I first realized that I didn't feel normal around food when there were grapes served before dinner as a snack and I was too afraid to eat them because I thought they had too many carbs.
I remember thinking this doesn't feel right, no one else is worried about carbs, but I am.
I kept having more moments like this, where I saw friends and family be so normal around food meanwhile food was consuming my every thought. Things like...
- What am I going to eat next
- Will this make me fat
- Does this have too many carbs
- If I eat this should I eat less ____ later
Maybe you don't even know that you don't feel normal around food, if so, you're like 99% of people.
Can you relate to any of this:
- You've bought more than 3 workout programs in the last six months
- You've tired more than 3 diets in the last two years
- You get anxious around the holidays because you know there's going to be a lot of 'bad food'.
- You always stress when summer comes around because you feel like you need to lose weight.
- You sometimes eat less days after you've eaten food you deem 'bad'.
- You are constantly thinking about food (in an obsessive way), wondering and worrying if what you're eating is 'okay'.
- You often turn to juice cleanses, challenges or 'quick fixes' when you feel bad about your body.
- You feel like you need to be all in or all out when it comes to eating well and working out.
If you could say yes to any of those, I would say that maybe you would like you relationship with food to feel a bit more at ease and less stressful?
Don't get bummed about this—you're not alone. The diet industry is a multi-billion dollar industry for a reason. Diets aren't teaching you to feel normal around food or your body, they are teaching you how to live in extremes to get extreme results in a short period of time.
So, how do you begin to feel normal around food?
Below are 5 ways you can begin to feel more normal around food right now.
Listen, this journey takes work. I'm not going to BS you. Diets are easy because they have rules. If you follow the rules you're 'good', and if you don't you're 'bad'.
In creating healthier relationships around food, you're going to shed everything you knew about diets and food and step into a powerful new reality of food freedom. This journey, like any journey, asks you to show up and do the work though—you ready?
- Delete your dieting apps from your phone. If you're someone who tracks your food and feels like you need to track to be 'good', deleting the app can be the most powerful step you can take. This step is going to force you to make your own decisions and actually listen to your body. If you're like me, maybe you'll delete then re download 7x, and that's okay. But theres no way to live in freedom when you're following the rules of what some algorithm says you 'should' be eating.
- Stop doing what your friends are doing. SO many of my clients have come to me with backgrounds of diet hopping like it's their job. They would start one diet, and not even give it a month before they saw their friend do something and decide that their program wasn't good enough, so they would jump ship and try that one. Your friends have different goals, different bodies and they aren't you. When it comes to listening to your body and feeling normal around food, you should be doing what makes sense for your life. Even if that means that you are eating the whole egg and your friend is only eating the white.
- Get uncomfortable. I actually really love comfort zones, and I think they are great. But breaking up with dieting takes some discomfort. Like we talked about with the egg situation in #2, there are going to be times when you may be drinking rosè carefree, and your BFF is shaming you talking about how she would 'never drink her carbs'—cool Carol, you do you. You however, may be getting uncomfortable in situations with friends when you're the only one not dieting—this is okay. You don't have to jump back on just to be like them. Can you imagine diet hopping until you're 67? Because I have clients in their 70s who are just now repairing their relationship with food because they always just went with the flow never wanting to be the odd one out. I don't want that for you.
- Check in with yourself. You're not a robot. I want you to start asking yourself what you want! Then once you have the answer, I want you to not judge it. Sometimes I ask myself what I want and the answer is chips and hummus for dinner with a brownie, other times it's a salad. It's really easy to judge either answer. If it's the brownie, we could say "ugh, but that's not healthy". If it's the salad we could say "ugh but I'm breaking up with dieting and could have whatever I want". However, the more you can check in and get familiar with listening to your body and what you want, the more power you take back from food and the more pizza becomes less of a 'cheat' and more of a normal meal if you want it to be.
- Stop ignoring your feelings. You don't want a cookie, you want connection. 99% of the time binging and comforting with food stems from not being able to process and cope with hard emotions. For you this may mean getting a coach who can help you though this, seeing a therapist, talking to your spouse, journaling, dancing it out, talking to a friend etc. We like to numb our hard feelings with food, sex, drugs, Netflix, scrolling etc. I'm not asking you to sing kumbaya and hold hands with your BFF, but I do want you to start tuning in and handling your shit like the powerful grown ass lady you are. Because when you do so you can stop numbing with food.
There are hundreds of more ways to feel normal around food and in your body, but I want you to start here, okay?
If you have any questions at all, which you should—email me directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Seriously, you have full access to ask me anything you want.