We’re continuing with the Intuitive Eating and Scripture Series today with the sixth principle of IE!
Principle number 6 of Intuitive Eating is one of my absolute favorites. Have I said that before? Maybe about every single other principle? Oh well, it’s awesome, and important, and life-changing, and all the things.
The sixth principle of Intuitive Eating is “Discover the Satisfaction Factor,” and the authors sum it up like this:
The Japanese have the wisdom to promote pleasure as one of their goals of healthy living. In our fury to be thin and healthy, we often overlook one of the most basic gifts of existence—the pleasure and satisfaction that can be found in the eating experience. When you eat what you really want, in an environment that is inviting, the pleasure you derive will be a powerful force in helping you feel satisfied and content. By providing this experience for yourself, you will find that it takes much less food to decide you’ve had “enough.”
In essence, eat foods you enjoy and you won’t feel deprived. Let yourself regularly enjoy satisfying foods instead of cardboard diet foods and you’ll be less likely to spend your days dreaming of ice cream sundaes, raiding the chocolate drawer after meal time, and bingeing on salty chips at night. This goes back to giving yourself unconditional permission to eat and believing that all foods are good.
The truth is you can be full in the caloric sense (eat enough energy) and in the physical sense (eat enough volume), but not feel satisfied. This dissatisfaction tends to cause food preoccupation and feelings of deprivation.
You really are better off having your cake and eating it too, prioritizing good tasting, enjoyable foods, and savoring them mindfully as opposed to shoveling down bland tasting veggies and boiled chicken (or whatever other diet foods come to mind).
I go into the science of food enjoyment and why it’s actually better for our health to enjoy the foods we eat in my book, Grace, Food, and Everything In Between.
But overall, this concept isn’t so hard to grasp, rather what seems to be a bigger issue with my clients, is feeling guilty for finding pleasure in food. Many have the belief that they don’t deserve to eat good tasting food, sometimes because they are stuck in a cycle of shame and low-self worth, believing their larger body size or past trauma means they don’t deserve to enjoy food or obtain nourishment.
These are lies. Everyone deserves nourishment. Everyone deserves to enjoy the gift of eating, no matter your body size, no matter your past.
The bible reminds us over and over that because of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, God no longer holds our sins against us. He sees us as forgiven. He calls us his children. He sees us as He sees Christ.
“For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” (Hebrews 8:12)
When we struggle to believe we deserve to be healthy, free and well-nourished, we can remember that Christ has died for our sins and God forgives us when we believe in him. We can thank our heavenly father for his grace and turn to what his word says is TRUE about us. We are loved, we are set apart, we are forgiven, and we are free.
On the other hand, if you struggle with feeling like your larger body size or BMI means you don’t deserve to eat good tasting food, remember that God loves you just as you are. He wants you to enjoy every good gift he has to give, which certainly includes food. He never says, my gifts and blessings are for size 2’s only.
In fact God differentiates himself from men saying,
“For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7).
You deserve to eat good tasting food, to be satisfied with your eating, so you can spend the rest of your days NOT thinking about food and body image, so you can have the ENERGY to live out your calling and the FOCUS to love others the way only you were designed to do.
Eating satisfying food is more than fueling your body with nourishing enjoyable eats, it’s also filling your soul with the truth of who God is and who He says you are. Both matter, both bring health, the kind God wants for you and for me, health in soul AND body!
Until next time, stay nourished my friends!