Yesterday, I became certified as an intuitive eating professional as you can see by the picture below. To say I am grateful for this certification, would be an understatement, so today I wanted to share some of my adventure and learnings about becoming trained in intuitive eating. As I share this, please know it is coming from a place of compassion, accountabilityand responsibility for my life (there is no blame).
What is Intuitive Eating?
Intuitive Eating is a non-diet approach to nutrition and wellness that helps people start to trust their body wisdom and its signals, break the cycle of dieting and change your relationship with food (and maybe their life). According to Tribole and Resch, the authors of Intuitive Eating, an intuitive eater is defined as a person who –
“makes food choices without experiencing guilt or an ethical dilemma, honours hunger, respects fullness and enjoys the pleasure of eating.”
My Interest in Nutrition
My interest in nutrition started when I was a professional athlete. Then when I was doing my double undergraduate degree, we covered a subject of nutrition with the dietetic students. The subject didn’t resonate with me (and now I can see why as it was focused more on dieting).
Fast forward a few years and I started my own healing adventure and discovered many unconscious beliefs I had that needed healing. Some were about my weight, food / what I ate and and my body. From “you’re not the right shape to be an athlete”, “you need to lose weight as your skin folds are too high” and “you can’t eat that as it’s fattening”. Unbeknownst to me, this was having an impact on me and my life and I was ready to find support to change my relationship with food and my body.
Throughout my adventure (and after I was trained Health and Physical Education Teacher), I returned to study nutrition with Well College (it was called Cadence Health when I studied with them). Throughout that time, I came across the HAES approach and then the book intuitive eating (after I read HAES). Intuitive Eating resonated with me for many reasons. Firstly, it built upon what I had learnt in my other studies (see jigsaw below) and linked in with mindfulness (and my training in mindful eating), self-compassion and behavioural change. It also linked in with the philosophy of coaching. I then started my intuitive eating adventure to remember how to listen to my body signals and untangle from the food police. In some ways, it felt like intuitive eating was the last piece to my education puzzle, however I won’t know that for a while as I love learning 🙂
What Training Did I Have To Do to Be a Trained Professional in Intuitive Eating ?
There was a considerable amount of training to complete this certification. I started on June 1, 2018 when I purchased the Intuitive Eating textbook. Then I did the following –
- Intuitive Eating Teleseminar – 6 hrs
- ·Intuitive Eating Group Supervision – 4.5 hrs
- ·Passed Intuitive Eating Workbook Quiz
- ·Passed Helm Intuitive Eating Certification Exam.
What Have I Learnt So Far?
The biggest lessons for me have come in relation to my body. I have learnt that I can accept it the way it is. Growing up as an athlete, I heard many comments about my body and the way it “should be”. I ended up subconsciously taking on board many of those thoughts, which turned in to beliefs and was punishing my for not being the way other people wanted it to be. This punishment resulted in me not knowing how to listen to my inner body wisdom (which is what intuitive eating helps you to do) or trust it. I can now sense when I am hungry, full and have eaten to satisfaction and am continuing to be aware of my emotional triggers. Breaking my toe almost 5 weeks ago, has also brought this lesson home and how far I have travelled.
In relation to the food I eat, I have given myself permission to eat what I feel like for many years now (yep, I was a rebel after I finished playing sport and ate all of those foods I was told I couldn’t eat! 🙂 ). However, what I would say is that when I eat, I am more satisfied with what I choose to eat and I savour it more. I also have other ways to cope with challenging situations now. I know intuitive eating will continue to be a practise for me.
Until today (14/9/19), I haven’t taken on any clients with a focus on intuitive eating. I have been trained in Mindful Eating for a while now though and there are a few similarities, however there are also differences. Now I am grateful I will be able to bring the best of both worlds to the people I work with now in this space.
Over to You…
I hope this post has given you some insight in to my adventure of becoming a trained professional in intuitive eating. If you have any questions or comments, please write them below. There are many aspects to intuitive eating (more than the ones I have discussed above), so you can click here is you would like to read more.
Tribole, E., & Resch, E. (2012). Intuitive Eating – A Revolutionary Program that Works. New York, USA: St. Martin’s Griffin.