We are at the end of our Eating Guidelines series. I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed the last few article and have found them helpful. If you have any topics you’d like me to cover in upcoming blogs (or ideas for another series) please comment below.
And now that we know “how” to eat, it’s time to finish things off with a celebration…
Guideline #7: Eat with Enjoyment, Gusto, and Pleasure!
Americans [or Canadians, or anyone!] have gotten so focused on the alchemy of foods – whether as an adjunct to losing weight or seeking health – that we have neglected a very important role that eating plays in our lives – provision of pleasure.
(source: “Intuitive Eating” by Evelyn Tribole & Elyse Resch)
This quote is so true. We’ve become so focused on food as the “enemy” as a society, that we seem to have lost all enjoyment in it. As a matter of fact, it would seem that “enjoying food” has become more of a negative label or sign of weakness.
But what is so wrong about finding enjoyment in food?
Our bodies need food to live. Eating is a necessity for life. It is something we must do – so why not enjoy it? I think there is this unspoken fear that if we allow ourselves to enjoy what were eating (or eating in general) then we will never stop. We have labelled food as the enemy – a flirtatious, attractive, and oh-so-pursuasive one – and so we must always be on our guard, not allowing ourselves to fall for it’s tantalizing tricks for fear we get sucked into the dark side…
However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. First of all, food is not the enemy, food gives us life. Second of all, I believe when we are not eating Intuitively (whether through bingeing, eating compulsively, restricting, etc..), we are unable to experience the pleasure of eating. The pleasure really can only be experienced through honouring our appetite.
So really there is no threat – embrace Intuitive Eating and start experiencing the pleasure! There really is nothing to be afraid. Food is not the enemy in the same way that our bodies are not the enemies. We need our body and our body needs food. It’s as simple as that.
The Charmin tagline comes to mind…”We all have to go – why not enjoy the go?” — we all have to eat, why not enjoy the EAT?!
On a more practical level…
Here are a few steps Tribole & Resch lay out in Intuitive Eating
(I have quoted portions of the Chapter here, the book goes into further detail, so I highly recommend reading it).
How to Regain Your Pleasure in Eating
Step 1: Ask yourself what you really want to eat. Satisfaction is derived when you take the time to figure out what you really want to eat, give yourself unconditional permission to eat it, ,and then eat in a relaxing, enjoyable atmosphere.
Step 2: Discover the Pleasure of the Palate. Our clients are focused on every aspect of food except the here and now. They lament the past and worry about the future…It’s almost as if the art of eating needs to be relearned without bias.
Step 3: Make Your Eating Experience More Enjoyable. 1) Savor your food. 2) Eat when gently hungry rather than when over hungry. 3) Eat in a pleasant environment when possible. 4) Avoid tension. 5) Provide variety.
Step 4: Don’t Settle. You are not obligated to finish eating a good just because you took a bit of it…One of the biggest assets of being an Intuitive Eater is the ability to toss aside food that isn’t to your liking…For the most part, adopt the motto “If you don’t love it, don’t eat it, and if you love it, savour it.”
A final word…
I hope by now you feel equipped and ready to move into the final (and most important) phase of Intuitive Eating – enjoyment! I know it is not easy at times, but you just have to keep reminding yourself that food is not bad and that you deserve – just as everyone else does – to take pleasure in eating it.
Don’t settle for what you don’t enjoy, don’t deny yourself pleasure, and, most definitely, don’t hold back – do it with gusto!
A big thanks to those of you who have been following this series. I will be back next week with a new post (topic to be determined). For those who are new here, I’ve linked to all the blogs in this series below. And if you like them, please share!
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Food is not the enemy; food gives us life. -Lauren Bersaglio (click to tweet)
Read last week’s post “#6 Eat (with the intention of being) in full sight of others.“
All from the Eating Guidelines Series:
- Eat When You Are Hungry
- Eat In a Calm Environment
- Eat Without Distractions
- Eat What Your Body Wants
- Eat Until You Are Satisfied
- Eat (with the intention of being) in full view of others
- Eat with Enjoyment, Gusto, and Pleasure!