Are you restricting the foods you eat or are you choosing your food?
**I want to preface this article with saying that this is one concept. It takes time and many changes to find your ‘intuition’ about food and what resonates with you. I want this video to be one aspect of finding what works best to nourish YOUR body!**
Many people who are trying to be ‘healthy’ feel they have to cut out certain foods. This can create a mentality of restriction around those foods – which is not a great way to go about eating. I experienced this many years ago myself. I got fed up with restricting myself; restricting certain foods, wanting to be a certain size, a certain weight. I reached a breaking point where I just wanted to feel good. “I want to be healthy, I want to do what I can to feel my best and be my healthiest” I said to myself. I wasn’t sure what size or weight I would be but I knew that I couldn’t keep playing the message of restriction in my head and not be free around food .
Check out the video below or scroll down for the article!
Because of the work I do as a Holistic Nutritionist there is an idea that the foods I eat or one should eat need to be a certain way. Perhaps you look at my instagram or recipes and they are always nutrient dense and nourishing. This is not from a place of deprivation but from a place of choice, meeting my body’s needs and enjoying delicious food. This is not where I began though.
What is Restriction?
Restriction is the result of a diet mentality. Most people in our society prescribe to this mindset. A diet can be anything ; clean eating, vegan, paleo, and many other different ways of eating. It is how you implement the ‘diet’ that leads to a restriction mindset.
I am always hesitant to ‘label’ the way I eat but it is an easy way to get your food preferences across and helps you express what you want to eat in a few words. Even though a label describes what I want to eat, there is a lot of depth and conscious choice into the way I eat. If you are able to come from a place of clarity and express how you eat and the way you want to eat because it makes you feel your best that is an empowering place.
If you start eating in a restricted way because you think that is what’s healthy and acceptable then you’re going to be judging yourself. You’re also going to feel guilty and you’re going to feel deprived. These modes of thinking will create a lot more stress in your body.
When I had my breaking point of JUST wanting to be healthy and to feel good in my body I said to myself I could eat everything I wanted to. I stopped being vegetarian (I had been so for about 13 years). As I started eating everything (I mean everything) I realized what foods made me feel good and the ones that didn’t make me feel good.
Even though you give yourself permission to eat all kinds of food it is important to see how your body digests it and how it feels after. Are you full of energy or do you feel gross? Personally, I found my way back to being plant-based after experimenting for about 2 years but this time it was in a deliberate and freeing way.
Starting to Allow Foods So that You Don’t Binge
For example, if you restrict cookies and are at a party and have access to all the cookies you will most likely binge. This is because you have restricted yourself for so long. You will probably eat all the cookies.
You can allow yourself the cookies and say “I can have 1-2 a day” OR “they will be there tomorrow” OR “they will always be there, it’s not going away”. This self talk can ease the binge cycle and helps the ‘forbidden’ food’ to not have power over you.
I used this method personally when I was offered a tub of cookies from a former boss. I didn’t end up gorging on the cookies and they lasted a long time. Progress!
When you are able to see that when you ALLOW yourself, and this can be scary if you have restricted this food for a long time, that the food will have less and less power over you.
Once these ‘forbidden foods’ no longer have such a strong hold on you, you can then start incorporating more nourishing versions. This is a great way to keep these foods in rotation if you feel crappy after eating them (ie they don’t digest well or leave you feeling drained).
Today, I don’t crave cookies or cake. Dark chocolate – that’s another story 😉 I can have cookies and cake but not devour a whole box or cake like I used to!
This video is to remind you that when you start choosing your food, and you allow yourself to choose your food and you have a lot more choice – you free yourself. So, you no longer punish, restrict or judge yourself. We don’t need to struggle with food and restrict.
If we trust in our bodies and listen to it we will know which foods work for us. This helps you start making more empowering choices around food.
The anti-diet movement is about choosing the foods you consume. That could be CHOOSING to not have the cookie because you feel sick or CHOOSING to have the cookie from a clear space.
This is not a simple issue so if you have any questions or need clarification I would love to answer. Leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I know from reading over this post a few questions come to mind that I want to discuss and explore in future posts:
-What does feel your best mean?
-Even if you prescribe to a certain dietary label (paleo, vegan, etc.) it can be from a freeing space.
-What is coming from a clear space?
Keep In Mind this Video/Article is a Starting Point
***This video is a starting point, some people may not have any clue what listening to your body means or what intuition is. It is important to know that every little step adds to more self awareness. Of course working with a practitioner you can hone in on your struggles.
Choosing what you want to eat is different for everyone. I started off eating all the veggies but from a deprivation mindset and then ate everything. I went back to being plant based and eating all the veggies but from an abundance and feel good mindset. It may look the same on the outside but I assure you it is quite different on the inside. This is about depth of practice and not a superficial way of eating.
You may just be stuck in a diet mentality and the tips mentioned above will help. There may also be emotional or mindset issues that are the real root cause of your unhealthy eating patterns as well.***
To choosing health,
Certified Holistic Nutritionist