Food drama? How to never feel deprived again!
Hope you all are having a great week so far! I went and saw "Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat" at the IFC theater in west village yesterday and it was SO DAMN INSPIRING. It was cool to learn about what factors came together to form an artist with so much impact. It got me thinking about my fundamental values and goals. One of which is to share my experiences in hopes of shedding some light for one of you babes out there. So today we're talking intuitive eating.
I speak a lot about eating intuitively, but I thought that I would dig a little deeper into what eating intuitively means and looks like in my own life.
First off, for anyone who is struggling around their relationship with food, you're not alone- I've been there. For so long I was bound by restriction, food drama, and shame. I tried so many different popular ways of eating. But when I still felt like sh*t, I decided to shed the rules and feel out what worked best for MY body. My core finding?
Diet : restriction :: Intuitive eating: freedom
Assigning certain foods as good or bad can cause detrimental effects to our relationship with food.
When we rely on food rules,
we break trust in our body's feedback
Before learning to eat intuitively, whenever I restricted a food group, or had a salad when I really wanted a burger- it generally ended up with me gorging on whatever carbohydrates or fat laden foods I could get my hands on. And that would piss. me. the. f*ck. off. Here I am with enough dedication to get my ass on a treadmill at 5 in the morning, but I can’t keep myself from having a pint of ice cream or like 5000 cookies?!? (I have a sweet tooth)
But it wasn’t a dedication problem.
The inherent nature of dieting is rooted in food rules that we rely on to restrict food type, calorie amount etc. in order to reach a certain goal. Instead of trusting and listening to our intuitive cues, we rely on these rules to guide us to a goal. When we diet we do not allow ourselves to trust the feedback that our body is BUILT to give us. When we ignore our body's feedback and deprive ourselves over long periods of time, that food or food group we restrict becomes even sexier!! (We always want what we can't have, amiright?) Ultimately, we give in and more often than not, end up binging on the food.
Not only do we feel like sh*t the next day from overeating, but we feel guilty! When we separate ourselves from our bodies and see our bodies as the enemy, this creates anxiety and a need for control. Our bodies are FOR us, they are wired to help us survive and conquer our world. By eating intuitively we learn to trust our intuition and our body. If there are underlying anxieties and issues that have manifested in our need for control, it's important to check in with ourselves and do the work needed to heal.
Freedom can be ours
Once we allow ourselves unconditional permission to eat WHATEVER we want *GASP*… and learn how to interpret our body's reaction and hunger signals, we will be free from the guilt, and control of food. No more of the “well I’m being bad today, but I’ll be good for the rest of the week”. Once food doesn’t become a reward, or something to be controlled or controlling us- we become free. We might even find that the foods we craved aren’t actually as alluring as they used to be now that they're not forbidden. It's like drinking when we are under 21. Alcohol seemed so alluring and cool, that we'd do stuff like go to sketchy gas stations and try our luck, or EVEN ASK STRANGERS TO BUY IT FOR US. But now that we're over 21 and the allure is gone, we do things like sober January... you catch my drift.
RESPect the feedback
Our body knows and will tell us what it needs, we just need to learn how to listen. We can eat whatever we want in moderation when we eat intuitively. Do you know why? Because our body will tell us. That means, if we eat a few bites of cake and we feel satiated, we learn to respect that. In that same regard, if we're sensitive to a food, like dairy for example, we respect our body's feedback and avoid that food. ***Note: avoiding a sensitivity is not deprivation. Deprivation is when you are avoiding a food that does not harm you. Eating a sensitive food that causes an inflammatory response is harmful. Again, all about listening to your body and taking an inventory of how you feel.
If we can truly instill the belief that food, is available to us whenever we want it, food loses it’s power over us. We then enter this arena where we can focus our intention on understanding our body and strengthening our relationship with ourselves.
- The difference between emotional hunger and true hunger
- WHY we crave a certain food from a biochemical perspective
- What reaction our body has to a certain food.
I had held on to my food rules for so long, it had become part of my identity. Separating from them felt like I was purposefully cutting the strings of my parachute, mid plane jump, and I was absolutely terrified. But once I was able to trust my body and trust my intuition I felt nourished and happy. Above all, I felt empowered and free.
If you are looking to end food drama and mend your relationship with food, I can help! Click here to learn how :)