From calorie tracking to intuitive eating
How I developed a healthy relationship with food and how you can start with four simple steps.
A summary in four sentences: My unhealthy relationship with food started in 2011. Forcing myself to create a calorie deficit resulted in binge eating and significant weight fluctuations (up to +/- 13% of bodyweight). That, in turn, made my life joyless and stressful. When I discovered intuitive eating, my relationship with food changed. Since I trust my body, my fears vanished, and I’m gravitating towards my ideal weight while feeling happy and alive.
The reason I share my story is that I feel many people are going through a similar struggle I went through. Intuitive eating can be a way out of a downward spiral for others as well. I’m neither an eating coach, nor am I selling any online course. Also, I respect all other forms of “eating behaviors” there are, as long as the eating behavior does not take energy from the eater — enough pretalk. Let’s dive into the journey.
Chasing a beauty ideal and a calorie-deficit
I was 18 when I had my first critical thought on my diet and weight. By the time, my weight and body were, what I’d call it in retrospect, healthy average. But “healthy average body” wasn’t enough in the mind of a teenager with prom night around the corner. Probably, you already guessed the decisions I made based on my craving for being more beautiful: creating a calorie deficit by eating less and exercising more.
With my gym membership and a calorie tracker (which equals paper +pen in the times of 2011), I entered the world of dieting. My relation to food changed from one day to another. Suddenly Nutella, my standard breakfast for the previous five years, was my enemy. When someone asked me to share a Pain au Chocolat my impromptu reaction was: NO, get out of my sight with that sweet stuff! How could a person ever say yes to calorie-dense sweets if it takes you 30 mins on a treadmill to burn those calories?
As you can imagine, the years following that mindset shift have neither been full of joy nor successful in terms of keeping my ideal body weight. Our human brain is simply wired to crave for all things that we forbid ourselves…