This is Week 5 of my 10 week series sharing my journey with the 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating. Join my newsletter today to receive email updates about my intuitive eating journey!
This week I am talking about Intuitive Eating Principle #5, Feel Your Fullness.
When I think back to when I began this journey in 2008, I remember my therapist telling me that I had no hunger cues. I’d lost my mind/body connection after years of being a yo-yo dieter and binge eater.
When I began charting my hunger, it was interesting to me how I perceived it… I found myself hungry or uncomfortably full, there was no middle ground.
It has taken me years to find a place that I know when I am satisfied and when I am respecting my body and what it needs at that given time. There are times when I CHOOSE to allow myself more to eat, knowing I will feel full, sometimes overfull. Yes, this is ok and it will happen! I bought into the lie that we should never make that choice to overeat.
Overeating meant I was a failure and had no willpower.
Lies. Lies. Lies.
Sometimes we want to eat more than is on our plate. It doesn’t mean we don’t have willpower, or in my case, it also didn’t mean that I was relapsing like I often thought I was.
Sometimes we just want to enjoy food! Food is meant to be enjoyed and when we learn to feel our fullness and honor our hunger, those times where we become overfull won’t happen nearly as often as they may have if we are in a diet/binge cycle.
How do you know if you are satisfied?
Here is how I have learned to feel my fullness.
- I feel the food in my belly without feeling overly full
- I eat the foods I want, without restriction, which means I don’t eat a bunch of food trying to satisfy a craving for something I’m telling myself I “shouldn’t” have. I eat what I want, in portion sizes that fit the needs of my body on that given day, without guilt or shame
- At most meals when I am finished I feel satisfied, meaning I don’t feel hungry or full.
Learning this is not a quick process. Like I said, this took me a very long time to figure out. Another thing I’d like to point out is that there is no comparison to your hunger and fullness and those you may be sharing a meal with.
We all have individual needs that need to be met without judgement.
We can’t possibly tell someone else when they should be hungry or full or when they’ve had enough, and no one can tell you that either.
Some people have bigger appetites than others, just like some people have a metabolism that works differently than others. This isn’t a reason to shame someone, or think that they have more willpower if they eat less. Our bodies were all created differently, therefore, all bodies have different needs.
Pay more attention to the needs of your body, and less attention to the needs of the bodies around you in regards to eating.
A dietitian I enjoy following on social media is Cara Harbstreet from Street Smart Nutrition.
Cara is a wealth of knowledge in the area of Intuitive Eating and I reached out to her for a graphic on the hunger-fullness scale. This is exactly what my therapist gave me years ago to begin paying closer attention to how my body felt while I was eating. At most meals we want to shoot for a 6-7 on the scale. That doesn’t mean every meal looks like this, but the majority of meals.
If you have more questions regarding Intuitive Eating and would like a professional opinion, I highly recommend Cara. Her blog is full of information and she also does virtual coaching for those who are interested in taking the leap into Intuitive Eating but would like a professional overseeing their progress.
Here is a link to Cara’s blog, Street Smart Nutrition.
Here is a link for more information on Libre Connections Virtual Coaching.
One of my favorite excerpts from this chapter in the Intuitive Eating book is…
“Intuitive Eating is not another diet with rules to be broken. As in every other aspect of Intuitive Eating, you are the one who has the internal wisdom about what works for you. You also know what doesn’t work.”
It’s time to begin trusting ourselves again, friends. Intuitive Eating is allowing me to do that and I wish that for you, too. It is not an easy process and it does not happen overnight… but we have the rest of our lives to master it. As for me, I’d rather spend it mastering the art of listening to my body than focusing on the next diet that will inevitably leave me hyper-focused on my body and size.
I tried that path for far too long. It’s time to embrace something new, something my body will thank me for.
For more information on the other Intuitive Eating Principles and how I’m incorporating them into my journey, follow the links below to learn more!
10 PRINCIPLES OF INTUITIVE EATING
- Reject the Diet Mentality
- Honor your Hunger
- Make Peace with Food
- Challenge the Food Police
- Feel your Fullness
- Discover the Satisfaction Factor
- Cope with your Emotions without Using Food
- Respect your Body
- Exercise-Feel the Difference
- Honor Your Health- Gentle Nutrition