As we head into the last week of January, maybe still on our New Year’s diets (or not that’s ok too), I had a strong push to write about Food Choice Empowerment..or at least that’s what I like to call it.
We’ve all been there, at the receiving end of a glance or a complaint when we say “I can’t eat that I’m on X diet”...maybe even a SIGH!
Sometimes it’s a look of personal offense, an eye roll from being “difficult”, a smirk across the table because you’re being “that person” - and quite often it’s accompanied with a remark about why you’re wrong, or the diet you’re choosing to follow is flawed.
I don’t know about you, but it makes me feel ashamed, a nuisance, a pawn that this big bad diet is using to suck all the joy not out of myself but out of my friends and family - making this personal choice that much HARDER.
As nutritional therapy practitioners we’re always advocating to release shame around food. There are numerous reasons that range from disordered eating to hypochlorhydria that illustrate why shame around food is toxic.
TAKE BACK YOUR POWER!!
Instead of saying “I can’t eat this” begin to state clearly “I won’t eat this”. When you pause to think about it, that’s actually the truth. You’re choosing to stay away from certain foods because you deem it appropriate.
You are NOT a victim of a diet, in fact, you are using it as a tool to take steps towards a better, healthier, happier you! Be proud of that!
This all goes back to our perspective around dieting.
“Dieting” it’s a strange word - it’s restrictive, and sounds like it takes pleasure in stealing all my favorite foods away from me, it sounds like work...it even evokes horror in some people!
WHAT IF we called if FOOD CHOICE EMPOWERMENT?
It might sound a little woo, but stick with me.
WHAT IF we could tell ourselves (and inevitably the others that are going to concern themselves with our food choices) that we are taking time to focus on the way we nourish our body, food is our fuel after all:
we are empowering our bodies to heal, we are taking the steps towards self improvement, and we do this through being incredibly intentional about what we consume.
For example, “Although your apple pie with 3 scoops of napoleon ice cream and chocolate sauce looks delicious Grandma, and I’m grateful you made it for me, as I’ve tried to explain before - the refined foods really hurt me and no longer serve to nourish me so I’ve have decided not to eat them.”
A low fod-mapper myself, I get the most push back around onions and garlic. I get a lot of “your food must be so bland while you’re on this diet” - no Bertha it’s not (no offense to the Berthas out there). I choose not to eat these foods that ultimately ferment and disrupt my gastrointestinal peace. Of course I love onions, but not when I’ve noticed a pattern of discomfort when eating them. This is my choice and as my body stands right now, my life is happier without them.
And that OK!
Sometimes taking a break from your favorite foods will reveal a previously looked over discomfort and a new normal will become evident free of gas and bloating.
You might still get a look and maybe even a little push back, but when you say “I won’t” versus “I can’t because Complete 60 says so” - you’ve taken back your power! You’ll find that those around you will begin to listen and might even be intrigued to start their own journey to better health!
Standing strong and empowered, you will be less tempted to make hurtful choices (keeping you compliant longer) and you will become more in-tune to your body’s needs. At the same time, if you do eat something that doesn’t serve you, this empowerment movement has room for it! (Yay no shame!)
You chalk it up to a learning experience. Keep a note of what you ate and how it made you feel then move forward.
Slowly, you’ll create your own method of eating based on what truly nourishes YOU!
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
*Disclaimer: if a doctor or practitioner has placed you on a diet, please continue to follow their advice - however you can most certainly pursue it more empowered, talk with them about what this looks like for you*
Eileen Schaeffer & Amy Wright
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