Today we're talking about how to create a healthy relationship with food and thrive in your body. I wish I had some of these messages when I was younger, and saved myself a lot of beating myself up around food and food choices.
1. You have unconditional permission to eat
You never need to make up for it. Feel bad. Eat less the next meal. Punish yourself with exercise. What is done is in the past but you are in control of your future decisions.
Making yourself feel deprived is miserable.
And I don't mean that's an excuse to eat whatever you want and in whatever quantities, but rather to stop drawing lines around what's allowed and what's not allowed.
The biggest misconception I hear is that you all think you have to give up the foods you enjoy in order to be healthy and/or meet your goals. Your nutrition can still support your goals and include pizza - if you want it too. It can still support your goals and include wine - if you want it to. It can still support your goals and include cake - if you want it to.
By not putting judgemental limits on these food items or food groups, you knock it off its pedestal. It stops becoming special and something to crave.
Try this - if you crave something, try eating it every day, in quantities that fit in with your goals. Make it a normal, accepted part of your nutrition, and you don’t have to feel deprived anymore. Your mind and body will thank you for it.
2. Be aware of your emotions
Do you comfort eat?
Eat for pleasure?
Eat for boredom?
Eat all the sugar when stressed?
Yeah, I hear you.
Don't try to dissociate your emotions from food. Food quite often is a social construct and it can give us joy, comfort and ease. It nourishes our mind and our body. But be aware of your emotions and when you're using food as a prop instead of FEELING.
Are there healthier ways you could process those emotions instead if trying to numb them? Breathe, journal, speak to a trusted person in your life, exercise, walk or move your body, sing, dance, smile…
3. Set flexible, compassionate boundaries.
Do you see boundaries as negative?
I think around food, people especially see boundaries as restrictive, negative things that cause deprivation and misery. No, you can’t eat all the pizza. Yes, you have to give up alcohol. No you can't eat anything sugary for 30/60 days/your whole life.
You don’t think twice about setting boundaries with your personal and social life. You’d look at your diary and say ‘no, sorry, I can't, I'm busy then’. You say no to an activity you don’t fancy the sound, or the people you’d rather not see, or when you really just fancy a Saturday night in.
And you might say yes if something crops up and you like the sound of it, and it matches your energy and your vibes for the day.
Boundaries around food can be like that too - flexible, set up to support and nourish you, protect your energy and goals and I’ll say it again, FLEXIBLE. You don’t have to say yes to everything. You don’t have to say no to everything.
Think about them in advance, don’t let them rule you tyrannically and be conscious of what makes you feel better. Be kind and curious with them - and yourself.
So yeah, I’d say boundaries are a great thing for you; with food and with life.
What's your biggest battle with food? How have you overcome it?