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3 Steps to Intuitive Eating – Marriage and Food Intuition

Posted Aug 09 2010 7:25am

Intuitive Eating and Marriage. That sounds like a rather odd combination, no? Surprisingly, it’s not. I just got back from my 2-week long honeymoon (it was absolutely amazing) and I am pretty sure I have discovered what might just be the ticket (or at least my ticket) to being an intuitive eater for good.

( Salad girl ? Not so much on this trip. But I’ll get to that later this week.)

How I Got Married and Became an Intuitive Eater

I married an intuitive eater.

I have been living with my husband for the last 4 years (we have only been married for just over 2 weeks now). When we first started going out, I was able to break away from my eating disorder (binge eating and poor body image) and eat just like Bobby (my husband) because I didn’t want to be “weird”. This worked very well at first and I ate very intuitively – then I discovered that if I ate just a little less than he did, I would lose weight (which was my goal). Unfortunately I took it too far and wound up skeletal at 100 pounds (I am 5’10”).

For the next 3 years I tried to eat intuitively. I tried so hard! But it seemed impossible. I gained the weight I needed to, but I did not do it with guidance and I just slipped back into old bad habits. It’s so easy to do what you know, right?

Creating new (good) habits takes work. But sometimes you can get a kick in the pants, or find motivation that will get your butt in gear. Here are the three steps that helped me (finally!) truly embrace eating intuitively:

  1. Name your flaw: I have a screwy relationship with food. I knew that I did not eat intuitively. Five bowls of oatmeal does not a dinner make. For years I berated myself for not being able to “just snap out of it”, which many people seemed to think was good advice.
  2. Reframe the flaw: I have two glorious weeks to be completely free around food. Before I left for my honeymoon, I decided that it didn’t matter how much weight I gained while I was gone; I wanted to enjoy myself and I wanted to have fun on my honeymoon, dammit! (It turns out that I didn’t gain a pound – in fact, I lost 1-2.) Maybe your reframe could be, “I have a chance to completely change the way I eat,” or “I love eating locally and organically,” or “I am a great role model for my children,” and so on. This should be a positive statement about YOU that has at least a remote connection to that initial flaw you named above.
  3. Own it! I am an intuitive eater. This one is all about the power of positive thinking. “Fake it ‘til you make it.” Focus on your successes. Keep going. Push through. Pretend. If you can’t be an intuitive eater just yet, pretend you are anyway. Just don’t give up.

Why did it work for me this time? Because I keep trying. And because I followed all three steps, not just the first one. I’d named the flaw before (over and over again) but I never turned it into something positive. I think (hope) that everyone who tries to quit something fails the first few times (if they don’t fail, they are either lying or superhuman). If you quit smoking successfully, you probably “quit” several times before you succeeded. It’s the same with food – if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!

An Intuitive Eating Dinner

Open-faced tuna melts . Mine (2 slices of whole wheat bread, tuna salad , tomatoes, and melted cheese):

Bobby’s (sesame seed bagel, tuna salad , cheddar cheese):

My easy tuna salad recipe .

Dessert was tart frozen yogurt (shared) from Trader Joe’s. Then wine – a mix of Trader Joe’s wine (Dr. Beckermann Auslese Rheinhessen – it’s a white wine and it’s fantastic – sweet and refreshing) mixed with seltzer:

*I am in the process of updating my blog – lots of pages need to be edited, some should be added, and things need organizing in general. I will let you know when I finish!*

*Also – WordPress question – does anyone know a good way to organize recipes on a blog? I want all of my recipes to be subpages of the “Recipes” tab, but I don’t want them to dropdown when you roll your mouse over the tab, which my other tabs do. And I want them all to be listed on the “Recipes” tab. Is this too much to ask for?*

Are you an intuitive eater? Why or why not?

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