Ditch the Fear of FoodFeb 03, 2021
Last week we talked about why good carbs and healthy fats and why they’re both critical components to a healthy diet. By restricting any of the major food groups, you’re not only robbing your body of essential nutrients but also creating an unhealthy relationship with food. Since we talked about the tangible last week and why it’s so important to include certain foods, this week I want to take time to discuss the mindset piece of freedom around food and letting go of food fear.
The reason so many of us at some point in our lives experience this disconnect from our bodies is not that there is something wrong with us. It’s because we’ve been conditioned to live in a world where diet culture dictates what success, beauty and worth is. Most of us were not taught how to treat ourselves with compassion and self-trust. The process of healing your relationship with food is not about learning anything new, it’s about unlearning and dissolving everything diet culture has lied to you about and convinced you were true: that your infinite worth could ever be measured by something external. It’s about devoting your energy to coming back to honoring your body and shifting your perspective to using food to nourish yourself.
Returning to self-love and healing your relationship with food can be challenging work, but there are a couple of tools you can use to create more ease along the way. Because your thoughts impact how you feel, they can shape your entire relationship with your body and your food. So next time you feel uneasy about certain foods, or if you have these long-standing rules around any foods, here are some simple phrases that can turn things around in mere moments.
If you notice yourself having rules around certain foods - like saying “I can’t have pasta” or “bread is off-limits because I’ll gain weight”. We often learn these shoulds about food, or exercise, or body image from diet culture, our parents or friends - even though their intentions aren’t to hurt us. When you start to internalize those rules, it’s so important to ask yourself where those rules are coming from in order to understand that they’re not necessarily true and the wisdom and intuition of your own body are so much more powerful.
So let’s go back to that example - say you are of the mindset that you can eat pasta or bread because you think you’ll gain weight (this was me for so many years!) - are you going to continue to deny yourself one of life’s greatest pleasures and an essential macronutrient which will trigger the binge restrict cycle?
Instead, ask yourself in those moments SAYS WHO?! You instantly realize that no one else can know what your body needs more than you do. It helps to build trust with yourself, tap into your intuition and give your body what it needs because that changes day to day and moment to moment.
When we’re recovering from body image issues, we often make certain situations around food mean something about us as people. When your value is infinite, not at all based on your weight or size.
Let’s say you take a photo and don’t like the way your body looks.. or you indulged over the holidays and you put on a couple of pounds. Over the years, what has diet culture taught you to mean about yourself? That you need to lose weight or fix your body to be valuable or worthy?
If you notice these thoughts coming up, you can say to yourself SO WHAT to shift your mindset and get out of that negative thought spiral. I know first hand that when I used to see photos of myself I didn’t like it would immediately trigger me into a new diet and obsessive exercise for weeks. But just by saying those two words, you can immediately make the situation, not about yourself and you don’t have to go back to that restriction ever again. Your body isn’t a problem that has to be fixed. When you’re taking care of yourself and nourishing yourself, your body will land at the set point that’s right for you!
When you don’t make the situation about who you are as a person, you’re able to actually take better care of yourself and treat yourself in a way that you actually deserve.
I’m noticing (without judgment)
If you’re in a moment where you’re having an uncomfortable experience around food. Let’s say, for example, you ate something that made you feel really bloated and you notice yourself staring at the negative self-talk. Often times, when we feel discomfort we immediately jump to judgment. But when you switch your mindset to what’s it’s like when you’re meditating - when you’re noticing thoughts and feelings without judgment - you are able to shift into a state of curiosity rather than criticism. Then you can take stock and become more aware of how certain foods make you feel. Curiosity is the best way to fight judgment. So if you’re feeling bloated after a meal, maybe you notice that dairy makes your stomach upset or gluten makes you feel tired... By becoming aware of how you’re feeling and asking nonjudgmental questions you can allow yourself to be in the moment and learn from all of your experiences.
In my 1:1 coaching program, we dive deep into nutrition and what will nourish your body to keep you thriving from the inside out, but we also work to break free of diet culture and food rules so that you can get in touch with what YOU uniquely need from mindfulness, movement, nourishment, and fulfillment. My private 6-month coaching program will focus on you and your unique challenges and goals. Together, we will work through whatever health issues you may be facing that are inhibiting you from living your most vibrant life. You will learn to create lifestyle shifts that will have a profound impact on your overall vitality through my individualized protocols, create habits to set you up to be your most efficient and effective in your work and personal life, and become more connected to the choices you're making by getting back to your values and tapping into your intuition. I will be your guide to help you every step of the way as we get to the root of whatever it is that is causing you to feel unwell so that you can live a happy, healthy, and balanced life and feel better than you ever could have imagined.