You know that feeling when you realize you’ve been lied to?
Like when you found out the Tooth Fairy wasn’t the one putting coins under your pillow?
Or that Santa Clause wasn’t the one delivering your toys?
Well, that’s how a lot of my clients initially feel when I tell them that eating intuitively isn’t *just* about eating what you’re craving. However, they quickly feel a lot better and happier when I explain to them the depths and layers of what eating with intuition actually means.
So you might be having the same initial reaction right now…
“WHAT?! I thought this was just about eating when I’m hungry, choosing what I’m craving, and stopping when I’m full?!”
But before you get upset and confused, I want you to know that parts of this are still true! It’s just that this explanation is way too surface level and simple if we’re trying to do some deep inner healing - which is what I’m all about!
On some level, eating intuitively means eating what you’re craving. But, we have to go deeper than that and understand which part of you is craving that food. We also have to acknowledge if it’s genuinely a food that you’re craving, or...a feeling.
So, let’s say you’re in the mood for some ice cream. On the surface level, you might believe that you should simply eat some ice cream. But first, let’s take a deeper look at what’s actually going on behind the scenes. There are quite a few potential scenarios here!
Your sadness is craving the ice cream. You received some bad news, and so you’re really craving the feeling of happiness. Ice cream typically makes you happy, so the craving is there.
Your stress is craving the ice cream. You have a lot going on, and you’re craving a distraction or a moment of peace. Eating delicious ice cream seems like a great distraction.
Your hormones are craving the ice cream. You’re low on zinc, iron, and magnesium, so you’re looking for a sugary bite. Ice cream definitely seems like it would hit the spot.
Your boredom is craving the ice cream. You’re not really in the mood for it, but it’s yummy and something fun to do. Ice cream fills the space that feels empty in your life right now.
Your intuition is craving the ice cream on a mind, body, soul level! It’s simple - you want ice cream!!
As you can see, we are emotional creatures, and those emotions are behind a lot of our strong cravings. In each of these scenarios, there are different factors at play influencing how you feel, what you really are looking for, and how you feel about food.
So, what should you do? Should you always eat the ice cream? Should you only eat it in example 5? Should you ignore the craving? How do you actually honor your cravings with love and intuition?
Ultimately, the action you take is up to you! In each of those examples, it’s completely ok to eat the ice cream! What I would recommend doing *first* though is understanding what the craving actually is (looking for relief, happiness, peace?) and doing something to fulfill that craving in a more productive way. The ice cream won’t last, but maybe journaling about your frustrations will! Perhaps letting yourself cry will give you more of the lasting relief that you’re looking for. Maybe taking a bath and using some essential oils will cause more significant shifts in benefiting your hormones. Perhaps doing something fun and creative will fill that feeling of boredom and lack.
And hey, having some ice cream on the side while you do those things can never hurt!
It is ok (and normal!) to cope with emotions through food. However, you’re going to cope, move through those emotions, and come back to higher vibrations a lot faster and more efficiently if you can address the truth behind what it is that you’re looking for and take aligned actions to find genuine fulfillment. Food can be the sidekick in this journey!
This is why eating intuitively is deeper than just eating what you’re craving...which part of you is craving it? What are you actually craving? Why?
Now, instead of over analyzing and trying to get this perfect, start with gentle curiosity. Set an intention to be more aware and intuitive with your cravings, and see where that takes you! Remember that healing your relationship with food takes patience and experimentation, and this is just one piece of the puzzle.
If you want help filling in the rest of the gaps with your food freedom puzzle, I’d love to help! Come connect on Instagram and book a Complimentary 30 Minute Intuitive Eating Session for a personalized food freedom game plan so that you can improve your relationship with food now!