In my career as a Nutritionist/Personal Trainer I can conservatively say that 90% of my clients suffer from food guilt. They place expectations on themselves, and every time they “mess up” they beat themselves up about it. I’ve had clients afraid to sit down with me because they didn’t want to tell me they had eaten “bad” food.
Over the years I have tried to move away from labeling food “good” and “bad. There are foods that are better for you and nourish your body. There are foods that do very little for you and are considered empty calories. None of these foods are off limits, unless you have a food allergy or medical reason for not eating it. I’m not saying that living off of ice-cream will yield positive results, but I do think there are a few steps we can take to heal our relationship with food.
- Realize that you, and only you, decide what you eat: No one is sitting you down and forcing you to eat a salad with dinner. No one is forcing you to eat two Big Macs for lunch. You are the captain of your body, you decide what goes in it. You don’t have to listen to me or anyone else.
- Let go of all your preconceived society ingrained rules: We all have a list of food rules in our head. Some of these rules have been there since childhood, some we picked up in high school, others were the result of late night google searches and too many episodes of Dr. Oz. To start fresh, and build a healthy relationship with food, you need to let go of the rules.
- Establish your food truths: What are the things you know about food that are truths. If your not sure, start with the very basics. Are vegetables nourishment for your body? Will eating 10 chocolate bars make you feel good? Ask yourself the hard questions and establish your own food truths. Pay attention to how you feel after meals and find out what makes you feel good! It’s ok to reach out for help establishing your food truths, just make sure you still think for yourself and ask lots of questions.
- Enjoy food: Yup, your allowed to like what you eat. If there is something you hate eating, but you force yourself to eat it because you think its good for you, I’m giving you permission to stop eating it. There are so many amazing nutrient dense foods that can take the place of that one food you don’t like. Sometimes we have to try new things but forcing yourself to eat something you dislike every day is not helping you build a healthy relationship with food. This also applies to treats, have treats! Just be mindful of those treats and remind yourself that it’s your choice to indulge or abstain.
- Know your why: This is the most important! Why do you eat? Are you eating for longevity? Are you eating for physique? Are you eating for athletic performance? Are you eating to heal? Your why matters and will determine the food choices you make. Take some time to sit down and figure out what your WHY is. Then establish your truths surrounding your WHY.
My passion is helping people achieve their optimal health. Often, if I can help them change their mindset they can go on to be successful without me. When my clients don’t need me every day, I know I’m doing my job. Your life should not be ruled by your food choices. Your food should be ruled by your life choices. Need help, I would love to chat about it? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eat Your Veggies (as long as you know they are good for you 😉