Let it be known, that choosing not to eat something that makes you feel physically unwell in no way conflicts with the non-diet approach.
In fact, this is what traditional descriptions of Intuitive Eating are all about…listening to how your body feels physically, and consideringits needs in your decision making process around food.
If there’s any confusion about this, read this book.
That being said,
“considering” my body’s needs is the operative word here.
As a practical matter, if I choose to eat something “unhealthy” (e.g. my desire to eat something my body doesn’t love outweighs the consequence of not feeling so hot later), it is fully within my right to make that decision.
My mental health and liberation require that I be empowered to make such decisions for myself, because—while diet culture tells us that our life’s “success” or “failure” with food depends exclusively on our BMI, waistline, or our physical health status—
I choose to consider my holistic needs,
the complexity of my human experience,
my emotional state,
my desire for soothing,
my pleasure, my fun, my celebration,
my stress relief,
my demands at work and at home,
the physical and emotional resources available to me in any given moment,
which can never be compared to those of anyone else,
right next to my desire for “physical health,” however that may be defined.
And I know what you’re going to say… “but I shouldn’t get my pleasure or soothing from food—I should go to therapy or write in my journal instead!”
To which I say…therapy and journaling are great ways to pursue self-care! Give yourself what you need girl!
AND let’s acknowledge that we don’t live in a perfect world with every self-care option available to us at every moment, nor are our emotional circumstances so one-dimensional that journaling will always feel like an equal substitute to a bowl of ice cream and an episode of Friends.
Sometimes a bowl of ice cream will be the best that we can do—it all depends on our personal circumstances, complex emotional needs, and what feels most holistically nourishing to us given the resources we have available to us in a particular moment in time.