For 6 years I obsessed over food and tried to shrink my body. I counted calories, cut carbs, hit the gym twice a day, you name it, I did it. But, all of that changed 4 years ago when I was finally able to make peace with food & my body through intuitive eating. Here's how I did it.
How To Make Peace With Food
Honestly, I wasn't the one in control of my life for those 6 years. My food rules were. They dictated my mood, self esteem, what social events I could go to, and above all... my self worth. My food rules were a way for me to *try* and control SOMETHING in this crazy thing we call life. I thought that if I could control my food choices to be "good" (i.e. always order the healthy salad, say no to the cookies, etc) I'd somehow be good, too. But, as I know now, that's just NOT TRUE.
At the time, when I was over my head in diet culture madness (all of that low carb, low calorie, don't eat after 8pm MADNESS) I knew I couldn't live the rest of my life that way. I would look forward and only see myself counting the calories of the ice cream cone I'd take my future kids to get. And, that? Was NOT gonna fly. So I set out to make peace with food.
What Food Freedom Looks Like
Before I go into the 3 steps I took to find food freedom by making peace with food and my body let me tell you what food freedom looks like. Because I think you're going to get excited! Food freedom looks like this:
- Ordering the burger on date night without guilt
- Having a big plate of pasta in front of you, without anxiety, and simply stopping when you're satisfied
- Baking brownies on a Friday night with your #bae and licking the bowl clean without worrying about calories
- Heading to a kick boxing class because you enjoy it, not to "burn off" what you ate
- Looking in the mirror and saying "You, girlfriend, are doing amazing"
That's what food freedom looks like. It looks like LIVING! And not just living, but legit living your best life. I know that term is thrown around like a hacky sack (remember those?!) but it's true. As cliche as it sounds!
Now, before I spill the beans and tell you the 3 steps I took in order to find freedom let me reiterate that I struggled for six years. SIX FREAKING YEARS! I'm giving you these steps because I do NOT want you to waste 6 years of your life. I want to show you how to implement these 3 steps so you can find food freedom faster. Like, way faster. Okay, here we go....:
Step #1: Re-wire Your Brain
This is a step that I didn't implement for the first few years of my food freedom journey and is a key reason why it took me so long. You really need to un-learn all of the diet culture BS that you've been taught. It's more than just eating the foods you've previously said we "bad", it's re-wiring your brain. If you just eat the foods, you aren't LEARNING anything.
I'm a fan of using mantras, affirmations, and journaling to do this re-wiring. I have a post all on intuitive eating affirmations that will be super helpful to you!
Step #2: Break Your Food Rules Systematically
Okie dokies, listen up. I know that social media makes it seem like okay day #1 you have to start eating all of your previous off limits foods and eat a LOT of them. And while this approach works for some, I'll be honest, it didn't "work" for me. What happened was I was all gung-ho for a day, the freaked out a day later and restricted again. I did this over. and over. and over again. So, I decided to take it slower. I broke one food rule at a time, all while giving my body enough energy, of course, but working through those food rules slower and more systematically.
For me, personally (and now for thousands of others), working in a stepwise process has been SO helpful. I felt like when I tried to tackle all of my food rules at once the next day I only wanted to go back to restricting THAT much more, which left me swinging like a pendulum.
When you come from a background of food rules giving up control is hard, let's be real. And when I finally let myself work one by one, I saw success. I was able to eat, say, bread, work though that and not feel guilty, really understanding my true preferences for bread, how it made me feel, how it satisfied me, etc. Then I moved on to the next rule, say, eating breakfast before 9am (Some silly, make up rule I had!) .
I always say I'd do much rather someone take a solid baby step forward then either take no steps at all, or to take 80 steps forward then 82 steps back. The idea that we have to just go all in right away is scary for a lot of people, it was for me and caused me to go back to restricting time and time again. Like I said, it's okay to work slower! What I found was that when I did this my confidence increased and then I was able to take on more at once. But, baby steps is okay!
Step #3: Improving Body Image
This one.... is a doozey! BUT SO IMPORTANT! You can break all of the food rules you want, but if you don't make peace with what you put food into, how can you make peace with food? My answer is... well, ya probs can't!
I had to disconnect my self worth from how I viewed my body. And, honestly, this goes back to that mindset piece I talked about earlier! I had to learn to respect & appreciate my body- not try to change it. Through learning to respect and appreciate my body I was not only to view it more kindly, but also treat it in a way that fostered both physical and mental wellbeing.
I also have a great blog post on a few simple tips to improve body image- super helpful, give it a read!
How You Can Make Peace With Food, Too
So now that I've told you MY story and the exact 3 steps that I took to make peace with food and my body I want you to know that this is 180% possible for you to do, too. I've make helping other find this freedom my life's work. I've been able to touch the lives of thousands of amazing girlfriends all around the world learn to find food freedom too in The SociEATy. If you're needing a little help getting started be sure to checkout my freebies page- which has some different ways you can do just that like free e-books and quizes!
I can NOT wait for you to join us in living a life of no food rules. A FULL LIFE of FREEDOM! Get excited, you deserve this!
Leave a comment below with what you're most excited to experience when you make peace with food and your body. Is it date night? Exercising for a reason other than punishment for what you ate? Let me know! I can't wait to hear!
Happy Food Rule Breaking!
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