Thoughts on Finding My Intuitive Eater

I had planned on posting something entirely different, but after yesterday’s  revelation, it only seemed right to get some “thoughts” out today…and as is the case with many of these posts, it’s better if I just take the stream of consciousness approach

Ok, here goes…

Selfie 1

To be honest, when I first started my journey with Intuitive Eating, I felt completely lost. Without a schedule to tell me WHEN to eat, how could I know if it was “time” to be hungry? Without a count of calories per meal, how would I know I was truly satisfied? Without a list of “good” versus “bad”, how would I know I was eating healthy?

I had no idea how to listen to my body…after years and years of thinking I (points thumbs at chest) knew better, it’s no wonder my intuitive eater decided to desert me. Heck, I didn’t even know what I really liked to eat in the beginning! It took a LOT of trial and error, picking up and dusting myself off, and self-reflecting over this past year, but I can honestly say it was ALL worth it! The freedom I felt when I first let go of calorie counting, is nothing compared to how I feel now.

I feel like a completely different person!

Annie's Mac & Cheese with Peas

A person who doesn’t feel the need to challenge her cravings…even if it’s for pasta…which I usually don’t think twice about. A person who can enjoy a couple bites of chocolate without having to eat the entire bar. A person who doesn’t have to “make up for” those  bites by jogging around the block at midnight. But most importantly,

A person whose life doesn’t revolve around FOOD!

Many people will tell you a struggling relationship with food isn’t actually about the food  and, thanks to my work with Jamie, I believe that wholeheartedly. While I think it was important to put more focus on food in the beginning (so that I could relearn my body’s natural signals), I feel like I started to get stuck in a state of hyper-vigilance. It wasn’t until a few months ago, that I felt a shift occur where I finally took my eyes off the road ahead…stopped comparing my progress to others, and started looking INWARD! I swear after that, time slowed down. It’s funny, the moment I stopped focussing so much on the journey, the destination was in SIGHT!

Selfie 2

Now, I am by NO means saying that I’m completely “healed” and will never again suffer from food guilt or the occasional binge, but I’m finally in a place where I can see those as natural occurrences in this crazy, stressful, media-shoving-things-down-your-throat-about-how-you-should-eat world we live in. Now, I can feel my hunger without having to consult a schedule; I can feel my satiety without having to grab a calculator, and I know that I’m eating “healthy” because I feel good about the choices that I make.

I want to thank you all SO much for being there for me this past year. I surely would’ve given up long ago without your support. But I also want to thank myself…for learning how to love, forgive, and be patient with the one person who means the most…

ME!

And for also having the remarkable forethought to take a bajillion pictures of myself last month, in the name of Spoons, so that I would have a couple to break up the monotony of this post! 😉

No questions today, just tell me some thoughts!

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63 Responses to Thoughts on Finding My Intuitive Eater

  1. Two words – So proud. I am proud of you and you can be of yourself so much!! It is so wonderful to see how you take steps forward and accepting all the ebbs and flows. I know it is hard to handle relapses, but they happen to all of us and it’s just all about how we raise after that! I love that you are so patient with yourself, cause this is definitely the hardest part, at least for me. But look at you smiling beauty!! I know for sure that you will continue working in the rigth direction and by today in a year you will be even stronger. Love you girl!!

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      “…and by today in a year you will be even stronger” <- YES! You are so right! Thank you, Lucie! Your encouragement and support have helped me more than you know! Love you SO much!

  2. You are amazing and gorgeous and I’m so proud of you! :)

  3. Cat says:

    This is such an inspiring post – intuitive eating is something I struggle much less with these days but I still have a lot to learn – it’s really reassuring to hear how much success you’ve had with it :)

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Thank you, Cat. It really is something that is different for each person I think…and takes time to figure out what works best for YOU!

  4. I really like this. I think because you don’t say it was easy, you don’t say it was magically healed, you are truthful and real to how it was for you. intuitive eating is hard, something a lot of people gloss over. especially those people, like myself, that had struggles in their past with food and food choices. great post lady – ps dig the nose ring. always wanted to be able to pull one off

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Aww, thanks! It (the nose ring) to a little getting use to, but I really like it now!

      And yes, so many people think this is some sort of fad…a new age “become a better me” type thing, but it’s NOT easy. You can’t just follow some steps in a book and be healed in a matter of weeks. You can’t expect after years and years of struggling with food and restriction to just wake up the next day and be totally ok with eating anything. It goes so much deeper and only people who have TRULY been there, like you, can understand.

  5. betty says:

    love this! I have such a horrible relationship with food.. I’ve been trying to mend it.. but I have to realize its a slow process.. it took me 26 years to get to this point, it’ll take me more than a few days to figure out what my body wants/needs

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      That is EXACTLY what I had to remind myself of every time, I felt like giving up. I never noticed how quietly things crept into my mind over the years. I felt like I just woke up one day and was “broken”…but that was so not the case! And the most important thing in the beginning is to trust yourself (and not listen to others) about what is best for YOU! You’ll get there, girl! I can tell you have a strong spirit in you. Just remember to be patient and kind to yourself in the meantime! <3

  6. I think this is amazing Heather! I’m so happy that you’re finding your way and that your relationship with food is getting better. So proud of you friend!

  7. I’m so proud of you lady!! <3

  8. I just want to squeeze you through the screen. I’m so so happy for you. SO happy. You are amazing, and resilient, and DAMN FIIIIINEEEE ;).

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Awww, CarLYYYYYYYYYYYY!! I’m grinning from ear to ear! Thank you SO much! I wish I could squeeze you right BACK! xoxo

  9. I am so freaking proud of you girl. Oh my goodness, words can’t express how gorgeous you are inside and out! I just want to hug you so hard right now. Eeeek! Let’s catch up soon… Maybe after all this winter weather is through we can meet up again?

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Thank you, my sweet friend! And omg, yes, Yes, YES!!! I miss you so much! I can’t WAIT to see your pretty little face again…and meet Baby Delight? 😀

  10. Lyric says:

    Heather you rock! And I really look up to you. You have such a great outlook on life even on your bad days you always manage to find a way to make it better in your posts. Thank you for that!

  11. Julie says:

    I am being more conscious of when I’m hungry. I used to time my snack for break, but I realized that sometimes I’m hungrier earlier or not hungry. I also eat after work/school daily, but instead, I’ve taken naps or walked around to avoid going home and eating. This is still a struggle for me though.

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      But it sounds like you are well on your way to figuring things out! You’ve already recognized differences…just keep staying in tune with yourself and you will have that foundation built soon. The hardest part is just waiting for those first few bricks to dry! :)

  12. Just starting this journey now. It’s terrifying! I completely completely relate to your “before” self. Honestly, even if I fall off the bandwagon, this is absolutely my life goal and I’ll get there eventually.

  13. Kat says:

    Like I said yesterday, this deserves a freaking celebration girl. And true, you wont be magically healed by this. There will still be struggles and bad days, but that’s what makes these victories SO much more important. They are vital to learning and growing.

  14. Go girl! What a journey – you must be SO proud of yourself!

  15. lindsay says:

    I followed you through this whole journey.. I’ve seen you grow as a person. More confident. Trusting the process! Love you and so proud! true inspiration

  16. As someone who is in recovery from my life revolving around food, I am so happy for you that you found something that worked for you. :)

  17. I’m on my intuitive eating journey as well and I am loving it! Letting go of the macro count was hard at first, and although I do struggle for sometimes trying to configure calories counts in my head, I am feeling free. I am no longer being chained up by the fear of going over numbers. It’s all trial and error. I nourish my body and soul. I feel so much less stressed. It’s amazing. I am so happy to hear that you’re happy and I’m here for ya!

    You’re look gorgeous my darling! 😀

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Awww, thank you, Natalie!! It sounds like you are doing fantastic! So happy to hear that freedom in your “voice”! And as always, your positive attitude is just downright contagious! I love it! :)

  18. You are amazing! Changing your relationship with food isn’t easy – I’m talking from experience here – but it’s so worth it. It’s been so great to see you in such a happier place lately. :)

  19. You know what I loved most about following you on this journey? The fact that you were straight up about the whole process. You didn’t sugar coat it and say it was a walk in the park, and you shared all your struggles and pitfalls along the way. That, my dear, is commendable beyond words. I’m so proud of you, but even more than that, so HAPPY for you. Expect the biggest freaking rib-crushing hug when I see you at Blend. Not even kidding.

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      You better not be…because I’ll be READY!! And seriously, I know I’m technically the older one, but I swear I always think of you as a big sister…and to hear you say that just now…ugh, it just melted my heart! Thank you SO much, girlie! Love you!

  20. Love everything about this! My journey with intuitive eating was very similar. It honestly meant letting go of my consistent thoughts on food. Like planning my next meal, planning for the week, needing to know everything that was in my food. I don’t find that not pre-chopping my veggies makes me less likely to eat them…the planning just got way too neurotic and I needed to trust in myself a little more! Sounds like you’re thinking the same thing 😉

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Exactly! Looking at food prep now seems more like a natural thing than a rigorous checklist! I still find it surprising when, at the end of the day, I’ve forgotten what I had for breakfast, but then I realize that that is completely NORMAL! Haha!

  21. Maria says:

    Just reading and nodding. Reading and nodding :)

    I love how you explain and approach IE in this post. I’ve read a lot of review of it that made it seem like it was some magic pill that suddenly changed their life. You speak of it as you would a journey; a new way of living. That’s so refreshing to me and has been my experience as well. It’s about not feeling guilty about eating a little too much here there. Not getting anxiety when your SO wants to go grab some unhealthy food on a Friday night and you just don’t think you can say no to it. And most of all, a change in attitude and approach with food. About eating to live, and not living to eat.

    So happy that you are continuing the journey and that we can do it together :) [End cheese].

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Awww, best CHEESE EVER!!! You hit the nail on the HEAD! “About eating to live, and not living to eat.” Amen!! *standing ovation* 😉

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  24. What a beauty you are, inside and out lady!! Congrats to you, I think this is just awesome.

    PS, that pasta looks DEVINE. xoxo.

  25. This post is so reassuring!! I just finished the intuitive eating book and am starting out on my journey. I can see my weight fluctuating and trying desperately not to revert to weighing myself all the time or checking the macros on everything.

    It’s a difficult change but a rewarding one and I’m so pleased you’ve been able to feel some success on your journey. CONGRATULATIONS BABY!

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Thank you, Diana!! And congratulations to YOU! That that first step definitely takes some courage…and trust me, I went through the exact same thing with my weight and wanting to tally up my calorie counts “just to check”. I did end up putting on some weight a few months ago, but like I said, it’s all balancing out now. You just have to trust yourself! :)

  26. Such an inspiration, lady! I’ve recently come out about the internal battle I have had with food/eating/calorie counting and obsessing for the past 8 years. Right now is still a struggle to not count but am making an effort to eat more calories to fuel my body. Thank you for sharing your experience, you are such an inspiration and reassurance that I am doing the right thing for ME!

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Oh Emily! I am SO happy for and PROUD of you! It takes a lot of courage to take that first step, and I know what you mean about struggling not to count…in the beginning, so much was ingrained in my head, that it was hard not to make a mental tally of it throughout the day. It definitely helped to change up the foods I was eating (read: foods I hadn’t already memorized the stats of) and to not measure. You can DO this, girlie! 😀

  27. Love you girl. I’m glad I could be there for the journey. Muah!

  28. So so proud of you!! This is friggin awesome!! Since starting on a food plan I’ve started to have not more thoughts around food, I’m eating a lot so I’m not interested in it anymore but still having the fat talk conversations in my head so think I need to go back and read my IE book again.

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      I’ve had some struggles here and there with the fat talk as well…though I am proud to say that there’s been less of it lately. I think it’s helped that I’ve been focusing on treating myself…shopping, book reading, napping…just doing things to make me FEEL good so then when I look in the mirror I SEE good! <- FYI, that statement sounded smarter in my head! 😉

  29. This makes me smile like a cheshire cat.

    Your honesty, your struggles, your successes, your struggles again- whether you realise it or not, you have given hope and been evidence that the focus isn’t on food and there is light at the end of the tunnel of food torment- we shouldn’t and don’t need to constantly be stressing out about food- it’s there to be enjoyed and then allow us to move on and LIVE.

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      “We shouldn’t and don’t need to constantly be stressing out about food- it’s there to be enjoyed and then allow us to move on and LIVE.” So true! I could stand in my chair and shout this!! Thank you so much, Arman!!!

  30. Mom says:

    I love the pics! My beautiful girl!!!
    The pic of the shells and peas…hahaha…that sounds cute…shells and peas!!! Anyhoo, I have not had shells and cheese since your sister left me…we should all get together and have some shells and peas soon!!!

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Haha! Aww, I love you…because you know that is something I would say! We DO need a little mama-daughter date soon! I’m out of town this weekend, but maybe next?

  31. Lisa says:

    I know I’m late to comment, but had to add that you are so incredible Heather! It’s so clear you have come so far and learned a lot about yourself and what’s best for you and I’m so proud of you for that!
    I love that you can be so honest about your journey, I always think that’s so great when people are straight up about the process, it makes it so much more relatable!

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      It’s never too late to “hear” from you, gorgeous! Thank you so SO much! And I agree with you 100%…why waste your and anyone else’s time by being fake? Either say it how it is, or nothing at all!

  32. It’s been so inspiring to read about your hard work to listen to your body and eat what it’s asking for. I remember when I was a teenager and a dancer, and I never worried about calories or getting the right percentages of my food groups; my body knew what it wanted to eat and it took care of me. I looked and felt so much better back then than I did while counting every calorie I consumed and tracked the numbers of every minute I exercised. Now that I’m mostly recovered from my ED, I’m really wishing I could start eating intuitively like you’re doing. Maybe that will be my project for spring: stop counting, just start eating. I feel like I’m wasting so much brain space with numbers and meal plans: brain space which could be full of silly music and plans for adventures instead! But it’s really scary to give up control. I’m constantly impressed by your patience and determination to trust your instincts. (And you look fantastic so your body clearly knows what’s up.) Might have to go back and stalk all your intuitive eating posts again once I try to quit counting. Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Oh Sarah! Thank you SO much! This is the sweetest most heartfelt comment I’ve received in a while! I can definitely sympathize with you on the tales of your younger self…we just didn’t know how good we had it back then, stuffing our faces with greasy pizza and chips at two in the morning, did we? 😉 But I can tell you that, while it’s not with the same naivety, I do feel like I finally have that carefree feeling again. Of course, the memories of how hard I was on myself while counting only helps me to appreciate that feeling even more…and not take it for granted. It’s like breaking a habit (though I would never put it on the same plane as biting your fingernails or anything)…you have to WANT it…like REALLY want it. I think that’s the only thing that kept me pushing forward. And you have to ask yourself, by counting and, like you said, wasting all that brain space, who/what is REALLY in control?

      Also, I’m hoping to get all my intuitive eating posts together soon under a tab for easy reference. I’ll be sure to announce when I have it up! :)

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