SICK OF FEELING CONTROLLED BY FOOD?
You know what I'm talking about - you're at a party, an event, your office, or even at your own house and there's food... lots of it. Food everywhere. Food that's "off limits" because you know you'll binge on it. Food that's "healthy" that you really "should" eat. Food that looks amazing, but way too fattening, sugary, salty, or anything else that makes food good.
A potluck of food.
You're instantly worried because you haven't been one to handle this scenario well in the past. In fact, most of the time you end up going back for seconds and thirds and picking at the food throughout the entire day or party. You eat way too many desserts and feel guilty because once again you blew it. You knew you would let food control you and it did. Again. You have no willpower. Food controls your life everywhere you go.
Hi, I'm Elizabeth and I'm here to help you become a woman of wellness by healing your relationship with food and today we're talking all about how to stop letting food control you and build confidence that you can feel safe and comfortable around any kind of food in any kind of situation.
Before I go any further, I highly recommend you check out my videos about getting started with intuitive eating and how to recognize and honor your hunger and fullness levels. I really think they are a great supplement to this video - especially being able to understand your hunger levels so you know when to eat and when to stop!
So, how do you get started on such a big task as getting food to stop controlling you everywhere you go?
But, before we go any further, there are some facts about food that you must understand.
1. Food is neutral. Food is not good or bad. Eating a good or bad food does not make you a good or bad person. Can you throw out the labels you have for food and just look at it as a neutral part of your life? (If you need help with this concept, I have a video to help you out linked in the description below).
2. Eating food has nothing to do with willpower. You do not need more willpower. That's not what it's about. It's about having the right kinds of tools to use in the situations you need them. Just throw out that word right now. And lastly...
3. Perfect diets don't exist. Stop chasing after that perfect diet, it will only make you miserable. You will mess up. No matter how much work you do to become an intuitive eater and make peace with food, you will still slip up, struggle at times, and even feel frustrated. These are all normal emotions. The key is knowing what to do with them when you feel like you're struggling with food. It's all a normal part of life. If you have a rough week or month, you're not starting back from square one as is the phrase we often tend to gravitate to. You're growing, you're learning, and that's it. Get rid of perfection and life will be much happier.
ONE SIMPLE PHRASE TO USE
Ok, now that you have those truths about nutrition, I have one simple phrase to take with you every time you feel uncomfortable around food.
Ask yourself the question: "Where am I at right now, and what are my next steps?"
Ok, I know it sounds simple, but it's all about the practice!
Whenever you approach a situation that might be tough for you such as a potluck party, a holiday, an event with so many dessert choices, or even a night at home, ask yourself "Where am I at right now, and what are my next steps?"
Let me take this a little deeper.
A TYPICAL SCENARIO
For example, you get to a party and instantly ask yourself "where are my hunger levels at right now?" You then check in with your body and determine you are hungry enough for a meal. You decide your next steps are to grab a meal's worth of food and eat it as mindfully as possible given the situation. You then finish your meal and ask yourself again, "where am I at right now and what are my next steps?"
You decide you're satisfied with your hunger levels, but want to indulge in a little treat. You decide before you even walk over to the dessert table that you will pick one or two small items and your next steps are to walk away and stay away from the food. You enjoy your dessert.
A few minutes later, you see the dessert table again, or you have a craving for more, or those feelings of "out of control" start creeping in. Maybe you start talking yourself into eating more and you'll be better tomorrow - or whatever other self-talk goes on when you feel out of control with food.
You take a minute to pause and ask yourself, "where am I at right now and what are my next steps"?
You feel vulnerable. You're unsure of what to do next. But you keep asking yourself that question. Slowly but surely you create a dialogue with yourself (and this is 100% ok) by the way!
You remind yourself you ate food that was satisfying to you, you enjoyed a couple desserts, and you remember that when you binge, you never feel better. Right now, your body is satisfied with your meal choice, but your brain is trying to play tricks on you.
You decide your next steps are to mentally remove yourself from the situation. This could mean finding something to do that takes your mind off the food, or it could also mean physically removing yourself from the temptation for a bit.
You go home that day or night feeling confident that you worked through that scenario.
Now, there are so many different ways you could have handled that situation. And none are wrong or right. But, I hope this was a good example of asking yourself the simple question that can have profound effects on your food choices in situations that have often been scary or tempting.
So, the next time you're in a situation where you're nervous about food, remind yourself of the 3 nutrition truths we talked about in the beginning and then ask yourself "where am I at right now, and what are my next steps?" Pretty soon this phrase will come to you automatically and it will just be second nature.
Try it out and let me know in the comments how it goes!
And remember, if you struggle with all kinds of emotional eating, take my free course to help you recognize and overcome your emotional eating habits!