In response to the title: YES! Healing our relationships with food + exercise is absolutely worth it. It allows us to live our life to the fullest without being under the control of negative food thoughts + compulsions. But you don’t have to just take my word for it.
There’s something truly magical about connecting with other individuals who have something in common with you. It can be both encouraging + reassuring to hear their experiences and be reminded that we’re not alone! Today, I’ve compiled the responses from others who have experienced how healing their relationship with food + exercise has impacted their lives! Also, be sure to check out these amazing ladies on their social media to add some positivity to your feeds!
“Finally ditching the food police was a huge first step in helping me feel less neurotic around food. Being a dietetics student, I thought that my “job” was to be the food police! It wasn’t until I realized how much time and energy I spent cooking/talking about/studying food, that I realized how much of my life I was wasting. I didn’t want to be a food police anymore. I was doing a lot more harm than good!
Now, I know that the obsession with food and body is way more about our own cultural expectations than evidence-based nutrition practice. Not only is intuitive eating rooted in positive physiological and psychological health outcomes, but it makes life way more enjoyable. We don’t have to be slaves to the food label. Food is just food – let’s enjoy it, savor it, appreciate it, and leave it at that!”
“Intuitive eating has changed my life! I can enjoy spontaneous date nights with my hubby now with no worry. I can go out to eat with friends and order what I truly want vs. what is “safe”. I laugh so much more because my brain is not bogged down with food numbers. I could keep going but I’d be here forever! I share often on my Instagram page about different parts of my intuitive eating journey and how I’ve discovered true food freedom.”
“I became a dietitian because I was so entrenched in disordered eating. I cycled through all the fad diets: Paleo, real food, low-fat, low-carb, etc., and luckily came across intuitive eating a couple years ago. To be honest, the first time I read it, I wasn’t ready to hear it.
Within the last year, I picked up the book again and soaked it in. I began doing my research about fat phobia, weight stigma, and how we can really trust our bodies to settle into our natural set point. Once you discover intuitive eating and health at every size, there’s no going back. You can’t unlearn what you know. And it’s liberating to live the life you want without brain space being consumed by counting calories and over exercising. Intuitive eating is why I love being a dietitian.”
“I think the most beautiful, unexpected thing about intuitive eating is that brought me freedom in aspects of my life completely unrelated to food! It’s crazy how widespread the binge-restrict mindset can spread, from budgeting to working out to how I use social media. Intuitive eating that nothing is black-and-white, and how to be comfortable in the gray area of eating a mix of what nourishes my soul and body.”
“Finding peace with food has been an ongoing, but extremely rewarding, process. It still takes effort, but where I used to look at food solely in terms of calories or if it was a “bad” or “good” and had an unhealthy obsession, I now aim to see what I eat for so many other reasons. I love food because it tastes good, it makes me feel good, it makes me happy, it brings people and families together, and cooking is therapeutic.
If I want potato chips now, I LOVE that I am able to simply eat them without the guilt of feeling like I ate something off-limits and have to somehow make up for it. There are certainly days where I find myself slipping back into a negative mindset with food, but having a great support system and knowing all of the amazing reasons to stay in recovery help bring me back to the present, where I can love what I eat and not feel bad about a damn thing.
Mindful movement, to me, means doing things that simply make me feel awesome about myself. Finding exercise and activities that I love has had a huge impact on loving my body as well. I never look at my thighs anymore and think they are too big, instead I look for positive things to think about them. My favorites being: these legs can literally run 10 miles of a Tough Mudder, throw some badass kicks in Body Combat, and squat 50 pounds in Body Pump for 5 minutes- how awesome are they?!”
“I can say without any hesitation or reservation that when I ditched dieting, overcame obsessive exercise, and embraced Intuitive Eating I finally felt true joy for the first time in my life. Instead of having my brain space occupied with calorie counts, macro breakdowns, and extreme workouts, it was filled with memories made with family and friends, laughter, positive movement experiences, and self-care practices. This newly discovered joy has allowed me to strengthen my existing relationships, make connections with new people , discover passions, follow my dreams and truly live my life to the fullest each and every day.”