I drew this intuitive eating inspired doodles while on vacation in Translyvania (true story!). As I passed through this part of Romania with its kitschy vampire-themed tourism, I got to thinking about how vampires are the perfect mascots for Intuitive Eating.
One theory I would love to research one day is the parallel development of the vampire-myth and diet-culture in the 20th century. As privileged people in western nations began increasingly to affiliate “goodness” and “morality” with avoiding certain foods and maintaining certain eating rituals, did humans displace our fear of our own desire onto these monstrous creatures who, once they began eating, could never be satiated? Like humans in countless generations before us, did we create a monster that held what we feared most about ourselves?
In any case, these “monsters” are the perfect poster children for Intuitive Eating. Although they once lived in the restrict-binge cycle of disordered eating, my imagination for these anti-diet, intuitive-eating informed vampires is that they now practice permission, mindful eating, and awareness of their own body’s hunger, fullness, and satiation cues and trust their internal authority.
A habit of tuning into our internal cues when it comes to food and movement can make it much easier to tune into that system of inner knowing when we really need it (like in relationships, in getting medical care, or in situations where we need to assess our personal safety). The goal of listening is to grow the capacity to be able to mindfully feel, acknowledge, and choose how to respond to our body.
In the intuitive eating model, we check in with ourselves before eating. Instead of eating because it is available, we remind ourselves (if we have the privilege to do so) that food will be available later, and we only need to eat if it feels good to eat.
In intuitive eating, we are invited to feed the hunger that is present: significant hunger gets an appropriate meal, and “just a little peckish” is also worthy of being fed.
The Intuitive Eating model invites us to remove moral values, like good or bad, from food- unless, of course, it has been stolen or did not consent to be fed upon by vampires.
There are three images in this post, all titled “Intuitive Eating Vampires.”
The first image is of a vampire with short hair, wearing a black cape and an uncertain expression, holding a person with long hair, who is wearing a red dress and an excited expression. There is a speech bubble coming from the vampire’s mouth saying, “Ugh, do I even want to feast on blood or am I just bored?”
The second image is of a vampire with short hair, wearing a red long sleeve shirt, sitting at a table. The vampire is pouring a box of cereal into a bowl that reads, “dried blood.” There is a speech bubble coming from the vampire saying, “You know, I think maybe I just have a snack-sized blood lust.”
The third image is of a mother and daughter vampire. The mother vampire has long hair an is wearing a red dress. She has her hands lovingly placed on the daughter’s shoulders. The daughter has black hair in a pony tail and is wearing a black shirt, while a pet bat on a string tied to her wrist is flying next to her. The mother has a speech bubble next to her that reads, “There’s no ‘good’ food or ‘bad’ food, as long as it consents.”
I'm Lindsay- a Seattle-based artist, therapist, educator, and visual translator working to help make mental health education accessible to everyone. I write, draw, and create resources based on my experience as a therapist and my Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology. Learn more about me.