Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
In the spirit of the holidays swiftly approaching, I’m working harder than ever to reassure clients, friends, and family members alike that it is indeed OK to not fall victim to the messages of diet culture this year. This is undoubtedly easier said than done. Everywhere you turn you see or hear diet culture raring its ugly head, trying to induce guilt/shame/regret/you-name-it for holiday food choices. At the same time, it promises hope of weight loss in the new year if you can *just* make it to January 1st for a fresh start.
I’m here to tell you that neither of those things is here to serve you, and neither of those things is something you need.
In the last few weeks (really, months, since I first shared this with a client before Halloween), I’ve been sharing the “Intuitive Eating Bill of Rights” for the holidays. This is a list of things are inherently available to you – things that you need no one’s permission to engage in or enjoy. The list was first published in 2010 by one of the original authors of Intuitive Eating, Evelyn Tribole. I cannot recommend this book enough – it is something that has changed not only my personal relationship with food and health, but also something that’s shifted my entire nutrition practice as a dietitian.
Let’s take a look at the list, shall we?
Consider your Intuitive Eating Bill of Rights, as we enter the holiday season, to help you foster inner peace with food, mind and body.
1. You have the right to savor your meal, without cajoling or judgment, and without discussion of calories eaten or the amount of exercise needed to burn off said calories.
2. You have the right to enjoy second servings without apology.
3. You have the right to honor your fullness, even if that means saying “no thank you” to dessert or a second helping of food.
4. It is not your responsibility to make someone happy by overeating, even if it took hours to prepare a specialty holiday dish.
5. You have the right to say, “No thank you,” without explanation, when offered more food.
6. You have the right to stick to your original answer of “no”, even if you are asked multiple times. Just calmly and politely repeat “No, thank you, really.”
7. You have the right to eat pumpkin pie for breakfast.
Remember, no one, except for you, knows how you feel, both emotionally and physically. Only you can be the expert of your body, which requires inner attunement, rather than the external, well-meaning, suggestions from family.
Copyright © 2010 by Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD Published at www.IntuitiveEating.org
As I discuss this list with clients, it becomes apparent that we all have something to add – it stands to reason that since each of us is a unique individual, there would be countless interpretations and additions to the original list.
Did you find any of these rights resonated with you?
What thoughts did they spark for you, or how do you picture yourself applying them to your life?
Did any favorites pop out?
And what would you add to this list to complete your own, personal Holiday Bill of Rights?
If you’re so inclined to share, I’d love to hear what you would add or change to write your own Intuitive Eating Bill of Rights for the holidays. Share what you come up with in a comment below, or if you’re posting to social media you’ll find posts under the hashtag for #StreetSmartNutrition.
And to learn more about intuitive eating (or IE, as it’s often abbreviated) check out the original book here (affiliate link):
There is also a workbook for those who want to further explore intuitive eating in a self-guided manner (affiliate link):
Wishing you and those you love a happy, joyful holiday season – remember you have the right to enjoy this time of year, I mean REALLY enjoy it!