If you are an intuitive eating counselor or you say that you operate from a healthy at every size (HAES) paradigm, the people on the other end automatically assume that you are anti-weight loss.
And the reality is… this all-or-nothing thinking or marketing polarization just angers me tremendously. And I'm over it!
To find attunement to one’s body, one of the first things one must do is to let go of this type of thinking, but yet this type of thinking is showing up in our communities, forums, and within our profession on this topic. It needs to stop.
On the podcast this week, Beth and I had a conversation about the polarization around anti-diet and anti-weight loss. I'm grateful to be having this conversation because I want to scream from the mountaintops “anti-diet does not mean you have to be anti-weight loss”.
As you can likely see, I am definitely passionate about this and I am curious what you make of it all.
If you are like most of the people on the forums we run, you will also have questions about this topic. It’s so normal because it is so polarized.
It can come across that you either take the stance of being anti-diet and anti-weight loss, or you take the stance of weight loss equals health.
So can you lose weight while practicing intuitive eating?
The short answer to that is yes, intuitive eating and weight loss can coexist. However, if we operate from a lens of desiring weight loss by practicing intuitive eating, we will not be able to become an intuitive eater because the desire for weight loss actually changes our thinking patterns.
As people are adopting healthy behaviors and intuitive eating, weight loss may result or it may not. It may take years for their body to stabilize. We don't know. We don't have a magic eight ball to look into and ask, “What is this body going to do?”
Because there are so many elements within one single person's human body, how can we begin to think that one single change (like adopting an intuitive eating practice) is going to impact the entire human race the exact same way?
When you become an empowered and intuitive eater, your body may change- you may lose weight, you may gain weight, you may stabilize. There's no way to determine that until you embark on the journey for yourself.
If you use intuitive eating as a weight-loss tool, it's hard to create that attunement or that feeling within your body of living in the present moment and being able to feel your hunger, your fullness, and your satisfaction within that model.
When you talk to an intuitive eater, she is not going to promote weight loss because she knows, we know, that seeking weight loss is going to interfere with the attunement-building process that is the most beautiful gift that comes out of the intuitive eating experience.
That does not mean that she is going to look down upon you if for some reason your body does change and get smaller.
Our health and our weight are not behaviors. All we have control of are the behaviors that create health.
If you're curious to explore more on this polarizing topic, I invite you to listen to Episode 2 of Season 2 (linked here) of the Love Your Food, Love Yourself, Love Your Life podcast where Beth and I shared our thoughts around the “anti-diet equals anti weight loss” paradigm.