When I gave up dieting & started learning to become an intuitive eater I was really excited to start baking again & made cookies, brownies, and other desserts almost every weekend. The more I included these foods, the less out of control I felt around them & eventually it became easy to feel satisfied with enough. I enjoyed ordering what I most wanted at restaurants, having the appetizers, & eating desserts. I no longer wanted to do anything with the goal of controlling my weight. I was a little anti-diet & out to prove that I no longer followed any food rules, see me eating these chips….. see me eating these brownies…… see me eating these donuts…… see me eating this burger & fries.
After a while all these things lost a little of the excitment where I wasn’t necessarily choosing them because I was craving them, but more because I felt pressure to prove to myself that I wasn’t dieting……..
“If I weren’t dieting I’d enjoy all the good food at this breakfast buffet” (even though I’m not that hungry).
“If I weren’t dieting I’d order dessert since everyone else is” (even though I’m not craving dessert).
“If I weren’t dieting I’d eat all these appetizers that were ordered” (even though I’m not overly hungry & don’t want to ruin my appetite for dinner).
“If I weren’t dieting I would make brownies & have them with ice cream this weekend (even though I really haven’t been craving brownies).
I worried that the only reason that I would choose to eat less at breakfast, not order dessert, avoid the appetizers, or choose to skip making brownies would be to control my weight (i.e. diet mentality). The thing about true intuitive eaters though is that they don’t make choices to prove to themselves or others that they aren’t dieting. They make choices based on hunger, satisfaction, & cravings with a little gentle nutrition thrown in.
Once I realized that choosing to skip less nutritious foods didn’t mean that I was pseudo-dieting I knew I could eat what I most want & skip anything I didn’t whether that is appetizers, dessert, a salad, or a burger. I could quit asking myself “why wouldn’t you have cake if you weren’t dieting” and instead ask “why would you have cake if you’re not really craving cake”.
If I find myself NEVER having dessert, ALWAYS skipping the appetizers, or ONLY ordering the salad then I need to look at what diet rules are creeping back in to my world, but short of that it’s okay to make those choices sometimes. At first it was hard to know what I wanted or didn’t want & when I was just following leftover diet rules but now that I KNOW I can eat anything I want whenever I want to, I also know that it’s okay to choose not to eat those things too.