• What "intuitive" eating really is

    Hint: It's not innate, and you didn't know how to do it as a baby. It's a skill, and you have to learn it, whether you learn as a child, or an adult. 

    I've been talking to a friend of mine who lives in France. She's from Montana, but has spent virtually her whole adult life in Paris. I told her I have quite the fascination - which you already know - for books about how the Frenchwoman doesn't get fat or flummoxed by tying her scarf or flattened by affairs of the heart.

    I asked her if she ever read those books? She said:

    I don't. I think they're mostly fantasy.

    And she added, further killing the fantasy: I believe the French take more anti-depressants and sleeping aids than any other Europeans. 

    Okay, touchée. 

    But our conversation hasn't stopped me rereading re-skimming Debra Ollivier, whose writing reminds me of this essential fact we all know about the French: They have a food culture, and they pass it on to their children.

    This points to another popular fantasy of Anglo culture, namely that if only we could learn to eat "intuitively," i.e. the "way children eat," we would all be healthy and thin. 

    "You knew how to eat as a baby," is a very popular thing for proponents of Intuitive Eating to say.

    But that is a big fat lie. Babies know how to nurse, The End.

    They do not know what to do with a croissant. They will definitely not know how to evaluate a cronut or a croissandwich.

    What looks like "intuitive" eating is in reality acquired taste and behavior. If you were lucky enough to acquire them as a child, you most likely got this food culture from your parents, who got it from theirs. 

    Each one of them had to be taught, had to learn, to eat this "natural" way. This body of knowledge developed over generations. Lifetimes. 

    If we did not get a solid foundation of eating "rules" or guidelines or principles as children - habits instilled by parents - if we don't know how to eat comme il fautwe're going to have to learn as adults.

    Important note: There is no shame in this! However, it can take a while to figure out. 

    If you want it to take longer, do what I did, and listen to people who say you already know because it's "intuitive."

Stop bingeing and overeating. Immediately.

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