Practice Intuitive Self-Care


The Body Positive
  • Learn to listen to, and follow, your body's wisdom
  • Acquire tools and resources to help you eat, exercise, and live intuitively


Trust innate body wisdom to guide daily eating, exercise, and life choices.

With the core competency of Practice Intuitive Self-Care, we learn to trust that our bodies have all of the wisdom necessary to eat and exercise (and rest) for nourishment, fitness, and pleasure. This competency guides us in living intuitively; listening to and acting upon the wisdom we innately possess. Deeply listening to--and following--our bodies' specific needs and desires for certain foods, types of movement, and rest make self-care a more gratifying experience. Caring for our bodies becomes much less of a chore, and we can even receive pleasure and joy in the process.

Intuitive Eating:

Eating intuitively means knowing when you're hungry and what you're hungry for. You learn to know what your body needs by listening to your five senses; you stay in tune with your physical needs for nourishment and pleasure. It means knowing when you've reached satiety and stopping there. Eating intuitively means you're not eating to meet every emotional, spiritual, or sexual need you've ever had. It is meeting your needs for a little salty, a little sweet, a little savory-not your need for a life partner! As you can see, becoming an intuitive eater also means doing the work to honor your emotional needs and desires, and building the self-love and confidence to fulfill them.

Eating intuitively is a practice, which means you will make what you consider mistakes. Trusting the process of trial and error, which is what practice is, means that errors do happen! But instead of beating yourself up for making "mistakes," you understand that the times when things don't go perfectly are the learning times. The errors don't make you a bad person. You simply log the experience (including how you feel physically and emotionally), forgive yourself, and move on. When you approach eating from this perspective, bingeing and/or deprivation won't rule your life, eating in balance is a common occurrence, and you more easily get the nourishment your body needs to thrive.

When you eat without restriction, you find that your body craves a wide variety of foods, including those that are wholesome and nutritious. It is a common misperception that our bodies crave only "junk" food. Actually, our bodies and brains crave all sorts of foods, both nutritious and non-nutritious. If you do crave non-nutritious foods, being an intuitive eater allows you to eat just enough to find emotional pleasure without the need to over-eat until you feel sick, because you know you can have this previously considered "forbidden" or "bad" food any time you want. As you master the art of deep listening it becomes easier and easier to eat in a balanced manner that nourishes both body and soul.

Intuitive Exercise:

When exercise becomes intuitive and is more than just a means of burning calories, we find that people exercise more frequently and put an end to their stop and start (yo-yo) exercise patterns. The goal of exercising intuitively is to do it for the purposes of pleasure and release of physical and mental stress, as well as for fitness. This perspective on exercise leads to increased physical activity and improved health over the life span. Exercising intuitively is not only about finding movement that works for you, but also remembering to listen to your body's need for rest as well as movement.

In an intuitive exercise practice you ask yourself:

What type of movement will make me feel great in my body today?
Is it exercise I need today or rest?
Are there any obstacles in my life that make it difficult for me to exercise regularly? If so, what can I do to remove these obstacles?

If you approach your body's need for physical movement by answering these questions regularly, you'll find that exercise becomes something you can sustain and enjoy throughout your life.

To read about the other four competencies go to: