Intuitive Eating vs eating intuitively

You were born an intuitive eater. You don’t need to learn how, you need to unlearn diet culture so you can remember.

Often people turn Intuitive Eating into yet another diet, with rules that determine if you’re being good or bad. Intuitive Eating is a practice, not a destination. And it’s unfortunate that the Intuitive Eating framework is oversimplified as the “hunger/fullness diet” or the “what sounds good diet” when in reality it is all about nuanced body autonomy.

Because eaters confuse intuition with impulses or instincts, it can be hard to know how to listen and respond to YOUR body’s unique messages. It is my opinion that intuition involves not only the body but also the mind and spirit. Your intuition is a sacred relationship of ALL of You. This is not only something I personally practice but also something I coach my clients through and recently taught to our Body Peace Academy members… For you, dear reader, consider pondering and journaling about what intuition means to you and how it affects your food choices or eating habits. 

  • What do you do when you wake up hungry but can’t eat something because you just took some medication that needs to be taken on an empty stomach?
  • What do you do when you want a Snickers bar but you’re allergic to peanuts?
  • What do you do when it’s your birthday but you know if you eat cake you’ll feel sick?
  • What do you do when you have no appetite at all and nothing sounds good?

If you have lived a life full of rigidity or restriction, eating intuitively will actually feel counterintuitive.


I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “Intuitive Eating doesn’t work for me” and I can’t help but ask what does “work” even mean? Are you afraid of gaining weight or overeating? Do you feel ungrounded by the “all foods fit” mentality? Is gentle nutrition triggering, confusing, and overwhelming? Get curious! Identify how your fears are limiting your ability to trust your Self. Then, get compassionate — give yourself permission to grieve and give yourself some grace. You’re doing better than you think.

That one time my golf coach chewed me out…

I cried in front of the entire golf team on the first day of practice.
It was my senior year, and my second season playing golf for the Mountain View Toros.
Over the summer our coach had asked us to hit the gym. He came up with a weight training program that was supposed to improve our golf swings… Because I’m a (recovering) perfectionistic people pleaser, I followed the prescribed routine religiously. I did everything just right. Unfortunately, it did not make me a better golfer.
I wasn’t the worst on the team, but I sure as heck wasn’t the best. We had two star players, and everyone else. After assessing our swings, our coach was clearly disappointed and proceeded to get after us for not going to the gym.
It was hard to not take it personal, because I had done exactly what he told me to do. He erroneously assumed that I had wasted away my summer, based on the fact that I was still a poor swinger. And so I started to cry.
I remember being so embarrassed, and nervous, as I stammered through my truth: I was a bad golfer, but I was an obedient one. My commitment to my practice, my team, and the coach was something deserving of recognition. He agreed, and then he apologized.
It was a memorable moment of advocating for myself that I will never forget. I’ve had other opportunities where I had to “stand my sacred ground” and each time I cried. I can’t help it!


“Give us the courage and tenacity to create new systems where every person is honored, valued, seen, and treated equally with kindness and love.” — Angella Johnson


As an INFJ, enneagram type 4, I have big feelings when it comes to advocacy. It’s why I get so pulpit poundy and a little cussy when I start talking about weight stigma. Although I’ve never had to personally advocate for myself at the doctor’s office, because my thin privilege allows me access to better health care. But it’s not fair.
In talking with family, friends, clients, and BPA members, I have heard of so many tear-filled stories where people in larger bodies are lectured for eating too much or moving too little when in reality they eat/move perfectly. When you’ve done everything “right” and yet you’re made to believe your body is still “wrong” it is NOT your fault.
My hope is that one day you can stand up for yourself, but in the meantime I will continue advocating for you (crying included).
Love much,
PS – If you’re feeling brave but need some extra support before your next doctor appointment, a colleague of mine created a fantastic resource: Weight Decline Card. I also recognize that sometimes requesting you not be weighed is more uncomfortable than being weighed, especially if you’ve been shamed previously and a confrontation feels unsafe. Please send me an email if you would like someone to advocate from afar and I will reach out to your care provider on your behalf.

What kind of a relationship does your child have with their body?


There’s nothing wrong with you.  You’re not broken.  You haven’t failed.  You are enough, exactly as you are right now.


We live in a world that is constantly telling us that something is wrong with the way we think, feel, act, and look.  This is the world we were born into and grew up in.  And unfortunately, this same world is what our kids are expected to survive in every day.
What kind of a relationship does your child have with their body?  If they’re young, hopefully it’s still a positive one…  According to Alissa Rumsey, “the majority of kids are more afraid of being fat than they are of cancer, war, or their parents dying.”
The best way to inspire your child to have a positive relationship with their body is to model a positive relationship with YOUR body.
Praise their body, and yours, for what they can do (not how they look).  Remind them, and yourself, that all bodies are good bodies!  Take turns sharing examples of body gratitude: arms to hug, eyes to see butterflies, ears to hear music, laps to cuddle, etc.
Move their body, and yours, in ways that are fun.  Encourage them, and yourself, to notice how their body feels while they work and play.  Does running make you feel fast?  Does lifting something heavy make you feel strong?  Joyful movement is an opportunity to celebrate bodies, not punish them!
Nourish their body, and yours, with a variety of foods.  Eat with them (aka. stop making special “mommy meals” that are different than what you serve your family)!  If they see you counting calories they will start to worry about eating too much.  If they hear you judge food as good or bad they will start to worry about what their food preferences say about them.  Food is all about connection, so find ways to enjoy rather than avoid eating.


Whether you realize it or not, you‘re already in a relationship with your body.  What kind of relationship is it, what would you like it to be, and how does it affect your other relationships?  Because I promise, your littles will remember your infamous cannonballs over your poolside cellulite.  They’ll grow up with fond memories of cake decorating instead of diet hopping.  And perhaps most importantly, a positive relationship with your body will become THEIR legacy.


Your body doesn’t need to change, your worldview does.  As my friend Julie Newbry once said, “when you’re focused on your shape, you can’t shape the world.” What kind of world would be possible if all bodies were good bodies?  What kind of world do you want to live in?  What kind of world do you want to help co-create with the youth in your life? 
I’ve said it before, but I’m going to say it again: There’s nothing wrong with you.  You’re not broken.  You haven’t failed.  You are enough, exactly as you are right now.