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What the journey to eating freedom is like 

Internally regulated eating sounds simple. It IS simple:
Eat when you are hungry, stop when you are satisfied. 

 

For a dieter to start doing it though, is not simple at all. It requires regaining trust and putting faith in the very parts of us that we have been fighting- our bodies, our appetites, our natural desires.

Dieting breaks something inside of us, and it needs to be repaired before a normal relationship with food is possible.

 

Imagine a (perfectly healthy) woman is told for some reason that there is something wrong with her legs. That she is not strong enough to walk and needs to rely on a wheelchair. The message is conveyed with so much authority, that she believes it. A wheelchair is bought and becomes her mode of transport from then on. After sitting in this chair, and not using her legs for several years, the muscles atrophy to such an extent that her legs really do become too weak to carry her body weight. If she were told to get up and walk, she would not be able to, even though her legs are perfectly healthy!

It would require training with a specialist and tools and crutches to bit by bit, start putting weight on her legs, exercising the muscles etc until she is strong enough to stand, and then to walk, and then to run, jump and dance!

Learning intuitive eating follows a similar process- the body is not broken, but the “muscles” that are needed to regulate eating internally are atrophied because they have not been used. Guidance and help thought the process by a skilled facilitator is necessary in most cases, and it is a tough journey. But oh, the reward!! The freedom! Like getting up from the chair and dancing!

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