We live in a diet world.
Inundated daily with information instructing us what to eat, what not to eat, how to have a better body, flatter abs, be a certain size. We have been assaulted by diet lingo now for decades.
Are you healthy enough?
Are you strict enough with yourself?
Do you not have any willpower?
The more I study eating behaviours, the more I find the innate human deep in struggle. Have we all not fallen victim to the Diet craze? Have we lost sight of what it means to have a healthy relationship with food; to listen to our intuition, to be peaceful about our food choices?
It is time for a change.
Having spent over a decade stuck deep within the turmoil of an eating disorder, the world of dieting frustrates me to no end. And yes, this translates over to the latest health trends too: Paleo, Ketogenic, High-Protein, trending superfoods, and abundant supplementation. The mind-boggling information that infiltrates our thoughts every day contributes substantially to destructive behaviours: restrictive eating, chronic dieting, binge eating, anorexia & bulimia, and improper pill popping. We find ourselves struggling with guilt for eating a banana or having a serving of rice with our dinner. We are confused as to whether or not to eat slabs of meat drenched in coconut oil at every meal or to ditch the coconut oil altogether, avoid fruit, and go vegan. It never ends.
Let me offer you another way of thinking.
What if food were not the enemy?
What if there were no good and bad foods (I’m talking real food here, people, not Doritos & Ding Dongs, ok!), no right or wrong approach to eating, no guilt, no shame?
What if you and food could be friends?
What if you could listen to your body, your intuitive self, and have love for food, enjoying every bite of every meal without feelings of guilt, shame, or anxiety?
Yes, Lovely, it is possible.
Making Peace With Food
Challenge Societal Teachings: So much of what we see and hear through all societal avenues is affective, whether you are aware of it or not. It is time to question how much of society’s teachings are benefiting you. It is time to take your power back from that of society and decide how you want to live your life according to who you are and what you want. Ask your self: what aspects of body image struggles reside and breed amongst the media and what aspects belong to me?
Adopt A No-Diet Mentality: What does this powerful word: “diet”, mean to you? Does it represent struggle, restriction, or dysfunction? Does the word diet make you feel guilt, shame, overwhelm, or make you feel trapped and suffocated? What if food could mean nourishment, nurture, deliciousness, joy, fulfillment, and peace? What if we took the word diet out of your vocabulary? Would you feel freedom and relief? When we are attempting to heal from dysfunction with food, it is imperative to abandon the notion of dieting. Making peace with food is about connection, joy, and intuition, without the notion of this word: diet. Make this your new goal.
Question Your Choice Making: Each time you are in a Grocery store aisle, at a drive thru window, or standing with your fridge door wide open wondering what to choose, take a moment to ask yourself what you need in that moment. So many choices are made on the fly, when we are pinched for time or in a rush; when we’ve avoided planning ahead or are too hungry to think clearly. Making good choices requires patience and fore thought. Take a deep breath, count to 10, and go within your self and ask: what do I need right now, in this moment?
Make A Plan: You may hear me say this a lot: plan your food choices ahead of time. This concept is simple: having a plan leaves little room for last minute poor choice making. Try a little meal planning, decide what’s for dinner at breakfast, pack snacks with you wherever you go and have delicious, healthy food choices available right at your fingertips. For more tips on meal planning, look here.
Practice Intuitive Eating: Have you ever noticed that while you are eating, your mind has “checked out”? You are going through the motions of chewing and swallowing, but your mind is elsewhere: planning, contemplating, calculating, organizing. Do you eat while driving or working on the computer, watching a video or listening to a podcast? Being intuitive with our food requires us to be present while eating; to sit and take time with our food, paying attention to taste and texture, and listening to satiety signals and digestive cues. It is time to give our food the attention and respect that it deserves, while truly listening to the body and the inner voice. This practice reconnects us with our food and our selves, enabling and encouraging self-care and feelings of peace.
Prioritize Your Health: I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. I’ll song & dance it if you like! Choosing to make your health a priority is your choice to make. So much of this life is about choice making and if you would like to feel better in your body, feel confident in your dress size, and feel peaceful in your relationship with food, make health your priority. Put in the energy and dedication needed; seek out help and support; find inspiration and motivation in those around you. You are capable, we all are.
If you are interested in working with me, please reach out. My counselling practice is growing and evolving quickly and I am SO excited about this work!