Life is like a roller coaster. It has its ups and downs. Sometimes you can see what’s coming and it is a slow torment until it finally happens and your stomach drops. Other times you are shocked and don’t even have time to react, just hang on. There are some rollercoaster riders who throw up their hands and yell with a smile on their face. I am not one of those. I grab hold, say a prayer, close my eyes tightly, and try to not throw up. My summer was like one long roller coaster ride; that went on and on and on.
How did this affect my intuitive eating? I guess you could say I couldn’t have had better practice if I had asked for it. I fell down and had to get back up more times than I could count. I was so stressed at one point I actually counted calories. Ouch! I stress ate. I judged myself. I struggled. I made EVERY mistake possible.
But there is some good news. With repeated practice comes mastery and I could feel myself slowly making different choices as time went on. In the past, when I would struggle and fail at things (e.g. dieting) I would tell myself I would start over and do it right this time. This time I would be perfect at it and not make any mistakes and get to my goal. This summer I didn’t strive to start over to become better or more perfect. This summer I allowed myself to just be. To be aware of my obvious failings: my anger, my stress eating, and my ability to say all the wrong things. I worked on accepting those parts of myself I didn’t like. I also tried to remember my wonderful strengths. I gave myself a “hug” and got up and said to myself: it is ok. You are doing the best you can. You are loveable even if you are far from perfect. I wasn’t the best intuitive eater. I was just Sarah who was trying to be an intuitive eater.
Allowing for myself in all my imperfection made room for me to be stressed and sad and angry but also start to find pieces of my day that I also enjoyed. I wasn’t on a diet or off a diet. My food choices weren’t good or bad. I wasn’t good or bad. It was just a crazy mixed up experience, like a roller coaster, like life.
I don’t doubt that life will continue to be one long roller coaster ride. I am just glad I am figuring out how to ride it with a bit more self-love and acceptance. Who knows, maybe some day I’ll ride with my eyes wide open and my hands up in the air.
Written by Sarah Gold MS, RD, LDN who is a certified intuitive eating counselor and dietitian
Intuitive Eating is a process developed by Elyse Resch, MS, RD, FADA and Evelyn Tribole MS, RD. Find out more at intuitiveeating.com
Sarah Gold is an intuitive eater, dietitian, chocolate lover, and dog lover,