Do you worry that if you give yourself permission to eat anything, you’ll eat, like, EVERYthing?
I hear you and I raise you that bet. I figured the same. And in all honesty when I gave myself freedom to eat anything – after years of ‘good’ rule-following, nutritionist-sanctioned, healthy eating – I did indeed eat a lot of sugary and snacky type foods. It was kinda scary. And I wondered when it would stop.
But at some stage things started changing. And foods I’d once feared I’d lose control around (fudge, potato chips, lollies), now no longer bother me.
I can’t even relate to the old me that worried about potato chips – what the heck?! Like they were some sort of mind-controlling drug that had power over me?! They’re just chips… what was I thinking?
I was living under The Diet Lie – but I’m not falling for that trick any more.
And this week I was reminded again how far my relationship with food has come.
Old me, the me that lived under The Diet Lie, felt like every visit to a cafe was an opportunity to eat cake, because I never baked cakes at home… because, well, I’d eat them. So I saved cake eating for cafes.
That meant every time I visited a cafe I absolutely had to buy a cake or sweet slice, no matter how good or bad they looked, because I wasn’t going to miss out on an opportunity to eat cake. I had rules. Cakes could only be eaten in cafes on my occasional visits. That meant I couldn’t possibly miss out on an opportunity.
Only the new me, the intuitive eating me, now knows I can have cakes and slices whenever I want (and oh boy have I enjoyed that freedom!). But this past weekend I visited a cafe with my youngest son, he wanted a hot chocolate drink, so I bought him one and a gingerbread man. Then I looked in their cabinet at all the cakes I’d usually buy and I didn’t want any of them.
Not the lemon tart.
Not the chocolate tart.
Not the chocolate brownie.
Even stranger – I didn’t want a hot chocolate drink. I wanted something cool and refreshing – so I ordered a guava juice soft drink. Which brings me to my second revelation for the day…
I sat down with that cool guava soft-drink thingy, took a sip and discovered it was disgustingly sweet. Like revolting. I had a few more mouthfuls. I tried to enjoy it. But I just couldn’t.
So I left my half-drunk soft drink on the table, with my son’s half-eaten gingerbread man and we left.
If you love a food or drink – savour it, but by goodness if you’re not enjoying it – you don’t have to it.
There will be another opportunity to eat later today, tomorrow, the next day.
That cafe experience was so different to anything I’ve ever had before in my life. To not want the cakes. To not want the hot chocolate. To choose another drink and not finish it because I wasn’t enjoying it?? This is all new to me and I love it.
Like so many other new intuitive eaters it’s just a revelation to see how food freedom changes your relationship with food for the better.
Food no longer controls me… and it feels so good. I’m no longer living under that lie, that I need to restrict and avoid foods, that I have to be a certain size, that I need to downsize, that I need to only eat ‘healthy foods’.
I gave myself freedom to eat as many cakes as I like, and now here I am eating fewer cakes than ever.