“How do you share your eating ideas/plans with friends without sounding pretentious? Maybe it’s just me because I’m self-conscious, but with the friends that I’m not super close with, I feel very awkward talking about my new eating habits/ideas.
It feels preachy and pretentious to talk about intuitive eating, or eating less meat, even though I know it’s what’s right for me and feels good! But at the same time I want to share these amazing things with people.”
A reader sent this in as soon as I started this OPEN UP series. I’m so excited to dive into this conversation with all of you today, and hope you find it encouraging and relatable.
It can feel SO WEIRD to talk about your eating with other people, especially when you’re talking about intuitive eating.
Intuitive eating, especially, is OTHER THAN what the majority of women are doing.
So, when the ladies around you are like Hey! Here’s the new diet I’m doing!
It can feel super weird to be the one to say Hey! I’m not doing any diet at all, and I’m just over here feeling good one meal at a time!
So, here’s my take…
When you’re sharing your authentic story, you are not being pretentious.
Your story is a true, real life experience. It’s your TRUTH. So, it’s okay to share what’s working for you! No one can judge you for it – and if they do, their judgement is not valid. Your experience can’t be changed. It’s true for you.
So, if you’ve had an amazing experience, and you’re excited about sharing, that’s okay… But let’s talk about the other side of this.
I’ve found that sometimes what my clients struggle with is not so much wanting to share something because they feel amazing, but more so because they feel a need to “label” or “claim” a certain way that they’re eating, out-loud.
It’s not enough to just eat less sugar, instead, they feel that have to tell the people around them I am not eating sugar.
There’s something about claiming or labeling our food that seems to make us feel like whatever we’re doing is more real or finite. Like we’re getting more “credit” for “being good.” Relate?
But, how good does it really feel to slap a label on yourself?
If you’re in a space right now where you’re avoiding a certain food, and avoiding that food feels “easy” for you, then sure, it may feel easy and even good to talk about it.
But, what if you’re in the space where you’ve said said I don’t eat sugar, and then all of the sudden you find yourself at a family party where uncle Bill is making homemade ice cream and you’d really like to try it?
Then what do you feel like? Are you bummed that you limited yourself to a specific way of eating, out-loud?
I know how it feels when Judy comes over and says Oh! Sweetie, I thought you weren’t eating sugar?
Imagine how much better it would feel, if we simply knew what worked for us, and then kept it to ourselves, quietly honoring what WE know feels best?
This way, we could make our choices one at a time, and do what felt good/right in each moment…
Sometimes it’s okay to have a little bit of uncle Bill’s ice cream PURELY because you want to partake in the event of it. This doesn’t mean you’re “bad” all of the sudden, just because you know that sugar (likely in excessive amounts) doesn’t make you feel well.
A bite every once in a while to satisfy might be okay for you, and you don’t need anyone commenting on this bite to make you feel like you’ve totally given up on “your plan” and are no longer “doing” no sugar.
So, what about sharing your TRUTH + what if someone asks you?
If someone asks you how you eat, or what you do…
In my experience, the best thing to do is to simply remain neutral/mellow/calm about it all.
I’ve worked with clients on changing their language to things like “I notice that I feel the best with a little less sugar, and when I’d really like to have some, I have just enough to satisfy and still feel good afterwards.”
“Actually, I found dieting to be really challenging for me, and cause more harm than good, so now I’m just doing my best to listen to what feels good for me.”
“I’m just paying attention to what feels good.”
When you keep your language mellow, you stay in a neutral place, AND avoid setting yourself up to feel pressure/shame/embarrassed the next time you want a taste of uncle Bill’s ice cream.
My clients have found so much success in dropping the labels, and instead just doing what feels good to them. And what they’ve found, is they actually don’t miss the label dropping ANYWAY. It’s a relief not to have it.
I want to hear from you!
What are your thoughts? Have you ever claimed a way of eating only to find yourself in a scenario where you would be just fine partaking a little bit in something, but feel embarrassed because everyone knows you’re “not eating” x? Let me know your thoughts.