I was chatting with a friend the other day who recently decided to try intuitive eating.
“I feel great,” she said. “I just eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full. I can eat all the foods that are most satisfying to me and really tune into myself and my body while I’m eating.”
I smiled and told her how happy I was for her newfound freedom. I truly am happy for her!
But I also felt a twinge of guilt as I thought about my own eating program. My food plan is in most ways the opposite of hers. I eat at specified meal times, whether I feel particularly hungry or not. I choose the foods that lead to a balanced meal, tasty, but definitely NOT the foods my brain finds most alluring (sugar, flour, and all things fried!).
I love my food plan most days, but when I come face-to-face with the idea of intuitive eating, I start to think that I would be better person if I could find a way to be more intuitive with my eating.
Our culture praises intuitive eating as the solution to the destructive diet culture. The merry-go- round of diet fads and hyper obsession with the body scale definitely isn’t healthy. So many of us have tried diets and failed, only to gain more weight while we look for the next great idea that’s going to solve the “food problem” once and for all.
That’s all any of us really want: for food to stop being the problem. We want to live and be free from all the constant mental chatter that says we should eat more of this and less of that. We want to spend less time worrying about how we look and more time enjoy the bodies God gave us.
We want peace.
Intuitive eating is so appealing to our human nature. We like the idea that the answer to our own problem is really just hidden deep inside ourselves. Our culture worships the self. Ask anyone on social media and the answer to whatever problem you are facing is probably more self-love, self-care, self-forgiveness, self-acceptance…are you seeing the pattern?
If we can find the answer inside ourselves, then we don’t need Jesus.
So is intuitive eating wrong? By no means! But neither is it right.
Like food boundaries, it’s just another way that works for some but not for others.
God is the one and only source of true freedom and restoration.
The Lord is the one who created our bodies. He sees and knows our frailty. He is the one who gave us every good thing to eat, and it is only through His power that those foods sustain us and give life to our bodies. Any attempt we make to find peace with food apart from Him is ultimately meaningless.
“So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
Remember that it’s not the rules you follow that set you free.
It is the grace of God that transforms us as He renews our minds and our hearts in Christ Jesus.