My weekends used to be spent researching recipes, grocery shopping, and meal planning. It took me hours to look up recipes and make grocery lists because I was so adamant about sticking to specific food rules. It took me almost all day on Sunday to meal prep because I wanted EVERYTHING I ate to be homemade. When I decided that I needed to change my mindset around food, I knew that planning my meals out to the hour every week was going to have to stop. I was going to have to understand my body’s signals and embrace intuitive eating. I’ve listed below some key realizations that helped me to embrace intuitive eating and work towards a life of food freedom.
It will take time.
I hate to be cliche, but recovering from restrictive eating takes time. I had to be patient with the new mindset and habits I was trying to adopt. Even though I decided that working towards intuitive eating was going to be my focus, I still had to change those old rules and habits around food. I had to be constantly be aware of the habits I was trying to change so that I could actively choose the intuitive eating path.
If you are currently trying to get rid of all of the foods rules you’ve been following for years, remember to be patient. The rules you have around food did not get there overnight and nor will you adopt a food freedom mindset overnight. Things that are worthwhile most certainly take time.
Forgiveness is a must.
I am not the most patient person and nor do I extend forgiveness to myself very easily. While I was on my journey towards intuitive eating, I would get so angry if I binge ate or followed a food rule that I was trying to get rid of. In those moments, I had to forgive myself so that I could move forward. If I did not forgive myself, guilt would’ve set in and sent me into a downward spiral.
You are human. If you “slip up” and avoid carbs for a day or if you find yourself in the middle of a binge, remember to forgive yourself and move forward. Your journey towards food freedom is exactly that, a JOURNEY. You will not get there right away and if you cannot learn how to forgive yourself, you will be stuck feeling guilty all of the time.
My body will change.
The rules I had around food caused me to restrict my body on so many levels. At one point, I was only eating 1,200 calories per day and wouldn’t allow myself to eat past 7pm (even if my body was telling me it was hungry). When I started reintroducing certain foods, eating more, and allowing myself to eat past 7pm, my body started to change. Naturally, I put on more weight and noticed how my body was craving foods that I used to restrict.
If you’ve been restricting certain food groups for a while, your body may start to crave them more once you start to reintroduce them. That is okay! Your body may be missing the nutrients that come from those foods, so my word of advice is to listen to what your body is telling you it needs.
Going from planning all of your meals to listening to your body and embracing intuitive eating is a difficult journey. Especially if you’re like me and you like plans. I get that following a meal plan and following rules seems easier than listening to your body, but it is not sustainable in the long run. I hope these tidbits will help you on your journey towards food freedom. If you ever have any questions for me, please feel free to DM me on Instagram, @JessMalingowski, or sign up for a free 1-1 session.