The question is:
“When I give myself unconditional permission to eat the foods I want, all I eat are carbs and sweets, and I eat too many of them!! I’m worried that if I eat intuitively, I will only eat carbs and I will gain weight.”
I understand this concern, because I hear it from many people, both clients who are just starting the intuitive eating journey and those in my private intuitive eating support group who are contemplating the journey (If you are not yet a part of our group, join HERE for free).
It makes sense. You’ve been restricting carbs and sweets for years, maybe even decades (except when you are bingeing). Your mind has been programmed to think that carbs and sweets are “bad” for you and that you are a “bad” person if you eat them. So, in an effort to be “good”, you restrict them to the best of your ability. Until you can’t resist any longer and you make a deal with yourself – “I’ll only have one”, which leads to many or the whole box. Then you promise to NEVER eat them again.
So when the idea of intuitive eating was presented to you with the concept of “give yourself unconditional permission to eat what you desire when you are hungry”, this sounded too good to be true. But who are you to argue. You jump right in. And now you find yourself all the way at the other extreme of ‘carb land’ eating and eating and eating with a fear that you will now gain weight.
There are 3 points I’d like to make here to help you be at peace with ‘unconditional permission to eat”.
1. Whenever you restrict something all the way in one direction (i.e. chocolate) and then you release that restriction, it is going to boomerang all the way to the other direction. This means if you’ve restricted chocolate or pizza and haven’t had it in years, and now you release that restriction and allow yourself to eat it, you are likely going to eat a lot of it because you haven’t had it in so long. It’s like a pendulum, when pulled in one direction and then you let it go, it swings all the way to the opposite end.
Or, like a seesaw (did you play on a seesaw when you were a kid? I did!). Visualize restriction and deprivation at the highest point (that’s you sitting on the seesaw up in the air!). Then you let the restriction go all at once, bam, the seesaw hits the ground (and your bottom took a big hit!)
This is absolutely ‘normal’. This won’t last forever. You will return to a middle ground after a while. At some point you will say to yourself “okay, tastes nice but I don’t feel the need to have it every day anymore. I can have it any time I desire.”
2. Part of becoming attuned to your inner body wisdom means being mindful of how you feel while eating and after eating certain foods. So pay attention to how you feel when you are eating an overabundance of sweets. Do you feel energized, sluggish, low energy, tired? Do you have indigestion, bloat etc. You will find that after a while your body will tell you what it wants, and often that is lighter foods because it makes you feel so much better.
3. When you allow all foods into your world again, you will begin to identify your true food preferences. You may think you cannot live without those chocolate kisses, but now that you aren’t restricting them, you find that they taste like cheap chocolate. If you are going to eat chocolate, you want the expensive Godiva chocolate (I have a story about this which I’ll save for another time!)
This all might sound logical to you, right? So, why are you still scared?
Here are several reasons, along with solutions.
The solutions include the freebie gift downloads I’ve created for you over the last 3 weeks of Intuitive Eating Wednesdays.
1. Intellectually you understand all this. But your inner voices are still shouting diet food rules at you. This is because you still possess a diet mentality and wonder if willpower will help you eat the sweets ‘in moderation’.
Solution: There is no willpower required in intuitive eating. Download Your 3 Step Plan to Shift Out of Diet Mentality and the Willpower Trap here.
2. It’s not about the food at all. It’s about the WHY you are eating.
Solution: Learn what emotions are driving your eating and download the Emotional Eating Inventory Worksheet here.
3. You are still labeling food as “good” and “bad”, “healthy” and “unhealthy”.
Solution: Reprogram your ‘good food/bad food’ mindset and download the Fleshing Out Your ‘Good Foods/Bad Foods’ Worksheet here.
Let’s discuss this further on today’s Facebook LIVE at 5:30 pm EST on my Facebook business page HERE. Go ahead and LIKE the page now so you get notification when I go live.
Want to talk? Just go to http://TalkWithBonnie.com, answer a few short questions and we will set up a time to chat.