Is Food Your Freey?
Girls' Life magazine|October/November 2019
Is Food Your Freey?
Many of us have complicated feelings about food. Here’s how to use your gut to gauge what you’re really hungry for.
Jessica D’argenio Waller, CNS

How would you describe your relationship with food? Best friends who save each other’s seats? Mortal enemies who are constantly setting each other up to fail? A little bit of both?

While the answer is different for everyone (thanks to cultural norms, parental modeling and, of course, social media), developing a healthy bond with the stuff that fuels you is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your health.

That’s where intuitive eating comes in: A food philosophy based on listening to your body’s inner wisdom and learning how to be kind to yourself. It’s about breaking out of diet mentality (or not falling into it in the first place). It may take work, but trust: Soon you’ll be in a place where eating brings you nothing but pure joy and satisfaction. Here’s how to give it a try.


If the thought of your next meal or snack brings on a helping of anxiety, then it’s likely you need to tweak your attitude toward food. “You may love food and look forward to each time you get to eat, but you also may have negative thoughts floating in your head,” says Elyse Resch, nutrition therapist and author of The Intuitive Eating Workbook for Teens.

Where does this negativity come from? Maybe you’ve got a running list of “good foods” and “bad foods” and beat yourself up when you cave into your cravings for the bad stuff. It could be stemming from guilt about the food choices you made previously, like when you were feeling overwhelmed after a rough day at school. Or maybe you’re suddenly at odds with your body and feeling low in self-confidence.

But here’s the thing: We need to eat. Food provides us with the physical fuel to do the things we love to do, day in and day out. And, no matter how you feel about food, the bottom line is that we need it to live. “Food is about supporting your life, not running it or ruining it,” says Resch. Which is why it’s so critically important to nurture your relationship with it.


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October/November 2019