Has consistency gotten in the way of a long-term Intuitive Eating practice? Many of my clients are hesitant to really dive in by creating some sort of structured meal pattern, experimenting with new foods, a movement practice, a mindfulness or self-compassion practice, all because of the threat of not maintaining consistency.
From my point of view, humans are not terribly consistent animals; we are constantly changing and moving through cycles. Trying to maintain perfect consistency ends up psyching us out before we’ve even begun. Or, once we hit our stride with something and life goes and changes on us – which it will always do – we are left untethered, rigidly struggling to retrieve what we’ve lost. One definition of consistency is “the ability to maintain a particular standard or repeat a particular task with minimal variation.” Not a very flexible or forgiving approach to our care and feeding, is it?
Constancy, on the other hand, is different. Some might use the two terms interchangeably but constancy is “the quality of remaining faithful to a person, belief, or decision, especially in the face of difficulties.” If we can be faithful to our intention to practice Intuitive Eating – to listen and respond to our bodies, to treat them with unconditional respect, to adapt to our ever-changing needs, then constancy is the way to do that.
That schedule change that conflicts with your favorite yoga class? Consistency would see this as a major obstacle, one that could take weeks or months to recover from. Constancy provides the space to see that everything changes and that we can brainstorm ways to move that work with the new schedule.
Where does consistency trip you up and how might constancy support your Intuitive Eating practice?