The Endless Buffet
A client and I recently came up with this image for intuitive eating: imagine that you are at the biggest, most endless buffet.
Truly, this buffet has everything including:
Sweet potato fries
Matzo Ball soup
And literally everything else.
Image: a buffet with just 7 dishes. The Endless Buffet has infinity dishes.
Not only does it have everything, but you can visit this buffet everyday, for every meal, and every snack, forever. And the only rule is that there are no rules.
What would you eat at the endless buffet?
When I asked my client this she said that she would probably just eat cheesecake.
“For every meal?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said.
“And every snack?”
“Yes,” she said, “I really love cheesecake.”
“For how long? Assuming the Endless Buffet is forever, how long would you eat cheesecake for every meal and every snack?”
She thought about it and said, “You know, at some point I might look up and realize there are other delicious foods to eat as well.”
And that’s the basics of intuitive eating; letting yourself understand that you really can eat anything without rules and knowing that at some point your body is going to start craving variety. At some point, your body will want to figure out what it needs to feel good.
I have had many many clients tell me that they truly will just eat [pizza] [cheesecake] [insert previously off-limit food] forever if they let themselves, but not a single one has actually done so once they started living in full permission.
Is this a useful metaphor? Would love to know your thoughts.