Intuitive Eating – Part 8

Posted: May 30, 2010 at 6:00 pm

I hope everyone has been having an enjoyable weekend. I am still in the North Georgia Mountains with some friends. I’ll be back with an update on the trip tomorrow night. For all you US readers, have a great Memorial Day tomorrow and enjoy the 3 day weekend. I know I plan to. We may even be telling Peter’s family I am pregnant tomorrow. Exciting stuff! Now onto the next installment of the Intuitive Eating series.

Find the links to all the previous Intuitive Eating post on my “Click Me” Page at the top of the site.

This post will be all about Principle 7 of the 10 Intuitive Eating principles Tribole & Resch discuss in their fabulous book. It is the one I feel most strongly about as well – Respecting Your Body. Yesterday I had a post about why I love my body and mentioned the importance of each of us loving our own. We need to understand that our bodies are amazing things and do so much for us. They deserve to be treated with respect. It took many daily prayers asking God to show me how to respect my body and treat it as He wills for me to even begin realizing how worthy my body is of love. Once I loved myself, it was much easier to take action to respect my body as well. Here are some ways you can begin to respect your body or continue a path of honoring it.

ily09.jpg I Love You image by sugarbr420

1. Don’t be unrealistic about your body. It is okay to have goals and strive for improved fitness or to eat a healthier diet, but the stress we can put on ourselves to be a certain size or weight can be hurtful. Why? Many of us will choose a goal weight or size that is simple unachievable, or if it is achieved is unrealistic and difficult to maintain. We should love our body’s for their natural size over the ideal one we create in our skewed minds. That isn’t to say stay obese if that is your current situation. That is not natural. The natural size I speak of for you to embrace is one that is achieved through a healthy and balanced lifestyle, easy to maintain once reached, and leaves your body functioning optimally.


2. Focus on meeting your body’s needs. Eat fruits, veggies, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats that you enjoy and be moderately active because it is what your body needs. Not because you want to burn X amount of calories that day. Do things for your body and you will witness a change. You will feel stronger, more energetic, and balanced through eating enough quality foods and getting physical on a regular basis. This doesn’t mean you can’t have treats when you want them or be lazy when you feel like it. It is simply to be sure you are taking care of your health and being able to enjoy life.


3. Change your body assessment tools. Instead of focusing on how you look, try to think about how you feel. Pay attention to your energy levels, your happiness, how powerful you feel, and other positive effects of being healthy. Try to stop comparing yourself to others, or when you do, be realistic about your own strengths, which is something I have shared that helps me. If possible, don’t use a scale or tape measure to tell you how you look. Don’t let a calorie tally tell you how good you are with food. Choose healthier habits to meet your body’s needs and be confident in the fact you are caring for yourself. Healthy living is not a Pass/Fail test. It is just constantly striving to enjoy life in a balanced manner.

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4. Don’t put off things in life until you reach a certain “body goal”. Live life today, right now. Don’t allow your body to dictate your happiness. You have to be happy first before you will be able to respect yourself and therefore your body. Live the life you want and do the things you love. Be happy. Don’t wait for life to pass you by.

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5. Treat yourself. Have clothes you feel good in; get a pedicure; schedule a massage; take a lunch date with a close friend. Do things that leave you feeling more confident. Confidence looks good on everyone. Build up confidence in those subtle ways, so you will be more likely to take actions to respect yourself in other ways.

  • How do you respect yourself?
  • Have you ever put off something because of a “body goal”? I can’t think if I’ve ever put off doing something, but I know I have had thoughts before that I would be so much happier if I was X weight. Ridiculous!
  • Do you think it is better to strive for our natural weight instead of an ideal weight? I do think you have to work at losing weight, but that you should still be eating enough for your body's needs and not overtraining while losing weight. I also think that once you reach the goal, your body shouldn't need to do anything drastic to maintain it.


20 Comments to “Intuitive Eating – Part 8”
  1. Wow… First Comment! Happy Memorial Day tomorrow to you too! So excited for you! Super insightful post.

    I respect myself by trying not to talk myself down as often as I want to.
    I have had “weight thoughts” oif that counts…
    I think it’s good to strive for the healthy range for you, which is usually determined by a doctor or someone. I was born premature so I’ll always be underweight.. (1lb 10oz at birth)

  2. Lindsay says:

    Hope you’re having a ton of fun! What part of North Georgia did you go to? Ellijay and Blue Ridge are gorgeous. We hiked Apalachacola Falls last year!

  3. Sarah says:

    -I respect myself by actively working to replace negative thoughts about my appearance.
    -I think putting things off due to a weight goal is something I did in high school, but I cannot remember a time I did it since then.
    -I think that striving for a natural weight instead of an arbitrary number makes sense.
    -I hope you’re having a great time!

  4. ellie says:

    I love this series of posts so much! I think that loving/respecting my body is the biggest hurdle to taking care of it properly.

    I definitely (in theory) think that our bodies have a happy weight/set-point that might be different from what we define as a perfect weight for us. I know my body functions best at a certain weight that is a little heavier than I would ‘like’.

  5. homecookedem says:

    I’ve FINALLY gotten to a place where I love myself – inside and out. It happened some time in 2009 and I’m so glad things finally clicked. Knowing that I’m one of God’s creations helps me whenever those old feelings of insecurity start to arise. Also it helps to talk to myself like I would a friend. I would never tell a friend that her thighs look fat or her tummy is too jiggly.

    Hope you’re having lots of fun right now!! 🙂

  6. ‘Don’t put off things in life until you reach a certain “body goal”’– love this piece of advice. Amen. I completely agree that it’s so destructive to live this way. I think that for years when I was morbidly obese, I was waiting on tomorrow, waiting on thinness. I’d be “happy when…” You know? It’s a way of checking out of the life you’re in. And it’s damaging. You are every bit as worthy of the life you want now as you will be when the scale reads a number ten pounds, twenty pounds lower.

    I love all of your points here. It’s important to realize that you are unique, that you can’t compare, can’t define yourself against the standard measures. Especially not in this thin-driven society. I firmly, firmly believe that weight loss should go like this: Lose weight in a moderate, healthy way and get to your “goal weight.” Then assess where you are: are you happy with your life? Do you feel like you have to work out endlessly to stay there? Is your eating so rigid that you have no room for the fun cookie at 2:30 on Tuesday? If you have to work work work to maintain that weight, then that weight is not for you. Gain a few pounds. It’s not a life if it’s so calculated and strict, you know? It’s about being healthy and being able to find a beautiful balance. When I lost all the weight and felt terrified that loosening up on the dieting would mean gaining it all back, I just had to let go. I had to trust that I would end up where I was meant to be.

    Long long comment, sorry. I love your thoughts and your message, Tina!!

  7. As always great post! I think what is the hardest thing is NOT comparing yourself to others. Two people can be the same height and weight and still look totally different! That is what makes us all unique but it can also drive us crazy if we let it!

  8. Maren says:

    I love this post! It was so good and informative and inspirational. I haven’t read the whole series yet, but it’s on my to-do list now. Great job, this is incredible! Thank you so much!

  9. sophia says:

    LOVE this post, Tina!! It shines with wisdom and sensibility. I loved this one “Change your body assessment tools” and also “Treat yourself”. If you go judge and determine yourself by your looks, you’ll NEVER be happy! Just look at Heidi Montag!

  10. love these posts Tina!

    I think most people live with the mindset, if i was thinner/bigger/had longer hair/had bigger boobs/had smaller feet, my life would be so much better. Well, maybe it would and maybe it wouldnt but you’re not there, you dont have that. You have THIS instead. So I always try to focus on the “this” that I have than that which I dont and may never have anyway 🙂

  11. Holly says:

    Another great post about this topic. I have to say, I love that picture of the smily face scale- I need something like that to smile back @ me 😉
    To respect my body I do things that I enjoy- like running, working out, or just laying out in the sun. I also try to eat healthy & have an occassional treat.
    As for putting things off- I know I have..I can’t think of any off the top of my head at the moment..but I know it has happened.
    For me I like the idea of an ‘ideal weight’..but I think it is more realistic to have a natural body weight. I know that your body has an ideal weight that it likes to stay around (@ least that is what I have read).

  12. I just found your blog and I love it! This series of posts are great pick me ups for when I’m feeling down about my body. I’m so excited to read more.

  13. eatmovelove says:

    I don’t have much to add…this is a dire struggle for me , so naturally -what do I do? Of course, avoid it…

    But wanted to say I love your new blog layout. It’s been awhile 🙂

  14. Samantha says:

    Great post! I just found you and I really love your site.

  15. Just got back to Internet after some time out of the country and this post was waiting for me, and it was exactly what I needed to read! These posts always speak to me, but at this time in my life (this exact day…) it was exactly what I needed to read! It’s true “don’t wait til you’re skinny to start living…” well, to say, it is okay to strive for something but NEVER okay to let our lives pass us by because we are caught up on the things that should not be so important.

  16. Rachel says:

    I respect myself by using my muscles/ligaments/tendons/etc. They want to move. And I make sure I move as often as possible!

  17. I like to think that I do a good job of respecting my body, but I certainly could do better in that department. I respect my body by eating right (healthy most of the time with occasional treats) and exercising properly. But there are definitely times where I think “my body would look better if ___” or “I wish my body could [insert form of exercise here].” So while I physically respect my body, I really want to work on being more thankful for my body and all of the amazing things it *can* do!

  18. I’m SO SO SO glad you address this book. It literally changed my life and every principle is so important to healthy living! I love the idea of living life today! I used to put off EVERYTHING for when I got to my goal weight! But you know what? Where I am today is how I’m happiest!

  19. I love when you do these posts — it’s a good refresher for me!

    I HAVE put things off because of my body…when I was contest dieting I did not want to leave my house because I was afraid of getting hungry and wanting to eat junk. I felt “safe” inside with my own food. Very very sad way to live. I missed out on a lot of outings with friends and family all because of my body goal.

    I think it’s best to strive for a weight this is maintainable for the lifestyle you want.

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