Yesterday I caught up with some girlfriends from my life before P.T.
Girls I worked with around 10 years ago… and although it was awesome to reminisce it also reminded me of some of the ineffective old approaches and habits I used to subscribe to.
One such approach was in relation to food. A lot of the way I used to think and eat was very much focused around deprivation.
From the end of week mantra we carried to work drinks at the local pub… “Eating’s Cheating!” which for me, had nothing to do with cheating and everything to do with reducing food calories since I was busy assaulting my body with a flood of 241 vodka-oranges…
To the skipped breakfast to make up for the 2am felafel kebab and extra-crispy-hot-chips I always mindlessly inhaled on the way home from a massive “Eating’s Cheating!” night out.
If you can relate, then this show is for you. In today’s tucker show: Empowerment v. Deprivation.
My current more effective, more sustainable and more fun approach to thinking about and eating food is to choose empowerment and abundance rather than deprivation and restriction.
First: An empowered eating approach recognises that what you eat is your choice and your responsibility.
You eat great fuel for your body that allows you to enjoy awesome results because you choose to and because you WANT to.
Want to is infinity more compelling than have to. Or must.
It’s the language of possibilities rather than the language of pressure.
To me have to, makes me think of homework… and having to wear my socks pulled up… and no cardigans in the street… and singing in school assembly and all manner of other things I HAD to do at school that I felt I had no choice in!
Conversely I want to feel awesome, function well and look great. The food that helps me do this is a tool for success that I choose to use. Yes, it’s also a simple pleasure… and at times a treat… and absolutely a way to bond with friends and family and create special memories.
The key take-away is to stop using food as a means to deprive, restrict and punish yourself and rather use it a a tool to help you get what you want so far as your health.
Second: An empowered eating approach means you learn how to shop for, prepare and eat the food that lets you feel, look and function awesome.
As simple and obvious as that may sound it’s often neglected.
The diets, detox’s, pre-packaged meals and meal replacements that ‘do it all for you’ are too good to be true. Even if you can stick to them, what happens when you go on holiday? Or take a business trip? Or just take that big step to actually go out for a meal again or eat at a friends house?
I absolutely went through a period – ok multiple periods – of being too restrictive with my food.
I couldn’t eat out. Or if I did it was always an absolute mission. The poor long-suffering friends, family and boyfriends that would go trespassing from restaurant to restaurant hunting down low-fat-vego which then became low-fat-low-carb-vego which then became low-carb-high-protein-one-ingredient-vego which then became IMPOSSIBLE!!! So I starting eating fish!
Food shouldn’t be stressful and all consuming. Not for you and certainly not for those closest to you!
The key take-away here is you need to find the eating approach that works for you pretty much anywhere and everywhere… within reason. Also to know how to build that meal from scratch – rather than live at the mercy of packaged and portion controlled fake this and mass produced that.
Third: An empowered eating approach means you really don’t care about what other people think and say about what you choose to eat.
You recognise it’s your body, your health, your right and Yes your responsibility to consume the food that works for you.
If someone else feels the need to judge that’s really just their stuff. Perhaps the guilt they feel at not prioritising their own health right now… maybe an attempt to justify their inaction by critiquing your action.
I’m endlessly fascinated by how it’s socially acceptable to judge a fit person for healthy eating choices yet it’d be considered rude to comment on an obese person making unhealthy eating choices.
To be clear, I’m all for NO judgement. I just think fairs fair. No fat shaming and no thin shaming.
The key take-away here is you just spend less time and energy judging yourself andothers.
The thing with judgement is it feeds off itself. The more you send out – the more will get reflected back at you. I’m sure I’ve touched on judgement in the podcast however I just checked and it seems I haven’t given it a show of it’s own. So I’ll do that tomorrow!
For now, today, it’s the time of the actionable.
My suggestion for todays action is to focus around the language of possibilities rather than the language of pressure. Take ONE high value action that you know would have a huge impact on your health.
Something you WANT the results you’d get to enjoy if only you did this action regularly however up until now you’ve fallen in the habit of describing this action as a pressure-filled-hugely-UNcompelling HAVE to action.
So perhaps daily exercise or meal planning or switching out your afternoon sugar fix for a better option.
All I’m asking for todays actions step is to consciously for the next 7 days swap your HAVE TO communications about this action (self-talk included) to WANT TO communicationand notice how much more inclined you are to actually do the do!
Yes, it’ll seem a little manufactured and fake – initially – until it starts to become more natural and genuine… and you start to see results which I guarantee it will if you’re willing to stick with it.
That’s it for today. Thanks so very much for taking the time to join me, I’ll be back tomorrow with the Wednesday Weigh-in show where I’ll cover: Judgement – The Zero Value Emotion That Will Stall Your Fat Loss.
If you liked this you’ll also like: 7 Sneaky UNHealthy ‘Health Foods’ (and what I now eat instead)
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