How to Start Making Peace with Food

Ready to become an intuitive eater but don’t know where to start?

Watch the video below or read the script below to help you get started!

There are at least 456,343 ways to get “healthy” out there. Wouldn’t you agree? The health and wellness industry is literally a billion dollar industry and you have about a million choices to decide which path to follow. You can count calories, points, or macros. You can eliminate carbs. You can do crossfit, yoga, pilates, running, p90x, beachbody. You can lose 1 pound a week, you can lose 5 pounds a week. 

There is SO much information out there. So much information that feels so overwhelming. 

But you’re here and you’re ready to make peace with food, love your body, and show up for the world in the way that makes you feel your absolute best. But, where do you start?

Hey, I’m Elizabeth and I’m here to help you become a woman of wellness by healing your relationship with food, fitness, and loving your body. Today we’re talking all about where to get started when you want to throw out all of the fads and truly connect with what your body wants and needs when it comes to making peace with food. 

The problem is, depending on your history with food, getting started with a practice we call intuitive eating (which is essentially listening to and honoring your body’s needs with food) can feel downright daunting. How do you even start to heal a lifetime of frustration with eating?

Let me first calm your nerves and let you know that I’m here to help, support, and guide you along this path. You’re absolutely not alone in this journey, and that’s why I’m here, to help you feel supported in your own journey no matter how overwhelming it feels. 

So, if you came into my office and sat down with me and told me you wanted to make peace with food once and for all, these are the 5 steps I would suggest you start with TODAY. 

First, self-compassion. 

You come from a big background of frustration with food and likely frustration with your body. There are so many things that have shaped your relationship with food. You’ve had experiences, events, and maybe even some past trauma (which if you feel this is the case, I would highly recommend reaching out to a counselor to work through this). Everything in your life has shaped the way you view food. 

You’re coming from your very own unique place and I want you to honor that. By honoring your history with food, you recognize that everything you’ve been through has brought you to this point, this exciting point of beginning to heal. 

Instead of looking back at the past and being frustrated, can you instead practice self-compassion, appreciate everything you’ve learned that has brought you to this point? We can use the past to help us learn, but we want to eliminate the emotions of the past. 

You are in a new and beautiful place right now. A place of healing and a place of moving forward. Give yourself all the compassion in the world for getting to this place, it’s a big step. As we move forward, don’t look back. Use your experiences to help you learn everything you can going forward. 

Ok, now that you’ve got a little love in your body, what’s next? Here are my 4 steps to getting started making peace with food. 

Step 1: Throw out your measurement tools 

This means getting rid of calorie counting, carb counting, macro counting, any sort of counting or restricting. Throw out the scale, throw out your measuring tape. Throw out your “goal clothing” - you know the one that’s sitting in your closet you’re waiting to fit into? It is true that weight loss can be a side effect of a long term intuitive eating practice, but we are not focusing on weight loss. Get rid of every measurement tool that gets in the way of you fully embracing the intuitive eating practice. 

Step 2: allow all food back into your life, guilt-free

What’s that you say? Guilt-free? Yes, I said it. We are throwing out guilt with our food. You don’t want food to control you any longer and allowing guilt to creep in gives it even more power. 

In order to truly make peace with food, you need to bring every food back into your life. What foods do you avoid because you’re nervous you’ll overeat? Bring it back in. I know, it’s kind of scary. But, also kind of exciting!

Get rid of all your food labels, and I don’t mean the physical nutrition labels. I mean get rid of using certain words and phrases to describe food such as bad, good, unhealthy, fattening, etc, etc. 

Allow yourself to EAT. To eat without reservations. 

“But, Elizabeth, that’s horrifying! I already know what’s going to happen! I’m going to go crazy and lose all self-control!”

You might. But, you know what, I’ve done this with enough clients (and so have other intuitive eating coaches around the world) to know something great will become of allowing yourself this freedom. I’m not going to spoil the outcome for you because remember this is your own journey, but I’m pretty sure you’ll be just fine. Remember, it’s ok to trust the process and lean on my knowledge to know that you’ll be ok. 

Give yourself permission to eat, guilt-free. Then come share with me how it goes!

Step 3: Start LISTENING to your body

How long have you followed diets that told you you were only allowed a certain number of calories, carbs, macros, whatever? It was never about listening to your hunger, but instead listening to someone else telling you when you “should” eat. 

Get rid of the shoulds. In fact, I have a favorite quote you might like, “don’t should all over yourself”. 

Start listening to what your body feels like when it’s hungry. And if you’ve been on enough diets, it’s possible you’ve been taught to ignore hunger for so long you don't know what it feels like anymore - that’s ok. Trust that it will come back. 

Listen to what signals your body gives you when it’s time to eat. Then, listen as your body starts to feel full. What sensations do you experience? What do you feel when your body is satisfied with food? How do you know when you’ve gone past the point of satisfaction?

Listen to your body. It will tell you what it needs. And maybe your body might even tell you it wants a little more movement to go along with this newfound self-care practice of listening to your body. 

Step 4: Trust the process

Intuitive eating is not something I made up. It’s an actual process backed by research. And possibly even more relevant than research (can I say that as a University grad student who read research studies all day for 4 years?) are personal stories, personal success stories. 

There are many who are weeks, months, years into this journey who are happy with their relationship with food. 

There are women of wellness all around ready to support you in this journey. Trust that the process works. If you need support, seek out an intuitive eating support group. There are many facebook groups and professional groups around. 

Here’s to taking the first step to becoming the woman of wellness you’ve always wanted to be! What would becoming a woman of wellness look like to you? Write it down. Look at it every day. You have the power to change yourself and power to change the world when you feel your best, and today, I hope you’ll take that first step!