Imagine your views on food and healthy eating had nothing to do with dieting or restriction. Like, what if you simply tuned into your body’s cues and focused on how foods make you feel rather than how they make you look? America Ferrara’s thoughts on healthy eating focus on this exact perspective, and even though it’s easy to get sucked into diet trends and temporary food fads, the 34-year-old actress’ mindset is one that everyone could stand to learn from.
In a recent interview with Health, Ferrara opened up about a lot of different things in her current life: what it’s like to be a new mom, the way she feels about her body post-pregnancy, and yes, what she thinks about healthy eating. As for that last subject, she told the outlet that over the years, her relationship with food has changed tremendously, and part of that transformation has included ditching the weight scale, and trusting her own body and intuition, instead. Yes. Queen.
"More than anything, I just try to be aware of how does what I eat make me feel," Ferrara told Health. "Do I feel better? Do I feel energized? Does this make me tired and not feel great?"
That, my friends, is mindfulness at its finest. In fact, Ferrara’s actually describing a concept called intuitive eating, which, according to Healthline, focuses on the idea that you are the expert of your own body. You call the shots about the foods you eat and what makes you feel nourished, and only you know best when it comes to listening to your hunger and satiety cues.
What a wild concept, right? Well, not exactly — many people have just been conditioned to seek out diets and restrictive eating plans, and to therefore find an idea like intuitive eating to be totally foreign and impossible. The truth is, though, as Grace Derocha, registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator, and certified health coach at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, told Elite Daily in a May 2018 interview, "being aware of hunger cues throughout the day helps us maintain a regular flow of food, so we’re likely to make better choices." In other words, again, your body really does know best, and intuitive eating is all about having trust in yourself.
Of course, if you’re someone who’s jumped from one diet to the next for most of your life, then following a concept like intuitive eating might be really difficult at first. As Ferrara told Health, it’s important to remember to be gentle with yourself throughout this kind of transition. "I try to go easy on myself," Ferrara told the outlet. "I think that’s been one of the mantras for me in all of motherhood — to try and not be so hard on myself. Which is a challenge because, like so many women, I demand so much more of myself than I would ever demand of someone else."
A queen serving relatable realness. I’m in love.
Speaking of motherhood, in case you didn’t know, Ferrara just recently became a new mom, and you better believe she had some equally inspiring thoughts to offer during her Health interview about what it was like to carry a baby for nine months, and what she’s feeling now in terms of her body post-pregnancy.
"Being pregnant, I felt really powerful and healthy," she told the outlet. "You create life. I found so much power in that." However, Ferrara was honest with the publication about how her current relationship with her body isn’t always perfect. "There are parts of it that I love and also parts of it that are super challenging. I’m just now starting to feel like I want to feel strong in my body again."
See, that’s what I love so much about Ferrara. It’s not that she wants to get her body back to looking a certain way; she wants to feel strong again. And, for what it’s worth, if you’re reading this, America, I already think you’re one of the strongest women alive. Keep doing you, girl.