Updated: Jun 10, 2021
There isn’t just one reason why I became a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor. In fact, if I think about it, there are probably too many reasons to count.
I will start off by writing that I most definitely had struggles with food. My struggles started when I was 16 and lasted for much longer than I care to admit. My initial attraction to the field of nutrition and dietetics was very much rooted in my own desire to think about food for most of my waking life. A large part of me also was intrigued by the biology and chemistry required for a degree in Dietetics. I remember loving organic chemistry- although many years later what I remember is Ester bonds, as they are closely associated with my name.
I write all that to say my journey in the field of Nutrition did NOT start out with Intuitive Eating. For the earlier part of my career, I practiced from the “reductionist” view of nutrition that I was taught in school, which basically consisted of “diagnose, treat (with a meal plan), and discharge.”
It took a very short time of working with clients to realize that the “treat and ditch” approach was not only depressing but also really ineffective. I saw over and over again that a hyperfocus on meal plans and macronutrients was actually harmful in many cases, and did not help clients get what they were really looking for- freedom! I didn’t have all the amazing Intuitive eating jargon that I now have, but I knew that I wanted a different way to practice.
I actually started incorporating tools of Intuitive Eating well before I took the course. The principles and ideology of Intuitive Eating are so in line with my own, that once I learned them, I was able to incorporate them seamlessly into my sessions.
I love many things about Intuitive Eating, but what I find most appealing is the compassionate and non-judgmental framework that Intuitive Eating is built on. So much of eating disorders and disordered eating is about shame and guilt, the last thing clients need is more judgement and shame, especially from a provider. I have learned time and time again that meeting my clients where they are with non-judgmental curiosity is one of the best things that I can offer.
It is often shocking to my clients when they report that they ate xyz and my response is “was it good? Did you enjoy it?” Often they respond with “aren’t you going to yell at me?” to which my response is “of course not!” My clients are some of the most intelligent, interesting young adults and people that I have met. I often tell them if they could have thought their way to a positive relationship with food, then they would have (I would have too)! What I have found most helpful to facilitate change is what Intuitive Eating embraces at its core- compassion and willingness to meet ourselves where we are.
Since becoming an IE Counselor, I have attended many amazing and informative trainings and presentations. However, I really believe that the Intuitive Eating Counselor Training set the foundation for all of it. Thanks to Intuitive Eating, I have more food freedom in my own life and I am a better practitioner in so many ways. If you are not familiar with Intuitive Eating and you are looking for food freedom, please go buy the book! It is one of the nicest things you will do for yourself!
Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts! And if you are looking for support in your own journey to food freedom and a healthier relationship with food, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation.