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Leaning into the Gray

If you’re on an Intuitive Eating (IE) journey and find yourself thinking “Did I do this right?” “Am I messing this up?”, stop yourself right there! The wonderful thing, (well one of many wonderful things) about IE is that there is no way to “do it wrong”. Given that this framework is not a diet with a black and white set of guidelines, it really asks you to lean into the gray area of it. This can certainly be challenging when you are coming away from working against more of the all or nothing thinking that often accompanies a diet; additionally, it is human nature to seek out more of a black and white way of thinking to make sense of new information, but IE is all about the nuance, so try to get comfortable with leaning in to that. I promise once you can become more comfortable with it, it is really very liberating! Think of this example - say you were finding you shouldn’t drink too much water before bed because it was waking you up in the night to have to go to the bathroom. If you had a day where you didn’t drink much water overall and felt thirst and the need to down a glass before bed, which then woke you up during the night, I don’t think you would immediately beat yourself up over it. Sure you might think “OK maybe I should not have chugged that water before bed because it woke me up and now I am a bit drowsy today, but I can understand why I did because I didn’t do the best job with my water intake overall during the day”. Try to practice that same curiosity, observance, and neutrality towards navigating IE, and especially food decisions overall, and see how it helps your journey be met with more compassion. Gentle reminder, hunger cues are basic physiological cues just the same as thirst, needing to go to the bathroom, and needing to sleep; think of how little you question those biological cues and responding to them, and again try to practice the same towards responding to hunger and fullness cues as well. I will leave you with a quote about perfectionism from the wonderful Brené Brown, “Perfectionism is not the path that leads us to our gifts and to our sense of purpose; it’s the hazardous detour”. Until next time :)


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