Question for you – when was the last time you went into a restaurant and really *truly* ordered what you wanted, without second-guessing yourself or feeling guilty? Were you able to give yourself permission to eat until you were satisfied (without limiting yourself)?
And were you able to stop when you were comfortably full, without feeling the urge to just eat all of what was in front of you simply because it was there?
If these questions perplex you, or make you think “Huh, I guess I’m not really doing those things…” – then you’re in the right spot!
It’s great that we can talk conceptually about why it’s important and helpful to ditch diet culture and pursue food freedom instead – but it’s also important that we talk about HOW to go about doing that. HOW to rebuild trust with your body.
One of the ways that diet culture disconnects us with our bodies is by teaching us not to trust our appetite. Think about the multitude of ways that you learned over the years that your hunger wasn’t real – like where they say maybe you’re just thirsty instead. Or that you should try and trick yourself into feeling full sooner by eating high volume foods that are low in calories like lettuce or rice cakes or Skinny Pop…(and then there’s the whole issue of food marketing here that I’ll cover in another episode. I think Skinny Pop tastes fine, but I am fundamentally opposed to the name of this product because it implies that if you eat this food you’ll eat less calories and be skinny – and the underlying message with that is that skinny is good, and therefore fat is bad. Do you see how deep the fear of fatness is in our culture?)
So we try to trick ourselves into not feeling hungry, or into feeling full faster. We use foods like chocolate cookie dough protein bars to trick ourselves into being satisfied with that instead of an actual cookie or candy bar.
I’m not saying that these foods are bad or wrong. And if you like them, by all means, keep eating them. My point here is that the message behind these foods is that we can’t trust our bodies or our appetites or our desires with food – therefore we must trick and manage our bodies so that we don’t eat “too much.”
This really erodes our connection with our bodies over time. We train ourselves not to listen to what our bodies are telling us. Another example of this is when parents do the “happy plate” with their kids – which is the clean your plate thing that a lot of us grew up with. And think for a second about the message this sends when we call it a “happy plate” – the idea is that a clean plate is a happy plate, regardless of how hungry you were. If the child was only hungry for part of what was on the plate but they finish it all in order to make their parents happy, then we have trained the child to disregard their own fullness and satisfaction in order to please the grown up.
And we all know what happens if we override our own fullness signals often enough – we basically train ourselves to eat whatever is in front of us regardless of how full we are. Have you ever cleaned your plate at a restaurant that serves large portions, and then felt stuffed and miserable afterwards? Yeah, me too, and it’s not a good feeling.
You know what’s the BEST feeling though? When you can go to a restaurant, or eat a really delicious meal that you cooked, and eat enough to be comfortably full and super satisfied without feeling stuffed. It’s that sweet spot where the food was delicious, you got enough of it, and you didn’t go overboard so you feel great and you can move on to the next thing you wanted to do after that meal.
So as part of rebuilding trust with your body, we are going to start by reconnecting with your appetite cues. And I’ve broken this into 5 steps. So here we go…
The 5 steps to reconnecting with your hunger and fullness are:
- CHECK IN WITH YOUR BODY
- BEFRIEND YOUR HUNGER
- EAT UNAPOLOGETICALLY
- HONOR YOUR FULLNESS
- GO LIVE LIFE
On Episode 05 of the Rebuilding Trust with Your Body podcast, I covered each one of these steps to reconnect with your hunger and fullness.
In this episode, you’ll learn:
- The 5 essential steps for reconnecting with your appetite cues (even if you’ve been disconnected from them for years!)
- The KEY question to ask yourself before you eat
- How to stop being afraid of hunger…and how to truly embrace it instead
- What to do after you notice that you are full and satisfied
This is really going to really help you get in touch with your body, so that you can rebuild trust with it – and within yourself. After all, that’s what this podcast is about, and that’s what my passion is.
LISTEN TO THE EPISODE NOW:
Search for episode 5 – How to Reconnect With Your Hunger and Fullness in 5 Simple Steps
“If you’re hungry, you need and deserve to eat. So choose food that’s satisfying and give yourself unconditional permission to eat the food and to actually enjoy it.” – Katy Harvey
Food is necessary and important, and it’s not the single most important thing in our lives. Let food have its space as a source of energy, satisfaction, pleasure, connection, and the other wonderful things food does for us. AND make an effort to keep food in proportion to the other things that are important in your life. Direct your energy and attention to other things when you’re not needing to eat.
You see, when you are really well connected to your body’s hunger and fullness signals, you gain the confidence to TRUST those signals to guide you with your eating.
THIS is the foundation of making peace with food…to trust that your body is going to tell you when you are hungry, and when you are full.
Download the FREE guide: Five Simple Steps to Reconnecting with Your Hunger and Fullness
This guide outlines each of these steps so that you can remember and practice them. Be patient with yourself, because this will take time, but it really is worth your effort because it’s truly a foundational step to reconnecting with – and rebuilding trust with – your body.
Let’s get connected!