Well, sort of. That’s part of it. Taking time to consider what you want to eat, savouring what you are eating and checking in with yourself to ask whether you are satisfied.
But it’s so much more.
It’s abandoning the diet mentality forever. Freeing yourself from ‘shoulds’ about food. Accepting yourself, your body, your desires and tastes without judgment. Understanding that food has no moral value, it isn’t ‘naughty’, ‘cheeky’, ‘indulgent’, ‘sinful’. Refusing chocolate isn’t ‘being good’ and all food is ‘clean’ unless you picked it up off the floor (and even then I would still eat it most of the time).
Intuitive eating is remembering what hunger feels like and what foods you actually like to eat.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Get in touch with your body’s cues and figure out what tastes good. And yet it was a revelation for me.
I’d spent so long governed by ideas of foods being good and bad that I had no idea what I liked any more. I used to make up lies – “pasta gives me stomach ache” – to avoid eating the foods I feared when someone else served them up, and started to believe them myself through sheer repetition.
These days I can casually grab a sandwich from the shop for lunch without freaking out about bread or carbs. Every now and then I notice how little of a deal it is to me now. Major achievement, right? Putting a man on the moon has nothing on me conquering the gluten fear!
But I know there are still people struggling against themselves, crushing themselves with their own set of shoulds and shouldn’ts. And I want to say to you that there’s another way, a way where you can just not think about food and it’s easy, and it’s happy and it’s not as scary as you might think.