Reclaim your Birth-Right as an Intuitive Eater

Colorful fall leaves
Don't let diet culture ruin your holiday experience

Last week, I stopped by our local Co-op the other day to pick up a quick dinner. I love all the seasonal dishes they have available in their deli this time of year.

My favorite is the coconut mashed yams. Think sweet potato pie filling with a little more spice and a little less sweet. Honestly, I think coconut and sweet potatoes make the most delicious couple.

As I unloaded my basket at the check stand, the cashier commented,

"Oh, coconut mashed yams are SO delicious. SO fattening but delicious."

There was a time in my life when I would have been horrified at that remark and probably threw the container of "fattening" deliciousness in the trash on the way to the car.

But, now comments like this make me curious.

Did the cashier mean to comment on how many grams of the macro-nutrient (fat) the dish had, or were they implying the diet culture belief that eating the dish would make someone fat?

And if it's the second (most likely), what's wrong with being fat unless you're weight bias and fatphobic?

Regardless of the cashier's opinion of my food choice,

this is a perfect example of unnecessary commentary that we hear too often this time of year - especially from people who only give themselves seasonal permission to eat foods that would otherwise be forbidden the rest of the year (sweets, higher in carbs, higher in fat = more satisfying!)

If you find yourself in similar situations this holiday season, it's time to put your stake in the ground and assert your Intuitive Eater's Holiday Bill of Rights.

Based on the original IE Bill of Rights created years ago by Evelyn Tribole MS RDN, co-author of Intuitive Eating, and enhanced by yours truly to reflect conversations I've been having with clients lately, these statements can be the confidence-boosting support you need to fight back against seasonal diet culture.

Fall leaves on table with candle
You have the right to SAVOR holiday meals

1. You have the right to SAVOR your meal, without shame or guilt, without discussion or worry of how many calories you ate, and without planning how much exercise you should do to burn off the calories

2. You have the right to enjoy more servings of any food without apology or justification

3. You have the right to honor your satisfaction and fullness even if that means asking for a leftover plate to enjoy later

4. It's not your responsibility to eat beyond fullness just because someone went through the trouble of making an elaborate holiday dish

5. You have the right to say "No Thanks" without explanation when you're offered more food or food that you don't like the taste/texture of

6. You have the right to eat only the foods you enjoy at the holiday meal

7. You have the right to have pumpkin pie for breakfast (My personal favorite!)

8. You have the right to leave conversations that feel toxic to your recovery from dieting and diet culture

9. You have the right to try a new dish/recipe without the requirement of finishing your portion

10. You have the right to wear clothes that feel comfortable on your body without trying to fit into holiday clothes that feel restrictive (physically, emotionally)

With these birth-rights in mind, I enjoyed every tasty bite of those coconut mashed yams. I invite you to try the same with one of your holiday favorites.

And I'd love to hear how it goes - reclaiming your birth-right as an Intuitive Eater this holiday season!

Join the private SavorFood&Body Facebook Group to share your experience there and see what other non-diet folks are dishing up this season.