Some time ago I signed up for the ‘Diet Survivors’ newsletter and I receive it every so often. It’s another branch of the growing ‘No Diet’ awareness out there that also encompasses legends like Geneen Roth and Susie Orbach. The newsletters focus on a different aspect of life without diets in a very gentle and affirming way and this latest one caught my eye because it started with the title ‘TUNE IN’.
As you are aware, Tune In is the first of the 10 Beyond Chocolate principles. To Beyond Chocolaters it means learning how to be in touch with our bodies so that we know what we want to eat, when, how much etc (I know there’s more to it than that, but it’s a useful place to start). Tuning In helps us to help ourselves and gives us a way to connect back to ourselves, rather than always looking outside ourselves for guidance around food and our bodies.
It’s not as ‘flashy’ a principle as some of the others, but once you begin to explore ‘Tuning In’, you’ll see that none of the others works anything like as well if you aren’t also Tuning In …
Anyway – the Diet Survivors had a slightly different take on Tuning In, which was interesting. To them it’s a breathing, meditation type tool to give the anxious ex-dieter a space in which to calm down and in which to develop a calm space within themselves. This will help with those emotion driven food urges and helps to ‘manage your thoughts and emotions’. The article ends, ‘when you find yourself heading to the refrigerator because of an uncomfortable feeling, you now have another place to go’.
So, Tuning In could also be a way of re-orientating ourselves when we are feeling anxious and driven to eat. In this interpretation, Tuning In is a tool for dealing with a single type of moment. The Beyond Chocolate Tuning In tool seems to cover a wider range of possibilities.
For example, Tuning In BC style is about connecting with our thoughts, feelings and emotions in order to have a choice about what we do next. The intention of gathering this information is to give us a choice – are we actually hungry for that food or not? If not, is it worth pausing a moment to see what’s actually going on? Or do we want to acknowledge those thoughts and feelings and eat the food anyway, because right now it will help?
Before the complaints come rolling in, I’m not in any way dissing the Diet Survivors – they have their definition of Tuning In and it’s interesting to compare it to Beyond Chocolate’s definition. Both are valid tools in our quest to move away from dieting and towards a kinder and more long-term way of managing our eating and relating to our bodies.
It’s interesting to keep an eye on what else is happening in the Intuitive Eating movement and the more help and encouragement we get and the more we can connect with, and learn from, other people also following this path, the better for all of us.