Working my way through the principles of intuitive eating, I have found one that scares the hell out of me....
The third principle of intuitive eating states: "Make Peace with Food Call a truce, stop the food fight! Give yourself unconditional permission to eat. If you tell yourself that you can't or shouldn't have a particular food, it can lead to intense feelings of deprivation that build into uncontrollable cravings and, often, bingeing When you finally “give-in” to your forbidden food, eating will be experienced with such intensity, it usually results in Last Supper overeating, and overwhelming guilt."
As I am working my way through all of the principles, I am finding myself snagged on this one which inevitably leads me to be snagged on the 4th one (challenging the food police). Rejecting the diet mentality, done - honoring my hunger, okay. Granting permission to myself to eat WHATEVER I WANT.... not so easy. With this step comes a lot of exploration, relearning what I like and don't like, really beginning to get a taste of what is good, not because of what I'm told to eat through the process of dieting and food/calorie restriction, but what I REALLY want to eat and REALLY crave. As it is stated, as soon as foods are restricted, food cravings develop and the unhealthy relationship with food begins a series of guilt is associated with the enjoyment factor of foods that are considered "bad". Supposedly through the process of tearing down the sense of "good" foods and "bad" foods, the cravings are supposed to stop. When the cravings stop and the knowledge that anytime the wanted food is available, it will lead to an overall healthier relationship with food.
I am struggling with this particular stage mainly out of fear. I find myself with the need to eat chocolate. I love chocolate and it has been one of my most restricted foods over the many years of dieting because I never felt I could trust myself with it. So I am really working to take the label off of it and not treat it any different than anything else. When I want it, I eat it, I savor it, I am *trying* to enjoy it and not feel guilty about it. It is so hard. After so many years of telling myself "no" it is hard to rebuild a trusting relationship with myself knowing that I am not going to go hog wild or anything. The funny thing is, as I sit here and type this, I haven't eaten a bunch of it. I eat a piece (sometimes two) and am done with it. I move on and I don't think about it anymore... well until I decide I want another piece
I guess it is so hard after so long to find that trust from within and know that if I am not restricting anything and I can have it anytime I want it the power of chocolate will eventually fade. Rome wasn't built in a day and neither is trust. I am getting to that point that I am trying to silence the dieter in myself, and learn to trust myself again. Dieting is easy, trust is hard. It is work. With dieting/calorie counting/food restriction/etc. the rules are established. I know what I need to do and how to do it. It is all spelled out, but with intuitive eating, there are no rules except the guiding principles that lead us back to ourselves, learning how to eat the way we're supposed to eat and regain that trust, silence the dieter from within and be happy in the skin we're in.
I am committed, though. I plan on working my way through this, I know that this state of hyperconsciousness will end and it will get to a point that I no longer think about it, it will just come naturally. But in the meantime, it is scary as hell!