When I was truly stuck with food, I looked on in awe and desperation at those who ate intuitively. They

Ate what they wanted, when they wanted and stopped when they were full.

Why couldn’t I get there? I was still stuck in food obsession, and although I ate when I was hungry, I felt that I truly had to be eating all the time, otherwise I wasn’t following my body. And fullness, what on earth was that? I was confused, and obsessed hourly about when I could eat next. I wouldn’t eat at “meal times” out of principle, instead grazed most of the day. And so the food issues continued.

Then it came to me, in a flash of inspiration and insight:

When you are resisting or feel trapped by something other than food in your life, you fight back using your relationship with food.

In other words, food is your last hope of freedom. But what has this to do with intuitive eating?

I took a step back and realised that I was using my relationship with food as a defence against other issues in flux in my life. It took me a long time to work out what was wrong, but when the problems were identified it was easier to remove food from the agenda. Food problems are a symptom not a cause. To truly experience freedom, I had not to care about food at all, and care more about the other difficulties. Face them.

I realised that my way of intuitive eating was eating at set times, because otherwise I would spiral into obsession about what to eat. I snacked, oh yes, but also had set meal times so my brain wouldn’t panic where the next food would come from. I had to also calm myself down that I could eat, but I had other important things to be doing. I also realised that if I focused on doing the important things, then food would be less of an issue. It all works hand in hand.

The bottom line is: there is no such thing as ‘intuitive eating’. Eating without issue is easy, personal, and undefinable. Eat how you want, enjoy it, and do what makes you feel sane. For me it was structure, for you it could be eating every time your tummy rumbles. Your goal is sanity, not purity.