Sarah was feeling really down on herself. Because, yet again, here she was after a main meal with an uncomfortably full tummy. Even though she’d really tried to listen for her fullness cues, somehow she’d overeaten… again. “What the heck is going on?!” she screamed inside her head.
Sarah doesn’t know why she’s struggling to hear her hunger and fullness cues. She feels like she’s failing at eating intuitively and she’s starting to doubt herself.
“Not only do I suck at dieting, I can’t even do intuitive eating right either…. sigh.”
Do you relate to Sarah’s struggle? If so, first up girlfriend – you are NOT failing! That is The Diet Lie getting inside your head again. It is mean and it is horrible and it will keep dragging you down if it can.
“Hello? Is Any-Body There?” Reconnecting With Your Body
Second up – it takes time to reconnect with your body after years or decades of dieting.
Dieting trains your hunger and fullness cues into submission. It teaches you to ignore them. And ignore them you did.
So much so, that eventually you don’t even hear them anymore. It’s as though they don’t exist.
Some scientists gave this phenomenon the not-very-catchy-name: the “Zone of Biological Indifference”. Yep, not exactly a catchy name. But there you go, they’re scientists, not creative writers.
It’s official anyway – you’re not alone. There’s a whole bunch of us who find ourselves with an unwanted “Zone of Biological Indifference.”
And it takes time to work that baby out of our system. Like it took time for us all to forget that darn Baby Shark song (Baby Shark, do-do, do-do-do-do…). Eventually it will happen. But in the meantime it’s really, flipping annoying (are you singing the darn Baby Shark song too now?).
The Thing That Disrupts Your Cues: Lack of Self-Care
But there’s another thing I want to talk about today – and that’s you (Yes you, truly).
Are you taking care of your self? And I don’t mean are you having bubble baths and going for massages.
- Are you getting enough sleep?
- Do you take time off work when you’re sick? Not just paid work – but household work too?
- How often do you get together with your friends?
- Do you eat regularly or are you a bit chaotic?
- Do you get outdoors regularly for some fun?
- Do you do regular physical activity that you enjoy?
- Do you set limits with people?
- Or are you a “Yes” person that tries to please everyone?
- Are you a perfectionist?
- Do you feel guilty if you’re not”doing” something productive?
- Do you drink alcohol (too) often?
Cos here’s the thing. If you don’t take care of YOU, if you put everyONE and everyTHING in front of YOU – you simply won’t be able to listen to your body.
Your body’s cues will be so messed up from all the stress, tiredness and over-work that you’ll find yourself constantly in fight-or-flight mode, not in a mode where you have the capacity to hear and respond to your body’s cues, which is what we need to if we want to eat intuitively.
Self-Care Is The Foundation of Intuitive Eating
Forget bubble baths – it’s time to start saying ‘no’ and protecting your time and energy.
- No the washing doesn’t need to be folded at 10pm, you need your sleep.
- No, you can’t help someone else with their project/job/cleaning/shopping, when you haven’t had 8 hours sleep all week.
And it’s time to start saying yes to taking care of your health.
- Yes to time relaxing with caring friends.
- Yes to getting out of the house for some fun physical activity.
- Yes to unwinding and just sitting down doing nothing (yes really, doing “nothing”, it’s a thing).
Start taking care of YOU, and you’ll much sooner be able to reconnect with your body, to hear its subtle cues about hunger and fullness.