ve always been conscious and careful about my weight, I’ve never really had a struggle with it: because deep down and honestly? I don’t give a sh*t what other people think about me – the private, personal me. My BEHAVIOR is all they have the right to judge, and even then only when it directly affects them.

    That mindset made for a somewhat lonely adolescence, but it has paid off in pretty big ways in midlife.

    Best wishes to all.

  38. Oh, I hear ya, Shauna! (And you are so my hero.)

    For a year and a half or so now, I’ve been maintaining at a weight that is in the “overweight” BMI category but that has all of my health numbers looking fine and me feeling quite fit and content with what I can eat, if not quite completely content at still being 26 pounds above the “healthy” BMI range. And your post really brought it home why: I’m a writer, and I want a nice, tidy, impressive quest-story! Even though “the story” is just on my blog, I keep thinking, “100 pounds lost would sound so much better!” Isn’t that madness? Especially when I know it would be so crazy-making to pursue that last bit.

    So like many, I’m drawn to Intuitive Eating. I did “retrain” myself to eat sensibly by semi-rigorously following a structured plan for quite awhile. But in my case, with diabetes, my body’s hunger cues seem to be broken. I can be ravenously hungry only a couple of hours after eating, when my blood glucose levels are showing that no, I really don’t need the fuel. What has worked is that I followed my old plan to kind of go “autopilot” with it, which is restful and at least honors the IE tenet of honoring one’s health.

  39. There’s a good article on this topic by Susie Orbach in the latest (October) issue of UK Elle magazine. Definitely worth a read.

    It makes me really sad to see so many women treat food as the enemy or something to be feared rather than something that gives nourishment and pleasure. Like many (most?) of us, I used to overeat when bored/lonely/upset. However over the past seven or eight years I have settled into a pattern of eating when I’m hungry, and eating pretty much whatever I fancy, and my weight has stayed the same ever since (until I got pregnant six months ago, but that’s another story!).

    Much more importantly, I feel relaxed with my body and myself. It can be tough to do, but after a while it becomes completely natural (because it is) and you don’t even think about it. You no longer give food any power over you. Best of luck and congratulations Shauna on everything you have already achieved.

  40. I have to confess that intuitive eating approaches have never worked for me. Like one of the previous comment-writers, I find it easier to just work out some healthy meals and snacks that are easy to carry with me or find when I’m out and about (and not too heavy in my rucksack — my back is also important to me!) and then stick to those most of the time. For me personally, the best way to not overeat is not to focus so much on food, but to get my main pleasures from other things that I enjoy at least as much. I am envious of those who say that they are never really hungry, but just eat for the sake of it. As a dancer I probably use more calories than most, but I have NEVER not been hungry when meal and snacktimes came around. Usually, I am ravenous. Rather than trusting myself to know when to stop eating and how much will fill me up, I find it much easier to just eat a weighed/measured portion that I know from experience is reasonable. Also, I can’t always eat on a timetable that exactly corresponds to my body’s hunger. If I have a three-hour dance practice session, I can’t just stop in the middle and eat something because my body suddenly decides it’s very hungry otherwise I’ll suffer from heartburn and nausea. So I have something filling to eat a couple of hours beforehand and a banana or a yoghurt drink to sustain me just before. Also, if I’m having a very busy day, and I have a break to myself for eating I don’t like to just sit there forcing myself to give my full focus to the food like a yogi. Dancing also takes a lot of focus, so during my break, I find it much more fun and relaxing to take some downtime from the need for rapt concentration and enjoy my food with a good book in the sunshine. So, I’m afraid no intuitive eating for me. Lots of people swear by it, but it’s not for everyone.

  41. Basically, I think the danger of intuitive eating is that it can promote just the kind of joyless, obsessive attitude towards food that dieting does — but without the weight loss benefits.

  42. Shauna

    Like so many of those who have posted comments, your story could be mine (well, without the book deals etc).

    I am currently doing Weight Watchers (again) and was finally getting into the zone (though had a LONG way to go), but took holidays and have gained almost all of the weight I lost. I am constantly filled with guilt over how I could (again) let my efforts be wasted.

    I am tired of stressing about what I eat and what I don’t eat; of feeling deprived; and guilty.

    I like the concept of Intuitive eating and have tried similar but never really ‘let go’. I have just stuck to WW points all of this week but frustrated that I haven’t lost any of the 3+kgs I gained last week… AND can’t help but wonder what I would have weighed if I hadn’t religiously stuck to points. Grrr….

    I am a regular reader of your blog and like its positivity and honesty. Keep up the good work.

  43. I think the idea of intuitive eating is a good one, so long as you are listening properly. Do you also find that as you get older (i’m 35) that the dieting pendelum swings less extremely? You realise the “highs” you once sought from binging on fatty/sweet food won’t be reached. I’m also finding, that although I’m relatively slim, I worry about those health concerns that come from bad diets… diabetes, bowel cancer etc. Do I really want to be living with these chronic illnesses in later life? Possibly while my children are still living with me? NO! It shocks me into sensible behaviour much of the time.

  44. intuitive cooking all sounds so sensible – and yet so hard for some of us – I admire those who are so in touch with their bodies but I think I find so many other messages getting in the way – so it is helpful and comforting to read your reflections – good luck in getting there

  45. This post is such an inspiration.
    I recently went to a dietician, who outlined IE without naming it. It’s wonderful to know now that there is literature to read on it! Thank you.

  46. Hey Shauna,

    Dude, ‘what do I want’ today, this minute, this month, this year is such a powerful way of turning your (my) head around and in the right direction. Embrace the cheese! I know that phrase was a revelation to me when I was depressed and going through a messy break up.

    Huge fan of your book and have been reading your blog for years (but been too shy to post), you have been a superhero to my weight loss because you keep it real girl. 14 kgs gone, 4 to go!

    Much love from an Aussie Girl xx

  47. I completely relate to the people pleasing. I stayed on so many eating plans and even support groups for eating disorder recovery simply because I wanted to be “good” and please those in the group.
    Intuitive eating has been the foundation of my eating disorder recovery and the biggest part of that was learning to trust myself and to know that my body is smarter than any nutritionist. It was the biggest challenge but eventually brought me the greatest freedom

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