On the journey to claiming your food freedom, it can be challenging to find a balance between questioning the food rules you’ve lived by with compassionate curiosity or declaring, “Screw it.”.
The latter can look a lot like giving up on determining a sustainable approach to feeding yourself to feel your best. That’s a bummer because a viable strategy is possible. And likely the reason why you started on this intuitive eating journey.
Intuitive eating and emotionally reactive eating can often become intertwined without consciousness and deliberate decision-making that’s grounded in logic and clarity. Before you know it, you’ve swapped out one set of food rules for another list that looks like defiance against what you once believed.
Can I offer a suggestion?
Evaluating your food rules can look a lot like you deciding to keep some of them and releasing or rewriting others- all while nixing the guilt, shame, and religiosity.
In keeping them, you claim them as your own- with a “why” that’s reflective of your values. Not just because you “heard it somewhere.”
Your deconstruction of food rules may result in creating a new ideology that takes the best of what you’ve learned and welcomes in new practices that honor the season of life you’re in- while also releasing the morality that never was meant for food.
Let me be clear: you’re worthy and wonderful regardless of what you eat or don’t eat.
Let’s take a deeper dive into the “freedom” that looks a lot like rebellious revenge on diet culture.
Listen, diet culture has given us a lot of work to do as a collective. There’s wounding, sickness, insecurity, confusion, and more. I’m all about you releasing yourself from the programming of the media, societal pressures, and well-meaning (or not so well-meaning) family members and friends so you can find the life that’s yours to live- related to food and in all areas.
But if your process of breaking food rules looks a lot like you eating whatever you want, whenever you want, however much you want, then you’re likely “screwing” yourself rather than “it.”
A thoughtful breaking and rebuilding of ideology around food include considering if your choice supports your highest goals or if you even want it. Releasing food rules can sometimes result in someone not thinking about the impact of their choices. How removing one “problem” is simply creating another where you are, yet again, not in touch with yourself and your wellbeing.
Breaking food rules doesn’t need to look like rebellion.
Especially when you only end up rebelling against yourself.
I’ve been there with you- obedient to the superfoods, wellness trends, choosing foods based on weight loss (forever chasing those 5-10 pounds) or body composition goals- it goes on and on. To add even more pain, I took on the belief of tying my morality to my food choices, whether I had a “good” day or a “bad” day of eating used to determine what I thought about myself and overall feelings of worthiness.
I come to you now having reviewed my beliefs about self, food, relationships, etc.- I left no area of my life unturned. During that time, I released many thoughts, adjusted others, and created new ones.
I had been controlled by what I thought society wanted of me my entire life. It was destructive and made me unwell. The framework was not serving me, but a pendulum swing in the other direction was not the answer.
The freedom I was seeking instead looked like letting my thoughts, feelings, and actions being in direct response to diet culture- just on the opposite end of the spectrum for the most part. What I saw as my opposition was still the heavy influence of forces outside of myself.
Did you wish I didn’t say that? I don’t blame you. Seeking the answers inward can bring up a lot of intense emotions. It can seem easier to believe the answers are outside of you.
Of course, education, resources, research, and community all matter- but pass them through the litmus test of YOU.
Know yourself, trust yourself, and let every decision pour from that filter- no more self-rejection on the way to wellness.
That’s where my comprehensive coaching services come in-; learn more about them here.
I am in full support of your sustainable wellbeing. If you choose to heal without the help of a coach and educator, that’s okay. It is possible! You can trust that path.
But if you want to expedite the process while going deep and knowing you’re following a process that works, I’d be honored to help you. I help people learn how to trust themselves and coach themselves, so you become the authority of your life and wellbeing. Informed and inspired by the world, but not controlled by it.
Because no matter what end of the pendulum you swing to, being controlled by diet culture or in opposition to it, it will only lead to you being out of control within yourself.
This expression can look like exercising your “willpower” (by the way, your willpower is not to blame) to not eat any of the “bad” foods or mindless overeating all the foods in rebellion. Either expression isn’t the pathway to healing.
As you challenge your food rules, these resources will help: What is Food Freedom?
I’m encouraging you not to let your food freedom become an opposition to the system. Let it be from within you.
Eat and think about food in such a way that creates more energy, life, ease, and flow. Let your way of living be a reflection of your goals and grounded in the integrity of having your own back.
Here’s your invitation: release the food rules given to you and create a sustainable plan from the ground up. Let your way of living be an expression of self-trust.
Know yourself, trust yourself, be yourself.
This process of breaking food rules can go a few ways (and there are even more approaches):
- Identify and break food rules slowly and notice the physical, emotional, and energetic responses
- Temporarily eliminate the most allergenic foods with a reintroduction period
- Daily food planning to engage the center of higher thinking in your brain. You’ll decide ahead of time what foods are in support of your unique needs (physical, emotional, time factors) each day.
Whatever you choose, you’ll take what you learned to create a doable plan for YOU. It’ll be a plan beyond what you’ve been taught or indoctrinated into because it will pass through the filter of “is it worth it?”. And you’ll have a solid connection to your worth on all levels by doing this deep dive.
As you break food rules and create your plan for wellbeing, you’ll tap into the emotions of patience, persistence, and compassion. Thankfully, you can generate those feelings any time with the thoughts you think.
I believe in you. Borrow my belief as you work on yours.
Freedom from self-imposed or learned food rules is possible. If you need help getting there, I’m here for you. I offer consultations to see if your goals and my services are a good fit.
I am cheering you on!
To your health,
If you found this post helpful, check out these resources to help you heal your relationship with food and body image: