Food RULES?! Oh hell no, nope, not for me! I'm a rebel, who is with me?!
I used to make so many lists of don'ts.
"Don't eat after 7pm"
"Don't eat sugar"
"Don't eat bread"
Then, when I broke one I would get so down on myself. "I suck", "I can't even eat right for one day", "I'm never going to lose weight", "Fine fatty, eat whatever you want". Then I would binge eat for a few days (or weeks). I would be so full I was in pain but I couldn't stop. I'd wonder what was wrong with me and berate myself over and over and still go back to the fridge or pantry over and over again for more. Tubs of icing, nutella or cookie dough with a spoon, entire family sized bags of chips, entire frozen pizzas and when that would run out I'd eat cheese and crackers till I couldn't walk anymore and needed a heat pad for my stomach. I would cry and cry and cry and keep kicking myself while I was down.
I said some really mean stuff to myself.
Like, REALLY mean. I would tell myself that I would be fat forever, that no one would ever love me, that I had no self control or willpower. All of this translated to "you are a horrible person and unworthy of even being".
If anyone had ever talked to me the way I talked to myself I would have cut them out of my life a long time ago. Buh bye bitch!
The rules though, they aren't just of our own making, there are so many "rules" that can be found in every diet book, on every weight loss site that when it comes to trying to lose weight It's confusing and frankly, aggravating. How can one possibly navigate all the information out there and have any sense of how to go about their daily lives?
"Don't eat any grains, they'll make you fat forever"
"Only eat between the hours of 11 and 4"
"Workout on an empty stomach"
"Make sure you eat before you train"
"Drink ALL the water" (ok i'm exaggerating here but really, I think you get the idea)
So what is a person to do with all this conflicting information?
The answer is quite simple, and at the same time quite complex. Find what works for you. Oof, big, I know.
Sure, everyone could use a little less processed food and a little more veggies, protein and healthy fats but overthinking the whole thing and making rules for yourself is just going to make you crazy.
"Today I won't eat any chocolate"
"I'm going to only eat things that are red" - wine is red by the way, good rule ;)
"No sugar ever again"
Then there is the guilt and shame if you "slip up" and eat something "off limits".
Relax, take a deep breath and try to think about how certain foods make you feel. Ask yourself, does this food nourish me? Do I feel good both physically and emotionally eating this food or will I have feelings of guilt and shame? The bottom line is that food is not only a means to nourish our bodies but also our souls. Food as part of celebrations goes back centuries and let's face it, food is good, it's tasty and satisfying and certain foods stir up emotions when we eat them. They elicit memories like the fried chicken my grandmother used to make or my fifth birthday when mom made a particular desert that is just my favorite (key lime pie by the way, just sayin').
Some food rules you can follow and feel good about.
-Don't eat if you are not hungry
-Stop when you don't feel hungry anymore
-Don't eat foods that make you feel ill or that your body is sensitive to
-Enjoy every bite
So the bottom line is, food should make us feel good, both physically and emotionally. If you want that piece of cake but know that you will feel horrible after then maybe consider skipping it or having something else, but if you know that you will enjoy every bite, be totally fine with the fact that you ate it and your body won't feel poorly after then go for it. Just check in before you take a bite and see where you are at. Then, check in a again after a few bites, you might find that a couple of bites was enough. This is going to take practice and time so go easy on yourself. You will slip up, we all do, in fact I did this past weekend but it's ok, it doesn't mean that I am bad or somehow less than, it means I'm human. Together let's brush it off and try again.
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