When you are a child, there are so many exciting things to experience every day, and meals and snacks are just a part of the routine. Life is not driven by your meals and snacks and whether or not you will eat the “right” or “wrong” food. There is pleasure in the friends you are with and the joys each day brings.
When you focus too much on eating and dieting, food begins to control your life rather than being a part of your day. You find yourself cancelling your lunch date with your friends because you are afraid there will be nothing on the menu that you “can” eat. You find you are lacking energy to do daily tasks because you are eating very little calories because your plan “told you too.” These are all food rules that you are following to hopefully lose weight and they are removing the pleasurable experiences from your life.
Instead of focusing on your food as a tool for weight loss, focus on it as a tool for wellness. Food is fuel. It should not prevent you from living your life, but rather it should help you live your life. For example, do not skip breakfast because you are worried you will overeat the rest of the day. Have a hearty nutritious breakfast such as oatmeal with fruit and nuts or scrambled egg whites in a whole grain tortilla. You will see how much energy you have to start your day and will find you are not “starving” by lunchtime.
Promise yourself you will not miss plans with friends because of the venue they are eating at. Be mindful of your hunger, order something that you are going to enjoy, but honor your fullness and know when it’s time to stop.
By making food a positive force in your life, you will end that unhappy relationship and be on your road to wellness AND weight loss. Your decisions will no longer be controlled by food, but what you want to do and what you want to eat. As long as you keep the principles of intuitive eating in mind, you are good to go!
What is one food rule you live by that does not coincide with eating for wellness, and how will you change it?