How one woman found yoga, eased her inner hunger, and started loving herself. Follow Kimber as she shares her journey to loving her body, the joys and sorrows of yoga teaching, and venturing into the wilderness of writing and publishing.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What the Heck is Intuitive Eating, Anyway?

Today I’m excited to share with you an interview with the amazing Golda Poretsky. Golda is a certified holistic health counselor and founder of Body Love Wellness, a wellness company that provides individual and group counseling from a Health At Every Size perspective. Via her blog, podcast, and counseling programs, she helps women and men throughout the country get off the dieting roller coaster, give their bodies what they really crave, and love their bodies and themselves. Golda's programs and activism work have been featured on CBS's The Early Show, ABC's Nightline, NBC's LX New York and Time Out New York. She is also author of Stop Dieting Now: 25 Reasons To Stop, 25 Ways To Heal, available in softcover, Kindle, and Nook.

SPECIAL OFFER: As a special gift for lucky readers, Golda is gifting a free Food Mood Transformation Session to the first 5 Finding Fullness readers who sign up. This is your chance to talk to Golda about any struggles you’re having with food and body image, and get some real solutions for moving forward. To sign up for your free session, go to

1. Briefly, Golda, what is intuitive eating?

Intuitive eating is a practice of listening to your body's food desires and feelings of hunger and fullness, and making food choices based on those indicators.

2. How has eating intuitively affected your own life?

Oh, gosh. It's affected my life in so many ways. But I think the hugest impact of intuitive eating is emotional. I was a lifelong dieter until I found intuitive eating. I was always on a diet, and when I wasn't, I was stressing about whether I should or not. But now, I don't spend my days stressing about food, what I'm going to eat, what I can eat, what I can't eat. I don't count points or calories or carbs or fat grams. I just eat good food that I like, and I pay attention to my hunger and fullness. It's a really peaceful place to be.

3. What are the first steps someone who wants to learn to eat intuitively can take?

Truthfully, the best place to start is uncovering your "food rules." Most of us have rules that we've carried with us from past diets, and often they conflict. We see ourselves as "being good" when we stick to our rules and "being bad" when we don't. So it's important to get a lot of clarity on what our beliefs are around food and begin to let go of them, so that we can hear our inner wisdom.

4. How can intuitive eating help someone who sometimes over- or under-eats?

Because bingeing and restricting really aren't about the food, using intuitive eating tools can allow someone who binges or restricts to begin to get clarity on her/his emotional reality. That's really a key component of intuitive eating -- it gives you the space to acknowledge your emotional hunger as well as your physical hunger.

5. Why is intuitive eating better than dieting?

Dieting is incredibly detrimental. We're sold a lie that diets and weight loss are healthy and good for us, and that lie couldn't be further from the truth. In my book, Stop Dieting Now, I give 25 reasons to stop dieting, so it's hard to pick just one. But the main reason why intuitive eating is better than dieting is that diets impose a set of rules on the dieter that has nothing to do with that dieter. Your diet doesn't care if you're having a long, stressful day or an easy day at home. Your diet doesn't care if it's the summer in Southern Florida or the winter in Alaska. No matter what, you have to make choices based on that diet, not on what you want or need. Intuitive eating allows you to learn to listen to your body and trust that your body will direct you toward the nutrition you need.

6. What further resources would you recommend for someone who would like to step onto the path of intuitive eating?

I would highly recommend Linda Bacon's book: Health At Every Size, The Surprising Truth About Your Weight. It's a great way to learn the principles of intuitive eating while also learning why it's a good idea. There are lots of books on intuitive eating that may be more familiar to your readers, but I wouldn't recommend them because they talk about intuitive eating as a weight loss tool, which it isn't. Some people lose weight from intuitive eating and some don't, and I find that those who don't lose weight think they're doing it wrong. In other words, it becomes another diet that they feel they've failed at, which defeats the whole purpose!

I think it's also important to get help with this process. When you've suffered from disordered eating for years, usually reading a few books and blogs isn't going to do the trick. There are real issues to be worked through, and it's important to get support.

7. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with us, Golda! I hope lots of readers take advantage of your resources and experience. Blessings!

Love Your Body Blog Part 44