In 2016, Molly Bahr changed her whole life with a Google search. Bahr, a therapist, was at a professional training on eating disorders when a speaker mentioned in passing that participants might be interested in something called intuitive eating. Bahr looked up the term. “I went home that day and it was like a light switch,” she says. “I felt like I got hit by a truck.”
Bahr decided that she wanted to spread the word about intuitive eating, but there was one problem. Up to that moment, she had been dedicated to traditional ideas of dieting and health, encouraging followers of her growing fitness-focused Instagram account to weigh their food, watch their nutritional macros, and fret over their weight as a primary indicator of their health. Intuitive eating, on the other hand, is a theory that posits the opposite: Calorie counting, carb avoiding, and waistline measuring are not only making people emotionally miserable, but contributing to many of the health problems previously attributed to simple overeating.
Bahr says intuitive eating changed both how she treated her patients and how she looked at herself. She had been constantly weighing and photographing herself, trying to hit goals that she says were disconnected from how she actually felt. “It was really hard for me to realize that I had been so harsh to my own body, even though in my mind I was doing it for health,” she says. Changing the orientation of her public Instagram account was awkward, but she felt like she needed to be honest with people. “One day I had to come up with a post that was like, ‘Hey, sorry for everything I’ve ever said. It was actually all wrong,’” she says.