Body Image

Intuitive Eating: Not Conforming

Intuitive Eating: Not Conforming | Libero Magazine
I’m beginning to realize by eating intuitively I am refusing to conform on a daily basis. Society tells us when to eat, what to eat, and how much to eat...

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Originally published at on November 17, 2011. Republished here with permission. Get your blog featured!

Recently I was asked for my Social Psychology class to spend 12 hours ‘not conforming’. We discussed what conforming is and what some examples of not conforming would be.

Thanks to a quick Google search, I found this definition:

Conforming: Behave according to socially acceptable conventions or standards.

For our assignment, we were asked to go out of our way to ‘not conform’ and then take note of people’s reactions to us. Ironically, I found I got the largest reactions when I wasn’t even trying.

Apparently, I’m a non-conformist at heart.

At one point, I was standing in the grocery store checkout in my gym clothing eating Candy Corn. Needless to say, I got a few sideways glances and odd looks, as if they were thinking, “Honey, if you’re going to be eating that, why bother exercising at all?”

In the past, I’ve gotten similar looks when I do things such as order dessert at a restaurant instead of a meal or ask for bacon on my veggie burger or opt for the regular dressing rather than ‘light’.

I’m beginning to realize by practising Intuitive Eating I am refusing to conform on a daily basis.

Our society (or, maybe the billion-dollar diet industry) tells us when to eat, what to eat, and how much to eat — and if we don’t go along with it, then we are sure to be questioned, judged, and sometimes even ridiculed.

This is what I’ve come to decide, though:

If conforming means I have to ignore my body’s natural ability to know what it needs; if it means I have to deny my hunger and lose faith in my innate ability to nourish myself; if it means I have to label foods as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ and associate eating with guilt and rules; if it means I am not supposed to be satisfied with my body and the way I look — and instead, I am meant to always be striving for something ‘better’; if it means I must count calories and calculate percentages of carbs and fats and know my weight right down to the last gram…Then I choose to be a non-conformist!

Because I want to live my life fully and freely without feeling trapped by a ‘one-size-fits-all’ diet plan and because I like chicken fingers and JELLO, dammit.

What about you? Are you going to conform?

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Lauren is the Founder and Editor of Libero. She started Libero in April 2010, when she shared her story about her struggles with an eating disorder and depression. Now Lauren uses her writing and videos to advocate mental health and body positivity. In her spare time, she enjoys makeup artistry, playing Nintendo, and taking selfies with her furbaby, Zoey.

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