I talk a lot about giving yourself permission to eat all foods and how permission is powerful in finding freedom with food.
But what happens after permission? Once you’ve given yourself permission to eat all foods it can feel a little crazy and chaotic. You might go through a phase where you’re eating all the things (this is normal and it won’t last, as long as you are working on tuning in- this means recognizing hunger, honoring fullness and choosing foods that are actually satisfying).
But this is where a lot of people STOP with Intuitive Eating or get stuck (it's also why having a coach in your corner can be a game changer). Imagine you're here: You've given yourself permission to eat all foods. You feel a little crazy and haphazard around foods. You're eating all the things- and you're mostly eating when you're hungry and stopping when you're full… you think you're choosing the foods that sound the most satisfying… but you still find yourself reaching for more treats than maybe feels good (because permission, right?!) and... you don't really feel your best. You want to live a healthy life-- but you don't want to jump back into another restrictive plan. But it's tempting.
What if you don’t feel that good eating this way? What if you’re then tempted to go back onto a plan because you felt good when you were eating mostly whole foods, or plant based, or whatever felt good at the time. You know you don’t want the restriction or to get back into the on-again/off-again cycle… now what?
This is why it’s important to eat according to YOUR values.
Everyone’s values around food are different. I know for myself, I value freedom and choice, and not feeling constrained by numbers. I value being able to eat anywhere and not have rules or restrictions. But I also value having ENERGY, good digestion, and not feeling bogged down by my food choices. For me, this means a balance of all types of food- but more of the foods that make me feel good, and less of the foods that are more fun foods- and because I have the permission to choose these ANY TIME I want, I don’t actually want them as much because I know they don’t make me feel as great.
I value freedom and choice, and not feeling constrained by numbers. I value being able to eat anywhere and not have rules or restrictions. But I also value having ENERGY, good digestion, and not feeling bogged down by my food choices. For me, this means a balance of all types of food- but more of the foods that make me feel good, and less of the foods that are more fun foods
So how do you start eating according to what YOU value?
1. You need to ask yourself what YOU value. What do you want from life? How do you want to show up in the world?
2. What do you want from food/how do you want food to make you feel? It’s important here to remember, food is just food. It can make you feel good, give you fuel, nourishment and pleasure- but it's not going to change your entire life.
3. Do these align? This is where the rubber meets the road, where true intuitive eating starts to come into fruition. Our food choices should fit within our values- not the other way around. If we're not feeling good on a daily basis, even though we've given ourselves permission. If we're desiring to live a healthier life, but we won't want to be restricted. If we know eating when we're hungry and stopping when we're full isn't everything but we don't know how to move forward... this is where you begin to transform your relationship with food.
Our food choices should fit within our values- not the other way around.
This is a powerful exercise as we go into the holidays and we’re surrounded by all types of foods- it’s important to allow ourselves permission to eat all foods, and to work on honoring our hunger and fullness and eating satisfying foods so we feel more calm going to parties and events, but when we’re feeling overwhelmed, whether feeling the need to restrict or binge-- you can always come back to your values.
What do I value? Do I value feeling good, spending time with family, not feeling crazy around food? Is how I’m feeling now aligning with that, and how can I change that?
I hope this was helpful, friends. As we move into the new year, it can be helpful to focus on aligning your goals with your values, too. Click the link below to join me for my FREE values-based goal setting webinar, on Monday, December 30- you'll also get access to my free values-based goal setting workbook to kick start your new year well.