I’ve been thinking recently about my relationship with food and how it’s changed since I started this health journey.
For the first time in my life, I’m not dieting. I’m not trying to lose weight. I’m just listening to my body. And while some days I feel fear around gaining weight, I’m learning that I really and truly can trust my body’s needs and desires, and that my worth doesn’t come from my weight or how I look.
Instead of forcing myself to follow rules around what things I can and can’t eat, following a strict meal plan, or limiting my food consumption and making myself hungry, I’ve really been able to tune in to my body’s needs. I’ve tried different foods with a curious mindset rather than a guilt-ridden, fear-based one, to see how they affect my body and whether I want to incorporate them more or less. I’ve broken away from labels for how I’m eating: I am no longer vegan, no longer vegetarian, no longer even “clean eating.” I’m just eating the food my body (and my soul!) want.
I truly didn’t believe that this was a possibility two years ago. I thought that if I didn’t have external rules around food, I would feel horrible, be unhealthy, and gain weight (and therefore have less worth). I had absolutely no trust in my body.
But I’m finally able to look at what I’m eating from a place of curiosity, to see how it affects me and make tweaks accordingly, rather than following a prescriptive diet or meal plan.
I do believe there is a time and place for setting up guidelines for ourselves, but when we follow them blindly without tuning into our bodies to see what they actually need, we’re missing the point. And we’re missing the joys of everyday life by being all-consumed with what we “should” eat, whether we can “afford” to eat that thing in front of us, and the guilt of eating things we “shouldn’t” eat but still do anyway.
There is no quick fix for shifting this mindset around food. Many of us are indoctrinated with this belief that we shouldn’t trust our bodies. This is fueled by diet culture (and the diet industry) in response to our food system that really does have a lot of crap in it. Toxins and harmful things really are in a lot of our food. And we can be mindful of what we’re ingesting. But we don’t have to do it in a way that makes us feel bad, panicked, guilty, or mentally exhausted. It takes time, and a decent amount of work, but that work is so worth it. And doing that work sooner rather than later is also so, so worth it.
This is a lot of what I do with my clients: shift the mindset from rules and restrictions to curiosity and deep respect for our bodies and intuition. If you feel like this is something that resonates with you, I would love to chat. Sign up for a strategy session here, and let’s get really clear on what you want from your relationship with yourself and your body!