A few weeks ago I wrote a post on untangling the thoughts in your head stemming from the Food Police from the Nutrition Ally. The Food Police is an unhelpful voice, telling you what you should and shouldn't do, all with a side of shame. The Nutrition Ally is a helpful voice, gently guiding you to the food choices that make you feel best.
I heard a lot from my clients after that post, as it got them thinking more about whether their food choices were stemming from punishment or self care. Am I making this salad because I'm craving something light and refreshing after eating heavier food yesterday, or am I making this salad because I think I should after eating heavier food yesterday. It's always a reassuring sign for clients when their intuitive eating practice starts guiding them towards more nutritious foods, but it can also be confusing trying to untangle if they're making choices because they think they should or because it's actually what their body is craving. This is especially true for someone just getting back in touch with their body's cues.
To help untangle the confusion, there's one question I have my clients ask before making food an exercise choices to see if their decision is nourishing or punitive:
If I totally and completely accepted my body at it's current size, would I still make this choice.
If you accepted your body, would you still wake up early to go running every morning, or would you give yourself a few more rest days to sleep in?
If you accepted your body, would you still order the salad, or would you choose the pasta dish?
If you accepted your body, would you still eat your "healthy, gluten-free, paleo, whole 30 approved!" homemade brownies that you swear up and down taste like the real thing, or would you go to a bakery and grab one made with butter and sugar and flour?
If the answer is no, then maybe your morning runs aren't your stress reliever, as you've been telling yourself. And maybe you don't really want a salad. And probably those brownies really aren't quite as tasty as you've been telling yourself.
As you go throughout your day today, start to question if you'd make the same decisions if you thought your body was OK as it is. I'd love to hear if you do anything differently because of it in the comments!
More intuitive eating support: