It’s the iconic scene of Indiana Jones standing before the precipice, knowing that only a 50-foot span of bottomless expanse lies between him and the Holy Grail. The Holy Grail is his only chance to save his dying father back in the cave from whence he came. And as he stares at that empty space between him and his goal, the words from his father’s diary ring in his mind, “leap of faith.” Wanting to turn around and find some other way across yet knowing that he cannot, he puts one foot straight out and falls forward. The surprise on his face when he doesn’t fall into oblivion proves that it really was a leap of faith.
I stand on that precipice, the hot desert air threatening to suck all the moisture from my body. On the other side of oblivion, I see me, at least, a version of me that has only ever existed in my dreams. It’s not that I am suddenly more stunning or athletic, but there is a sense of radiance, of divinity. There seems to come a glow from my body, and on my face is a genuine smile. Instantly, I can tell that this version of me embodies who I want be when I have completed my journey. This goddess-like woman is divine because she has achieved peace, the shout-from-the-roof-at-the-top-of-your-lungs kind of peace. Her war has ended—she has embraced her body and put food back onto its rightful pedestal.
I, like Indiana Jones, had a chance to take a leap of faith when I first received the book, Intuitive Eating. Yet, I saw that the cover showed a picture of the two authors—both slim, well-dressed women. I immediately took a shot to my self-esteem—comparing my body to theirs—and thought that this was another gimmick or diet and almost put it down. I had thoughts like, “Well, of course these women can tell you to eat whatever you want, because they look so great…”
I didn’t even make it past the first principle—Reject the Diet Mentality. I just could not accept their claim that dieting really never works. In my mind came the countless images of people, some I simply saw, others that I knew personally, who had lost weight and seemed to succeed at keeping it off. On that precipice, when this book could have propelled me to take that first step into seeming oblivion, I refused and turned around, back the way I had come.
It wasn’t until after the birth of my second child and I began diving into the world of dieting to regain my pre-pregnancy shape and size that I picked the book back up again. When I stepped back into that familiar, yet confusing, yo-yo journey of counting calories, “good” and “bad” foods, and restrict/binge cycles, I found that I was so fed up with that life, that I wanted something new. I was standing before that precipice again.
So, I remembered Intuitive Eating and began the book a second time. Although I still had similar thoughts when I read the “Reject the Dieting Mentality” principle, this time, I refused to turn around. I leaped into oblivion and kept reading. As I skipped over that principle and began experimenting with some of the other principles first, my trust in Intuitive Eating grew. I began to believe that the authors might know what they were talking about. I even revisited the “Reject the Dieting Mentality” principle and began to see the wisdom in it as well.
So, if any of you are struggling with skepticism or fear because dieting, watching calories, or “good” and “bad” foods have been ingrained into your psyche, then take a leap of faith and try it anyway. I did, and I am so happy I did. I am standing on that invisible path above oblivion, and I can see that new goddess-like version of me beckoning me forward. I take tentative, tiny steps forward; I stumble; I take steps backward, but I am on the path. I leaped, and found that there is a way to end this war.