As I write this post I’m sitting at a coffee shop in Ventura. I woke up early to take myself on a coffee date before my early morning doctors appointment. I brought my laptop, called to check in with Sim (my other half in Finally Free) on my drive over… it’s a totally normal day over here!
If you were here with me you’d see me sitting with my coffee and the leftovers of a scone I ordered yesterday morning. Every so often you’d see me pause to take a bite of my scone, take a sip of my coffee, and get back my work.
Have you guys heard the new T-Swift song? I swear this relates to what I’m talking about.
My husband knows the lyrics of “Look What You Made Me Do” by heart and may or may not quote it all day long “look what you made me do” and “the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now. WHY?! Because she’s deaaaad!” Haha… You’d also see me laughing as I write this!
If you’ve seen the music video you’ve probably 1) had nightmares like I did last night (why is it so dark!) and 2) can visualize the very end of the video where all of her different persona’s are together and talking to each other.
Well, as I eat this scone for breakfast without any worry, I can’t help but think that my old (or as Taylor would say, DEAD) extreme-dieter-persona would be saying: “Is this okay? I’m so bad. What will I eat for lunch that will make up for this? Maybe we should skip lunch? I wonder how late the gym is open?”
At night, the conversation would continue. I’d likely be with a friend and suggest something like going to Taco Bell and ordering everything on the menu, because why not? I’d already “screwed up the morning with a scone.” Today was already “not perfect” in clean eating terms, so why not continue? Why not eat EVERYTHING I COULDN’T NORMALLY HAVE now and have a better day tomorrow?
Looking back on these moments, I think I felt like they were a taste of freedom with food (what I WANTED more than anything, but didn’t know how to have)… but they were also so clouded and overloaded with fear, guilt, a sick stomach, and a head that was in a constant tailspin of “WHY do I do this to myself?! WHY can’t I just be good?” that they didn’t actually give me freedom at all. These moments only gave me a quick escape from my exhaustive list of food rules.
CRAP. SO, exhausting, right?
Have you ever thought like this? Are you in this place right now? Is it exhausting for you too?
Those moments always felt like the ONLY and last chance I would ever eat something that tasted so good. The ONLY chance I’d ever get to enjoy a playful-fun scone baked with love and goodness.
That is, until I figured out (slowly and steadily – intuitive eating is a process of building trust and that’s okay!) that when I have permission to eat what I really want, and when I remove the labels “good” and “bad” from my food, I am able to slow down, savor, and enjoy an amount of food that feels good. Heck, I’m even able to appreciate it, smile about it, and feel thankful for it.
And then I am able to move on. I can head to the bank. Drive to my doctors appointment. I can call and check in with my husband. I can continue on with my normal day not focused on and obsessing over food.
My mind and my heart are NOT flooded by thoughts of the scone I had for breakfast.
What a relief, because in hindsight, I did NOT ever need to give that much thought to food. YOU do not need to give this much obsessive attention to food. It really IS okay to just order something, sit down with it, enjoy an amount that feels good, and when/if you’ve had enough before it’s gone, wrap it up for later.
That said, I so totally know what it feels like to be stuck in the frustration of caring SO much about what you’re eating. Of analyzing your food choices WAY more than you’d like to. And that’s exactly what Simi and I will speak to this Thursday in our free call “Facing Your Intuitive Eating Fears”. I hope you’ll join us!
Today, I don’t feel attached to food. Rather, I feel free to enjoy the foods I love in a way that leaves me feeling good mentally, physically, and emotionally.
This is what living in freedom WITHOUT fear/guilt/shame with food looks like for me. And here’s something else I’ve learned: if these freedoms are possible for anyone else (especially me – there was a time where I truly believed I’d NEVER not automatically add up the calories in everything I ate), it is also so possible for you.
I’m here for you. I’m with you. I see you! You’re not alone. Share any thoughts you have with me in the comments – I would love to hear them and talk more!