So I would have to say that up until just a few weeks ago I led what was far from an intuitive life. I’m a pretty Type A person so I love to have a plan and a schedule. In some areas of my life that’s great- aka school and work. Then in some other areas of my life I thought that was great– aka my nutrition and my workout routine. For the past few years I have been tracking my macros and working out on a consistent basis. If you read my post on hiring a personal trainer you would know I’ve had multiple fitness coaches that gave me a plan for my nutrition and my workout schedule. I loved that because it took the guess-work out of everything. For example I knew what my macronutrients were for the day- so in the morning I could plan out exactly what I was going to eat that day to hit my macros. I also knew which day I was doing what workout, and exactly what my workout would consist of. I think doing that was great for me in the beginning. It taught me how to work out efficiently and how to make sure I’m eating the right amounts of everything. Though in the past few months, I have started shifting towards wanting to learn a more intuitive approach to my nutrition and workouts. So that’s what I’m going to do.
What does an intuitive life look like to me?
To me, an intuitive life (and here I’m only going to touch on the fitness and nutrition aspect) means eating what I want when I want, and exercising how I want when I want. I can’t tell you how many times while tracking macros I either wouldn’t allow myself to eat when I was hungry (because I would go over my macros), where I made myself eat when I was full (to hit my macros), or where I would eat something I didn’t want (because it fit my macros). Also, with working out I would find myself doing a workout I didn’t enjoy. I believe there is a time and place to push yourself to workout if you don’t want to and also to push yourself during certain workouts. What I don’t like is the times where I was exhausted but would make myself work out for an hour or more when all I wanted (and needed) to do was sleep. If you’re not getting enough sleep, you probably won’t get most of the benefits of working out anyways.
I have a degree in nutrition so I know what to eat, and I know portion sizes. So I think it’s time I learn to trust myself more than I have in the past by letting go of tracking macros. I think it’s kind of funny that intuitive eating is actually a thing because to me it’s just eating like a “normal” person. It’s not being hyper aware of what you eat and how much. It’s not restricting a ton of foods because that’s healthy. It’s eating what you want until your satisfied. The whole reason we have to learn how to intuitive eat again (that’s what you do when your born and a kid) is because of the crazy diet culture that’s in our faces 24/7 telling us to eat this because it’s healthy or not eat that because it’s unhealthy.
I can say that I’m not currently the eater I want to be (a post about this linked below). I want to be able to feel confident in my ability to feed myself nourishing food- and that means nourishing to my body and my mind. I think I’ve more or less relied on tracking macros to give me confidence that I’m eating what I’m supposed to. I want to be able to think about more than just the protein, carbs, and fats in a food when I decide to eat it. I want to be able to go out to eat without feeling guilty when I don’t make the healthiest choice. While I can do some of this, sometimes. I want to be able to do it all the time (at least almost all of the time).
Resources I recommend:
Since I’m just in the beginning of this journey, I’ve really looked up to people around me to learn about what an intuitive approach to nutrition and workouts looks like. There are a few dietitians I have discovered which have totally inspired me to make this change in my life. Kylie Mitchell, Robyn Nohling, and Alexis Joseph. There are a ton more, but these are my current favorite people to get daily inspiration from.
A great post about How Exercise affects Your Hormones that talks about how it might not always be in your best interest to do super high intensity workouts. Another good one about Intuitive Eating and Weight Loss. The last one I’ll link to is a post on How Alexis Became the Eater She Wants to Be.
A podcast I recommend is the RD Real talk podcast by Heather Caplan.
The holy grail of intuitive eating books– I’m reading this right now and am already obsessed with it.
Also one RD to be (like me) Constance who talks a lot about intuitive eating and movement on her blog and instagram. All these women have helped me realize how crazy the diet/fitness/”health” industry is and how most of us don’t need to have this regimented nutrition and workout plan to be healthy. I HIGHLY recommend checking some of these blogs/podcast/people out! Especially if you (like me) have been a long-time dieter/re-stricter of certain foods.
Final Thoughts for now
I hope that if you’ve never heard of intuitive eating before you’ve learned about something new in this post. I hope that if you’re tired of having a laundry list of “off limit” foods, or frequently feel guilty when you eat something you think you’re not “supposed” to you will look into some of these resources I’ve included. If you want to try intuitive eating, feel free and reach out to me so we can do it together! I know I am for one tired of being so hyper aware of what I eat on a constant basis and am excited that in the future I can use that brain power to focus on more important things.
Thanks for reading!!