Intuitive Eating – Suddenly Hip

By Gina V. on 12/06/2005
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Chisinau It’s been very interesting watching the latest weight control “it diet” gather steam in the media. It’s the “non-diet” diet  of Steven Hawks EdD (Doctor of Education) , professor at Brigham Young University, and the founder, president and director of the new National Institute of Intuitive Eating (“doors opening in July 2006″, according to website).

Dr. Hawk’s version of “intuitive eating” is an amalgam of the philosophy that’s been helping women for the past 33 years at Green Mountain at Fox Run, along with his own ideas about this and that. Normally “intuitive eating” is not sexy enough on its own to merit much media attention – it’s just too commonsensical and not gimmicky enough – but since Dr. Hawk has married it with the words “diet” and “weight loss” so heavily, it’s become the new “in” thing. It’s been interesting to see this “new and hottest trend” emerging when a whole lot of others (physcians, clinicians, therapists, movement therapists, dietitians) in the Health at Every Size and non-diet movements have been guiding people to healthy weights and mindsets for a lot of years through mindfuness and intuitive eating and exercise.

Although very simple in approach (eat until satisfied, then stop), the practical application can become complicated when years of dieting, societal pressures, body unacceptance, and being solely focused on weight loss are in the mix. For those that can just read “eat, stop when full” and do it, more power to you. Really, I mean that.

But for most, finding the place of peaceful eating inside of them requires some guidance, and often being immersed in an environment that is free of the judgments, pressures and obligations of “life” and ther relentless pressure of believing your body is not any good until it “loses weight.” Learning to eat until satisfaction is a skill and practice like any other – you can go out and whack a ball with a golf club and maybe you hit a hole in one. Others of us need some help, particularly if we don’t want to hit a hole in one, but finish the course competently every time. Learning the philosophy of the game, having someone show us the proper grip, letting our muscles learn what a good swing feels like might be some ways that we’d learn how to be “natural.” I’m glad I had a coach like Green Mountain to help me be natural with food and my body, but for any of you that can read about it and do it, here’s the latest story on Dr. Hawks Intuitive Eating.

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8 Responses (Add Yours)

  • Lori says:

    Gina,

    I found the same article yesterday and posted it on the alumnae bulletin board. I also found it amusing that he still called it a “diet”. How can a non-diet be a diet? Oh well…I too am so grateful that I found Green Mountain at Fox Run to guide me through my journey in changing my relationship with food.

    Lori

  • Gina says:

    Lori, your comments are so welcome – I know that you really “get” this in your being! It’s hard for me to watch all the diet advice and craziness that goes on in the media, knowing that there’s someone out there just like I used to be, that’s having her relationship with her body undermined, and feeling like it’s her fault! Sigh – one step at a time. :-)

    Gina

  • cindy says:

    Great post, kiddo!

  • Harriet Krivit says:

    Thank you Gina…any thoughts on my post in response to “food addiction”? Much in there relates to your discussion, yes?

  • Gina says:

    Hi Harriet -

    You might find this odd, but I don’t read the articles posted by Marsha or CeBe, so that I don’t start to pick up ideas from them, and we end up all writing about the same thing! When I got your comment, I did go back and read the post and comments – yes, I do see the similarity, and that’s the essence of a true non-diet approach (versus a non-diet diet) is…everyone really does have to find their own way. While science pokes and prods a few more brains, hormones and secretions, those of us in the “trenches” have to find a way to make peace with ourselves and with food.

    While there’s an amazing multitude of layers and variations within an individual relationship with food, there are some common opinions or ideas that don’t help (perfect eating, “good” food means I’m “good”…) and some that do help (one brownie never made anyone fat, it’s about balance in life, love yourself). While it’s easier, I find, to understand and drop the items in the “don’t help” category, it takes a bit of work, time and experiences to build continuing success in the “does work” category.

    Are we all starting to sound alike? Good, sometimes it’s fun just to preach to the choir :-)

    Peace to all – Gina

  • Julie Schmidt says:

    Hi,

    I have started intuitive eating about 2 months ago and it was the best thing I could have done to develop a healthier relationship with food. I do find that I have a lot of trouble premenstrually, however, because I can’t seem to feel my fullness during that period. What happens and what can I do to cope with that time?

    Thanks,

    Julie

  • Cindy says:

    Hi Julie. Everyone is on vacation this week! I didn’t want your post to just sit out there w/out some kind of response. I’ve spoken to Marsha about this before and with her usual wisdom (and I think Gina would agree), she reminded me that intuitive eating is not just about the times when you’re eating more conservatively because you’re listening to your body, it also may mean eating more. When we’re premenstral and menstrating our metabolism goes up. It’s not unusual to feel like you aren’t satiated eating what you normally do. In those times where it’s difficult to ‘tune in’, give yourself permission to eat more. It is a lot better eating a bit more for a week or so, than getting involved in some very crazy eating a week or two later because you’re struggling with the aftermath of deprivation. So, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Eat more (and maybe even different kinds of food than you usually do), to feel more satisfied. It will all fit into an overall healthy eating plan. I know I just gave up over analyzing it and it helped me. Hope this helps you…

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