This post is for the person who can’t stop thinking about food.
For the person who feels like hunger is a never ending thing & achieving your ideal body image is an out-of-reach thing.
This is also for the person who has become afraid of food because of it’s carb content, calorie content, sugar content and most importantly, fat content.
I feel you, I was you, I am you.
But I want to help you. I am not a dietitian or a doctor. I’m not certified to coach you (yet). I am, however, living a life ruled by food. It used to be a bad thing, but now it’s a great thing! Let me tell you why…
Some things you should consider;
You Are What You Eat.
I’m not suggesting that you’re bad like the bag of chips you just ate or the pizza that you binged on last weekend. I’m suggesting that if it is true… that we are what we eat… (which it is, because with every single bite of food we take re-structures our microbiome) then if what we eat is out of balance, it must mean that we are also out of balance. The same is true in reverse.
Not the kind of “eat the cookie, buy the shoes” kind of balance… But being well-balanced; body, mind and soul.
This would explain emotional eaters. Something is out of balance in their emotional life triggering unhealthy food cravings. It also explains why people dealing with obesity can eat, and eat, and eat and eat but never feel full and their body never nourished.
I want to stress the importance of the parallels between balance in your body/mind/spirit and your relationship with food. This very well could be the root of your toxic relationship with food! It also means that your current food struggles may not be your fault.
Some (but not all) practical balance checks;
– Gut imbalances; bacterial or fungal overgrowth, leaky gut, etc.
– Hormonal imbalances; coming off of or going onto birth control, irregular periods, infertility, acne, mood swings, pregnancy, etc.
– Mental imbalances; depression, anxiety, stress, lack of spirituality.
You Can Trust Food.
My relationship with food really started to improve when I learned to trust. I used to be obsessed with labels; reading the calorie content, carb content, protein content and fat content. I would keep track of my macros everyday on an app and feel guilty if I exceeded them. I would measure out grams of chicken or strawberries or oats on a scale in my kitchen.
Turns out, this strict regiment did nothing for me except set me up to fail.
Sure, being conscious of the numbers on a food label is important… I still check them from time to time… but what’s more important is what that food is actually providing for your body. When I started to learn all about what my body actually needed, I met some resistance with the food labels… 14 grams of fat in ONE tbs of olive oil? Are you kidding me? I was aiming for about 10 grams of fat per day at that time… and you want me to exceed that in one tablespoon?!
That is something I would have ran far, far away from about a year ago. Why? Mostly because I couldn’t trust food. I couldn’t trust that 14 grams of fat wasn’t going to manifest itself into physical fat on my body. That it wasn’t going to go straight to my tummy or my ass or wherever 14 grams of fat in one sitting goes.
But I decided to trust that the benefits of olive oil supremely outweighed the daunting number “14” printed at the top of the nutrition facts label. So I tried it. I implemented higher fats into my diet for a few days… Then a few weeks… then months.
I’m now proud to say that I consume about a liter of olive oil a week. That’s 946.82 grams of fat per week just from the olive oil alone! And guess what? I didn’t gain weight, I lost weight. My skin didn’t get oily and break out, it’s more hydrated. I don’t feel weighed down or heavy… I feel a heathy level of full, not hungry. That is food freedom. But it took trust.
What foods are apart of your DAILY diet, or should be, that you are hesitant to consume because of what the label says?
Educate yourself about food. Real food. You’ll actually find that you don’t even need to read the labels because labels on real foods are hard to come by.
Knowledge & trust = food freedom.
Allow Room For Freedom.
I probably found the most food freedom (and life freedom) with this one.
Us humans get SO caught up in this is it type mentalities. We hear about paleo, so we go paleo and maybe it doesn’t work but we decided that this is it, we’re paleo so there’s no going back. Can I just share something with you that will maybe change your life?
YOU HAVE TO CHOOSE DIFFERENT THINGS IN DIFFERENT SEASONS OF YOUR LIFE. NOTHING STAYS THE SAME, EVERYTHING IN LIFE IS FLUID.
If the above statement is true. And it is, because I put it in all caps. Then that means that your body needs different things in different seasons of life. In order to embrace food freedom, you must be so in-tune with yourself that you know what your body needs right now. In this season.
You cannot practice the same food habits every single day for the rest of your life. And for the sake of your food freedom, I encourage you to stop trying to.
I’m currently plant based. I eat mostly plants. I don’t eat any meat, but I do dabble in fish and certain dairy products when my body needs it. If I were to limit myself to the label of vegan, then I’d feel trapped. I’d feel like, if I ate outside of that diet, that I would have failed. That I might as well close up shop all together because I’m no longer a vegan.
There is nothing wrong with discipline and sticking to a strict diet, but a lot of food imprisonment stems from dietary restrictions. If you’re eating on a food is fuel mindset instead of I want this mindset, you won’t feel the need to label yourself as any sort of diet. You can just be you. And you can also change what you eat daily anytime you want or need to. Sounds like freedom to me?
Food is supposed to be empowering.
Food is supposed to be fuel.
Food is supposed to be healing.
& changing what you’ve already been taught about food up until this point in your life can be challenging. But not impossible.
If you’re struggling with this whole idea of food or diet or eating too much or not eating enough or what you should or shouldn’t eat… It’s okay. The industry has congested this space. It’s now not only confusing, but intimidating to know (for sure) how to eat.
But don’t hand over your control of the most important thing you do each day so quickly. Food freedom IS achievable. It’s real. It’s a thing. And it’s something you can have, too.
I encourage you to start with the next bite of food you take.
Override your autopilot mode of just mindlessly eating and mindlessly habituating. And start INTUITIVELY and INTENTIONALLY eating.
Intuition & intentionality are two powerful tools in your bag of life skills. Use them, develop them, love them. It can only help you… Not only in finding food freedom, but in living a more well-lived life.