• Emma Green

Is intuitive eating healthy? (part 3)

This is a part 3 to my posts on dealing with people who challenge intuitive eating, health at every size and other non-diet approaches. You can read part 1 here and part 2 here. In this post, I’ll talk about sharing personal experiences. This is where it’s important to acknowledge your own privilege. For example, I’m currently in a small body, which means that I am not as frequently or aggressively challenged about non-diet approaches compared to those in larger bodies. I also cannot speak for those in larger bodies. My experience relating to these issues is my history with an eating disorder. I know what it is like to feel like your life revolves around what you eat and how you move your body. I remember feeling that it would be something I would always have to deal with. I never thought I’d be able to enjoy food again. I didn’t think I could exercise just for fun. I never thought I’d be in tune with my body. When I was diagnosed with osteoporosis at the age of 20, I realised just how much damage I had done to my body but still felt so conflicted about change. Because of my physical appearance, I did not have as many struggles with accessing treatment as those in larger bodies. I was fortunate to receive three different therapists through NHS services and my parents supported me to see someone privately whilst I was placed on a long waiting list. I am incredibly lucky and don’t take my recovery for granted. When I found ‘flexible dieting’ it seemed hugely freeing compared to living with an eating disorder. I didn’t find it hard to track macros daily and did it for over 10 years. I have always been a creature of habit so it was easy for tracking to become ingrained without much effort. I later started to question whether this approach was truly flexibility. I saw people feeling chained to Myfitnesspal, afraid to have meals at restaurants, obsessed with checking calories burned on their fitness tracker and feeling guilty whenever they couldn’t get to the gym. I realised that there was an alternative: an intuitive eating approach. I haven’t looked back since.

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