When you diet for years or decades you are used to eat by the clock whether you hungry or not. This screws up your ability to understand if your body or your mind wants the food.
When I become aware of the reality that my weight was not really in my control anyway after 2 decades of dieting unless I kept dieting and controlling my food or work out like crazy almost ever day, I choose to let my weight land where it was supposed to be without all the craziness around food.
If you want to have a peace of mind from all the food noises you have been experiencing all along, here is my suggestion on how to do it.
Step 1. Legalize food
Allow yourself you eat whatever you feel like to eat. It is not about eating a bunch of food tricking yourself not wanting it anymore but being okay with whatever choice you make.
When you focus on too much to NOT feel guilty about eating a bunch of food you are actually focusing on the very thing you don’t want.
Savor food. Enjoy every bite of it. Seek pleasure in food. When you focus on the positive you will have a shot to experience it.
When food is legalized, your body will crave what it needs.
The degree to which you don’t shame yourself wanting and eating a bunch of food is the degree to which food will lose its power over you.
Allowing food not only means you eat anything you want physically. But once you eat it you don’t emotionally restrict yourself thinking you shouldn’t have eaten it.
Real allowance around food starts with eating anything you want and truly feel emotionally good about it.
Physical allowance, which is eating the food itself, works only if you experience true emotional allowance around food. There is no judging, guilt or shame felt during or after eating.
Step 2. Eat like a “normal eater”
Normal eating is not something you do it is a state of mind.
It has nothing to do what you eat but rather how you feel about it.
People who are not the victim of the 21st century’s dieting culture and body shame, they don’t make their food choices as something that has to do with their moral character. They don’t make food good or bad or feel good or bad about themselves based on their food choices.
Normal eaters don’t get hung on their food behaviors. They are not obsessed with healthy eating or eating for weight loss.
Normal eaters use food for fuel and for emotional reasons. They let food to be a source of fuel and pleasure at the same time.
Normal eaters don’t judge themselves based on their food choices.
Step 3: Practice intuition eating
Make food choices from within rather than from an external diet plan such as prescribed diets by professionals.
There is no such a thing as perfect fullness. You get to decide what amount of fullness feels comfortable for you and this will change for you day to day.
Intuitive eating is a concept. Don’t make it a rule or the “hunger and fullness diet”.
The reason we can’t give up prescribed way of eating AKA diets because we don’t trust themselves. Practicing intuition eating gives you back the power to decide what your body wants instead of giving this power away to somebody else outside of you.
Diets are exact science; intuition eating is being in the flow. It changes overtime and sometimes you are able to satisfy yourself sometimes you are not.
Discovering your satiety symptoms is a trial and error base. It requires self-trust.
However to stop fighting food and to create a peaceful relationship with it requires a lot of body image work. Unless you are okay with the body you have right now, it is going to be difficult to transition yourself out from food brain.
Hope this helps to find happiness (inner peace) around food.
Although these steps can feel like a to do list don’t forget that changing your relationship with food is a process.
And when you realize you are trying too hard to NOT judge and shame yourself based on what you are eating rather focus on enjoying the heck out of your food whatever you eat.
Savor food and live again!
All the best,
Photo Credit: Julia Pinter