So for all that fear, it turns out that it probably WILL happen. And it won’t necessarily be a bad thing. I came across an amazing post at Through Thick and Thin, an Intuitive Eating Forum, where one of the administrators, Shannon, explains what to expect when first letting go of fearing food and honoring hunger:
“…The key is to relax in this phase; to understand that your body has suffered a lot of abuse and needs to become acclimated to regular feeding. If you give your body this reprieve, you will find that any weight gain experienced is minimal and will rapidly level off. With consistent feeding, your body will feel secure that there is no impending food shortage and will begin to release its fat stores. If you can find some time to do some strength exercise; whether lifting weights, or using calisthenics and the natural weight of your body for resistance; you can begin to rebuild the muscle tissue that was lost through dieting. Replenishing muscle tissue will restore the efficiency of your metabolism; facilitating more timely healing…
…What is pertinent to recognize is that after years of disregarding your body and its needs, there is a physiological balancing that needs to take place. It may take some time for your body to readjust and you owe your body the space to make this shift. You owe your body at least this respect. It has been through a lot. What has been the pursuit of a physical ideal for you, has been a taxing crisis for your body. If you stick with intuitive eating and focus on your healing process; relinquishing the physical goal; you will find that naturally and effortlessly, your body will reach a size and shape that is healthy for you. Don't burden your body with a time constraint for this healing to manifest. Surrender to the wisdom of your body.”
Over the past few days of reading about intuitive eating in the book and on the forum, I’m starting to calm down a bit with this fear. I have come to the conclusion that I am doing the right thing, no matter what. Even if I never shed an ounce. Even if it means living in an even bigger body. If I focus on taking care of myself and being as healthy as possible, I will be a much happier person. The issue is not about my size or shape but about my health and happiness. If I concentrate on that, the rest will take care of itself.
I no longer have the conviction that if I stopprd my intermittent attempts at weight loss, my weight would go up indefinitely. I now understand that is untrue – if I finally start listening to my own body, my own intuition about what to eat and how to move, I’ll settle at a healthy place for my particular body. Where ever that set-point winds up to be will be OK. How wonderful to learn that it is possible to trust myself. It is possible to heal. Knowing that I will never go on another diet again is so freeing.