The idea of letting go of diets and food rules really freaks some people out because they don’t trust themselves. If I don’t have someone of something telling me what to eat and when, or if I am not on a diet or trying to control what I eat, I will eat any and everything, get fat and no one will ever marry me. Deep down, our fear of being alone and/or being rejected, is what keeps us locked into the diet-binge-body shame cycle.
Do you have any naturally lean friends? You know, the ones who seem to not be overly concerned with their weight, but have been about the same size for as long as you’ve know them? I have two. And I used to always say, I wish I could eat like them, but I can’t. The funny thing is, when I really took the time to observe what was happening, I noticed that while I almost always cleaned my plate when we went out; they almost always had food left over. I would say that I couldn’t eat like them, but if we went out, I told myself I was going to eat what I wanted, not the rabbit food that I was eating all week and so I devoured every bite, because I had to be “good” again on Monday.
The idea behind Intuitive Eating is that you give yourself permission to eat whatever you want with regard to what your body needs and what your mind wants. So, before we choose what to eat there is usually a mind-body negotiation that takes place, the mind might want pasts for lunch, but the body knows that we still have 3-4 more hours of work that we have to power through and pasta makes us sleepy. Or it may be a choice between the fruit cup and fries. Either way, there is a negotiation that takes place. Sometimes the mind wins and we choose something that fuels our body well and sometimes the body wins and we give it something that hits our excitement centers-usually in the way of sugar, salt or fat.
Many of my clients are so afraid that they will eat everything in sight if they truly gave themselves permission to eat whatever they want that this is a difficult step for them. However, if you ever want to normalize your relationship with food and truly feel free around it, it is a step that cannot be skipped.
Chew on this: Is it possible that you will only want to eat Doritos, Fritos, Oreos, Pizza and the like for every meal every single day if you ate whatever you wanted? Or is it possible that after you “got it out of your system”, that you may actually want some vegetables or food that didn’t come in a box or a bag? Also, is it possible that you may be eating a lot more of these items because you believe that you can’t have them, giving them a special quality over fruits and vegetables? If it comes down to a plain food versus a special food, which would you want to eat? I know I’d always want the special food.
When you can give yourself full permission to eat whatever you want, the apple pie begins to have the same status as the apple and will stop calling your name at night. Except for maybe when you’re on your period 🙂
It’s time to take a deeper look. Really take the time to think about and write down the answers to these questions to see if there are any negative thoughts that need some work.
What do you fear most about gaining weight? It is true?
What would life be like without this fear? What would you do?