In today’s world, health tips are a dime a dozen.
They’re constantly changing
Yet always claiming to be “the only way”.
One day fats are bad, the next it’s carbs
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for years...
& then we hear that fasting from 6 pm until noon is what we “should” have been doing all along.
Fruits, veggies & grains are being demonized
While heavy whipping cream lattes & chemical sweeteners are all the rage.
There’s a reason that doesn’t sound logical
& why following fad diets doesn’t feel right
Because they’re not natural.
All of these contradictory claims not only confuse the hell out of our minds & our bodies
They discourage a healthy & intuitive relationship with food.
We obsess over one thing until another comes along & then we obsess over that.
We put everyone else’s experiences & their word over listening to our own bodies
& we make company’s sales pitches our dietary bibles.
Doubting our own innate ability to know what’s best for us is literally filling people’s pockets.
So, you’re probably wondering…
What is the best thing for me?
For my body?
How do I have a healthy relationship with food?
What does that even look like?
Well, a lot of it is about trust.
Trusting yourself, trusting your body & learning how to listen to your mental, emotional & physical queues.
It takes time, consistency & patience
& “healthy” is going to look a little bit different for everyone
But there are some tools & mindset shifts you can shoot for to begin the process of improving your relationship with food
& I’ll share those with you here:
1. Watch Your Mouth
Pay attention to how you speak about food.
Sometimes the words that come out of your mouth can be more harmful than what you put into it.
Avoid phrases like:
“I can’t have that…”
“That’s off limits”
“It’s a cheat day”
“I’m being good, bad, weak or naughty”
“I can have this because…”
“I need to go on a diet”
“I’m going to the gym so..”
“I’ve got to burn off that …”
“That’s gonna go straight to my…”
You don’t have to justify what you eat. To anyone. Ever.
The words you say & the thoughts you think are embedding themselves into your internal programming.
Mental restriction fuels a scarcity mindset & can cause you to develop unhealthy habits just by thinking certain thoughts.
2. Stop Using Food As a Punishment or Reward
Food isn’t something you have to “earn” or “deserve”.
When your child or dog does something wrong, you don’t punish them by starving them
& you don’t tell them they can have dinner because they were “good” that day, right?
Of course not.
So don’t do that to yourself.
Eating is not meant to be used as a reward or punishment.
Sustaining your own life is entirely separate from how many burpees you do, what the scale says, how fat you feel or whether or not you can fit into a size 2.
3. Let Go of Diets & Labels
You should never put trying to follow the rules of a diet over listening to your body
Nor should you be so attached to any food label that you find yourself defining who you are by how you eat.
YOU are not “vegan”, “paleo”, “keto”, etc.
The way you choose to eat is completely separate from who you are as a person.
Your diet does not define you
It doesn’t contribute to your worth as a human being, or take from it.
4. Find Ways to Deal With Your Emotions
Journal, talk, create art, dance, sing, throw a tantrum…
Turn inward & find a ways to feel your emotions & release them rather than turning to food or restriction to numb them.
5. Practice mindful eating
Make meal time a pleasant experience – an act of love towards your body.
I wrote a whole other blog post on how to be a mindful eater here.
6. Stop Obsessing Over Numbers
Your life is not meant to be spent counting calories, macros, tracking or measuring everything that enters your mouth.
Adhering to set numbers, portions, meal plans & calculations takes all intuitiveness out of the equation.
You were born with the ability to know how to eat
You don’t need an app to tell you exactly what, how much or when
Trust yourself, use common sense & listen to your body.
7. Discover Who You Are Beyond Your Diet & Fitness Routine
Explore forms of movement that you actually enjoy & that make you feel good.
Try new things
Allow yourself to live in the moment & be spontaneous when it comes to how you eat & how you live.
Do what feels right to you.
Make the choices that are going to contribute to creating a life that you enjoy looking back on.
Who are you as a person? What kind of memories do you want to be making?
The least interesting things about you are how you look & how you eat.
Focus on shaping who you are on the inside & begin to see life as a collection of experiences
Rather than a competition of who can look the leanest or eat the cleanest.
Your relationship with food doesn’t have to be hard or complicated.
It can be easy, intuitive & natural without a lot of work.
Try following the advice mentioned above
& don’t stress over whether you’re doing things “right” or “wrong”
Give yourself love.
Give yourself grace.
Focus on listening to your own mind, body & soul…
& I promise you, the rest will follow.