Hi guys!!! I shared this in an Instagram post today but I really wanted to expand on it because it’s THAT IMPORTANT!! Here’s the super critical mindset shift you need to make in order to free yourself from restriction and get over the fear of the unknown.
THE BIG “WHAT IF I CAN’T STOP” FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN
“If I stop restricting I’m going to end up going crazy around food and I’ll never stop and I’ll gain so much weight and everything is going to be HORRIBLE.” I hear this ALL the time. As someone who’s been working on her relationship with food seriously for over 2 years now, I’m constantly asking myself what I need to do to be happy AND healthy.
THE WAY WE THINK ABOUT IT IS TOTALLY NOT ACCURATE
Imagine we’re drawing a line across a piece of paper. Below the line is total indulgence and above is total restriction (this is important!) When we have disordered relationship with food, we may be in one extreme and then swing all the way to the other (me!) SO WE THINK WE NEED TO WALK PERFECTLY ON THE LINE TO HAVE A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP WITH FOOD. BUT, in reality, having a healthy relationship with food that’s perfectly in balance between restriction (ex: healthy eating food rules) and indulging (ex: food binges would fall here) IS FREAKIN’ IMPOSSIBLE!
WHY IS FOOD FREEDOM DIFFERENT?
FOOD FREEDOM is not about finding an exactly perfect balance between healthy eating and indulging. Instead, it’s about finding a balance that moves like a really slow wave: little swings towards one extreme and then the other. Food freedom is not about being perfect, it’s about being NEUTRAL and then flowing with what you need at that moment.
I used to do the opposite. When food was at its worst for me I took gigantic swings between mindset into another. Instead of a tiny ripple, I was constantly on a giant wave going way to restriction and then wayyyyy to freedom. And because we get so stuck in restriction, we assume food freedom means going absolutely crazy all the way to the other extreme.
But it’s so not true!!
THE NATURAL SYSTEM OF CHECKS AND BALANCES
When I indulge too much and it makes me not feel so good, I find my way to a better balance of healthy eating and indulging. When I eat too healthy where I start to fall back into old restrictive habits (or notice more ed thoughts to restrict even if I’m not acting on them) I make my way towards a better balance again.
The point of food freedom isn’t to forget to stop taking care of your body. It’s to help yourself figure out what’s best for you RIGHT NOW, every day. It’s not about regimenting, it’s about giving yourself enough space and trust to find your own balance that works for YOU. And checking in with yourself daily to make sure that’s happening.
AT DIFFERENT PARTS OF YOUR JOURNEY, FOOD FREEDOM IS GOING TO LOOK TOTALLY DIFFERENT
- When you just start, it might feel totally impossible… so really it’s just an idea until you have some small recovery wins.
- When you’re in the middle of a gigantic mess and you don’t know what to do, you keep practicing so you can learn from your mistakes.
- When you’re living with some freedom, you constantly check in and ask yourself, is what I’m doing working for me right now?
Sometimes you’ll be great at it and sometimes you’ll totally suck at it, BUT YOU LEARN BY PRACTICING. That’s why after a week of pasta, pizza, pancakes, lots of cheese, ice cream, gushers, chips, and brownies… yesterday I didn’t eat the pastries my boyfriend’s family brought home. If I really wanted to I would have! But my body was like “umm, Bree… can we please take a break?” So I listened!!
TAKEAWAY: YOU HAVE TO DO WHAT FEELS GOOD TO YOU
Intuitive eating has never come naturally to me, but learning to find balance within myself by doing what makes me happy AND healthy… that works for me. Intuitive eating is a learned skill and you have to practice it!!! That’s my version of food freedom. Grab your free resources to help you get started, right here.