Intuitive eating – is it about food, health, or politics?

Intuitive eating seems to be a bit fuzzy around the edges.  While there are certain core elements, to some extent, it can be interpreted by the practitioner.

Now, I listen to a lot – a LOT – of podcasts on the topic, in large part because my job requires a lot of commuting, and it helps fill in the time.  I’m not normally a person that sits and listens to audio (I’m more visual), but being trapped in a car makes me a captive audience.

And I’ll be honest – as my primary focus is always on driving, chunks of these podcasts can skip past.  But then other parts reach out and latch onto my ears.  And sometimes, scream into those shell-like orifices.

Now, I consider myself to be a true believer in intuitive eating, HAES, mindful eating, non-diet diets, etc., but I will also admit that they can all seem a bit hippy-ish to newcomers.

Of late, I have also heard a lot about other movements intersecting with intuitive eating; some in a natural, organic way, and other’s in a rather more aggressive, co-opting manner.

So, I am putting this out there – anyone can embrace (or even just gently poke at) intuitive eating.  You don’t have to belong to any category to give it a go.  The whole concept doesn’t “belong” to anyone, or any agenda.

You don’t have to be coming from a place of disordered eating, or being body shamed, or chronic disease (although it is very helpful for some of those people).  You can join in if you just feel that there needs to be a simpler way to eat and enjoy food.

You also don’t have to belong to any specific demographic, marginalised or otherwise.  This isn’t a special club for any single group.  Nobody owns intuitive eating.

So, intuitive eating is about food and eating behaviours.  It is about health – not just physical, but also mental and emotional.

But hopefully, it can avoid becoming political, or tribal, or extremist.   I still recall being harassed at a raw foodies meeting, that I had attended out of curiosity. One member was determined to prove to me that I was just WRONG, because I like some of my food to be cooked.  The intuitive eating concept doesn’t need to be hijacked by people with a black and white mindset.  Because frankly, that isn’t intuitive.

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