Intuitive Eating Challenge Review

April 23, 2013

As most of you know, on April 1st I started Jamie’s Intuitive Eating Challenge. After spending years stuck in various degrees of a restriction/bingeing cycle, I forgot what it was like to just eat without thinking; to eat when I’m hungry, stop when I’m full, and not have so many “rules” surrounding food. That is what Intuitive Eating is all about – slowly learning how to let go of all the rules and to embrace yourself and your life at that moment.

I know the phrase “intuitive eating” has been making its way around the blog world recently, receiving criticism from some as a “new fad” and just another way of over-thinking what you eat. I want to reassure you all that’s not what intuitive eating is at all and that maybe some bloggers have misconstrued it that way, or they’re in a point of their journey where they need to make a consistent conscious effort before they’re able to get to a point where they don’t need to think so much.

Jamie’s challenge is 21 days long and on each day you receive an e-mail with a certain “challenge” or lesson for that day. Usually, it’s something to try and incorporate into your life, or something to reflect upon. Each e-mail ends with some questions or prompts to get us talking in our Facebook group. The challenge is done by a group of women each month, all of whom come from different backgrounds but many of whom have very similar stories. We are able to use the Facebook group as a way to ask questions, get opinions, seek support and boast accomplishments. I found myself checking the group a couple times a day, always interested in what the other women had to say about that day’s challenge or how they were doing in their Intuitive Eating journey.

Along with the daily e-mails and Facebook group, we also had the constant support of Jamie. We had three scheduled phone calls with her throughout the challenge, each 15 minutes long. The first call was a way for her to get to know us and our stories and to help prepare us for the challenge. The second call occurred halfway through and was a way to check up on how we were doing. This call was especially helpful to me because she gave me some great insight into my own habits and ways that I can change some things that I do in regards to putting myself first.

Our last call is after the challenge, which has yet to occur for me (tomorrow!), so I’m looking forward to checking in with Jamie again about how I’m doing.

So the big question: was the challenge worth it? Was it helpful?

I certainly think it was. Do I still binge? Absolutely. Do I still get down on myself? Of course. Twenty one days isn’t enough to change a lifetime of habits and ways of thinking, but it is enough to give me ways to make those changes. Participating in this challenge has given me a start and the tools that I need to move past rules, binge eating and self-abuse. It has taught me to focus on me, to stop and think about how I’m feeling rather than covering that with food.

My intention from here on out is to regularly reflect on the e-mails and things that I learned from the challenge and continue to try and implement them in my daily life. I know that this is something that will take time; old habits are hard to break and it takes time to change the way you think about your life and yourself. But I’ve finished this 21-day challenge optimistic about the future and much better off than I was at the start.

What do you think of the concept of “intuitive eating”?

Have you ever worked health coach or done some sort of online program?