Healthy Eating includes Pleasure

HEALTHY EATING includes pleasure

So you enjoyed that lunch. That killer sandwich on the perfect roll with a side of French fries. After a draining morning it has left you energized and satisfied. Can’t say that about many things yet can with food right now.

Before you scorn enjoying that meal and its emotional arousal, pause. A part of healthy eating includes pleasure. It also includes emotional eating and connections. Ellyn Satter RD, LCSW says, “When we take the joy out of eating, nutrition suffers.” One of my favorite dietitian quotes. When we hate what we are eating and just eat it because it is another should or it is clean or organic or low in the hated-macronutrient-of-the-moment, we are missing the point.

The point is our body needs to be satisfied with food. It needs a balance of fat and carbs. It needs sweet and salty. Soft and hard and chewy. Our bodies have evolved to survive on food based on getting pleasure needs met. Denying pleasure from eating sets us up to experience disordered eating including binges.

Want to experience healthy eating? Ask your body what it will enjoy right now. Ask it what would satisfy it. Then, give it what it wants. Listen with attunement and provide.

5 thoughts on “Healthy Eating includes Pleasure

  1. Thank you so much for this, Julie. As a person who is in the recovery process from an eating disorder, the hardest thing for me to accept is that it is okay for me to eat foods I like and desire without having immense guilt. While I am being taught to trust myself and my body, there are constant comments from people all around me and tons of media messages always labeling foods as good or bad. It makes me question too frequently if I am doing this recovery thing all wrong — that I shouldn’t get any enjoyment or pleasure from eating that it should only be a way to fuel my body. Reading this helps me realize that food does serve other purposes, not just to provide energy to get by.

    1. So glad helpful Jen! Thank you for thoughts and you’re not alone. I often say that we expect people to recover in a world that hasn’t yet. You’re fighting a good fight and so brave. Keep it up!

      1. Thank you! There is a part of me, when I am not in my ED thinking (which is far less than it was) that feels as though I can come through this with a much healthier relationship with food than the vast majority of people around me. I am learning so much about eating intuitively and trying to put that into practice. I cringe when I hear people discussing their own various food rules. Just have to remind myself to focus on me and not let their comments phase me. That is why I truly appreciate reading things like your blog for some added reassurance and perspective that is in line with how I want to be.

        1. I totally agree with you! Your ED experience is a sign of how truly toxic our world is about food and body hate. You will help others relate to food in healthier ways just by living a recovered life.

          1. Thank you for your responses, they are greatly appreciated! I look forward to reading more blog entries from you. Keep up the good work!

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