intuitive eating, Nutrition

My Intuitive Eating Journey: Hitting Diet Bottom

If you read my post about My Ideas, Goals and Dreams for 2019, you may have caught that one of my goals for this year was to find myself as a dietitian. When I worked as an eating disorder dietitian, I read and thoroughly enjoyed the book Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD and Elyse Resch, MS, RD, FADA, CEDRD. Being honest, although I read the book back then, I didn’t really fully absorb it. In 2018, my passion for mindfulness, including intuitive eating, got re-ignited, and I decided I wanted to read the book again. This time I also purchased the workbook and I want to post about my experience reading and working through this book here. That was another goal of mine for this year – to share more on this blog about this part of my life, the “RD” in “RD on the Run”.

A little bit of “fine print” before I get started: I am in no way sponsored by these authors or this book/program. I am not certified or trained in intuitive eating at this time. These blog posts are not meant to serve as a replacement for reading this book or seeing a registered dietitian for nutrition counseling, including intuitive eating counseling. These blog posts are simply going to capture my experience reading the book and growing as a dietitian. If these blog posts interest you, I definitely encourage you to read the book yourself, and if you are in need of nutrition counseling and interested in finding someone who is certified in intuitive eating I encourage you to check out this website where you can search for certified counselors in your area.

Alright – let’s get started. My plan is to write a blog about each chapter, but that plan may evolve and change as I read and complete the workbook. For today’s blog, though, I want to start by talking about how I felt after reading the book’s introduction and first chapter: Hitting Diet Bottom.

A cute quote that I have seen floating around the internet goes like this: “Dietitian: Someone who knows 99 diets but won’t put you on 1.” It seems like there are new diets that promise the world coming out every other second. Yet, as the book says, these diets are not maintainable. They fail. And we just keep on coming back to them. We blame ourselves, not the diets, for the failure. One of the quotes from the book’s introduction that really made me think was “Ironically we have more respect for our cars than ourselves.” The authors go on to say that if we took our car in for regular maintenance and still the car didn’t work, we would blame the mechanic, not ourselves.

And yet here I am, knowing these things, a registered dietitian for goodness sake – and even I am still mesmerized by the latest and greatest diets. The idea of dieting still intrigues me. As dietitians, some of us are very fascinated by how we can manipulate calories and macronutrients, and how those manipulations change our body’s shape and/or function. As someone who has dieted I understand the allure. At some point, dieters have lost weight through dieting, and our society celebrates weight loss. The “You look so good!” compliments following weight loss are addicting. So we keep coming back for more, hoping that we’ll finally find the diet that works for us… because remember, we are the failure, not the diet!

Deep down I know that diets aren’t the answer. I know that making peace with food and healing our relationship with food is much more important. But yet that guilty feeling still creeps in when I eat cookies all day instead of fruits and vegetables. And this right here, this paragraph, is why I am reading this book again. I’ve hit diet bottom.

I am truly fed up with dieting for weight loss. I am so over obsessing over numbers – calories, ounces, pounds, inches. I realize that every year when I make goals to lose a certain amount of weight, reach a certain number of pounds, get into a size, eliminate things from my diet, restrict myself, etc. that not only is it not sustainable but it also messes with me. It messes with my confidence. It messes up my relationship with food. And in 2019, I want that to end.

Stay tuned for my next post on chapter 2: What Kind of Eater Are You?

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