What is Normal Eating?

Normal eating can be a difficult concept to grasp if you or a loved one are struggling with an eating disorder or a problematic relationship with food. Diet culture often demands that we not listen to our bodies as a guide of how to take care of ourselves. Instead, diet culture calls on us to manipulate our bodies in order to receive love, acceptance, and joy. In doing so, we break trust with ourselves and the bonds between our mind and body. Your body is designed to know what to do with food and works hard everyday to strive for or maintain homeostasis. Now is the time to move away from food rules and rituals designed to change your body and to move towards intuitive, normal eating.

Normal eating is going to the table hungry and eating until you are satisfied. It is being able to choose food you like and eat it and truly get enough of it – not just stop eating because you think you should. Normal eating is being able to give some thought to your food selection so you get nutritious food, but not being so wary and restrictive that you miss out on enjoyable food. Normal eating is giving yourself permission to eat sometimes because you are happy, sad or bored, or just because it feels good. Normal eating is mostly three meals a day, or four or five, or it can be choosing to munch along the way. It is leaving some cookies on the plate because you know you can have some again tomorrow, or it is eating more now because they taste so wonderful. Normal eating is overeating at times, feeling stuffed and uncomfortable. And it can be under eating at times and wishing you had more. Normal eating is trusting your body’s signals. Normal eating takes up some of your time and attention, but keeps its place as only one important area of your life. In short, normal eating is flexible. It varies in response to your hunger, your schedule, your proximity to food and your feelings.” – Ellen Satter*

I wish you all a peaceful relationship with food and your body. You deserve it!

*Adapted from: http://ellynsatterinstitute.org