You Don't Have to Feel Bad About What You Ate (WIAW)

  Mar 7, 2018  |  #Intuitive Eating

Hey guys, Happy Wednesday! I’m popping in today to show you a wonderful day of eats in the life of a 36-week pregnant lady. Seriously though, if it weren’t for my big belly, constant doctors appointments and baby kicks, I would forget I’m pregnant.

When my clients are on their way to practicing intuitive eating on a regular basis, we always acknowledge that it’s a learning process. Meaning, it won’t always come easy. There are definitely ups and downs and I think you have to go in expecting that. Intuitive Eating is not all puppies and butterflies all the time. It can still be hard and challenging. For example, mentally, it can be difficult to come to peace with the fact that you might just want sweets throughout the day. It’s not easy to accept that if you’re new to Intuitive Eating. Heck, it’s not always easy to accept that even if you’re an IE veteran. You could be questioning yourself like, “Why do I still want MORE chocolate or MORE cookies?” I’ve been there, you guys.

Sometimes, our first reaction may be to question why we want something. But, the more we practice giving grace and accepting it with a neutral mind, the more we can move forward with our day. It takes practice to see a cupcake neutrally and a piece of fruit neutrally if you’re not at that place. But eating the fruit doesn’t give you any superpowers over eating the cupcake.

Breakfast: Wanted both sweet and savory – toast, eggs and a chocolate muffin

You don't have to feel bad about what you ate

I allow myself sweets whenever I want them (which is every day), but sometimes, I just want multiple sweets per day. Sometimes, I’ll check in and be like, “Is that what you really want? Or is that the easy choice because you don’t actually feel like cooking a meal from scratch?” And often times, it’s 50/50. But, I think it’s important to acknowledge that IF it is what we really want, that’s completely okay and natural. 

Remember, life is meant to be pleasurable. We are encouraged to take pleasure in our food and what we’re eating. Sometimes a salad will be very pleasurable for you. Other times, the burger or pizza may be pleasurable. And sometimes, only chocolate or your favorite sweet will do it. Because we have to be honest with ourselves – if we want the dark chocolate, no amount of quinoa and salad is going to bring us pleasure.

Snack: Chocolates + unpictured apple because I wanted something crunchy

Our bodies are super smart. If you try to deceive them, they’ll catch on. If we deprive ourselves of what we really want, we eventually reach a threshold. Think of it like a seesaw or pendulum (I like seesaw). Ideally, both sides, meaning restriction and guilt are in balance. So, if we restrict ourselves, one side goes down, while the other side goes up. In this case, our guilt is low (since we haven’t “given in”), but our restriction mindset is high. The more you work to restrain yourself from a food or food group you really want, the more desirable it becomes. You’re therefore likely to feel more out of control and binge on it when you do have it because you’re in the restriction mindset.

However, if we give ourselves what we want, our guilt is then high, and our restriction or deprivation is now low. Do you see how both ends are problematic? We’ll never have even ground if we only think in these black and white terms. To walk away from this seesaw completely, you have to give yourself full permission to eat whatever you want. You can’t look back at foods and feel bad or guilty about a choice. You make a choice and move on from it.

There should never be any guilt associated with food – it’s not moral. Guilt implies we are making food choices based on external vs. internal cues. It implies we don’t trust ourselves.

[Tweet “If we want the chocolate, no amount of quinoa or salad will bring us pleasure #intuitiveeating #nofoodrules”]

Lunch: Lasagna (that I made to freeze for baby), veggies plus cereal <—quite random, I realize

You don't have to feel bad about what you ateYou don't have to feel bad about what you ate

The more we tell ourselves we shouldn’t eat something, the more we are setting ourselves up for a swaying seesaw – up, down, up, down. This is an endless circle of bingeing and restriction.

It is not until we accept our choices that we find grace and gratitude. What some of my clients have found helpful is acknowledging that they are human – not every choice will be perfect. Perfect doesn’t exist. And rather than celebrating making a “good” choice or “bad” choice, celebrate listening to your body. Or making the choice that you actually wanted, vs what you should have had. Celebrate eating 3 meals and 3 snacks a day. You can celebrate eating consistently and nourishing your body throughout the day.

We’ll never be robotic. We have busy lives, and someties lunch on the go calls for fast food. Other times, breakfast is a breakfast sandwich on the go because we didn’t prepare. And there’s even some times we may be left to eat something we did prepare but we just aren’t in the mood for, but we eat it anyway. Being flexible and adapting to each situation uniquely is important. This is why I often challenge my clients to challenge their own eating routine.

Dinner:  Southwest chopped romaine salad mix + roasted chickpeas + edamame + leftover baked potatoes. This was a refreshing meatless meal!

What i ate wednesday

DessertEdy’s slow churned ice cream – the creamiest of the creamy!

What i ate wednesday

We have to get rid of the “should’s” because those exist in a perfect world, which we don’t inhabit. “I should have gotten the salad.” Well, you didn’t because you didn’t actually want the salad. “I should eat fruit instead of ice cream.” Well if you really wanted fruit you would have eaten fruit. The majority of the time, we want to make our choices based on “wants,” not “shoulds.” Because “wants” imply you are listening to your body in the moment.

And that’s something to take pride in and celebrate.

Have you ever paired random foods/meals together before (like lasagna and cereal)? 🙂

 

12 responses to “You Don't Have to Feel Bad About What You Ate (WIAW)

  1. Since I’ve been reading all of your IE posts, I’ve definitely noticed a change in my body and how it reacts when I eat it! Granted there are some things I don’t do (i.e alcohol before a long run since my body hates it) but I’ve “given in” to sweets or late night snacks if my body is telling me it wants it and I’m actually hungry.

  2. So so SO many exceptional tidbits in here. “….accepting it with a neutral mind, the more we can move forward with our day.” This is the goal, or at least, my goal. To just have a food choice be a quick easy food choice and then MOVE ON with my day. I feel I am very close to being there and find myself with this notion more and more – which is extremely freeing coming from a history of the opposite – but I’d still like to work to go even further with this.

    “But eating the fruit doesn’t give you any superpowers over eating the cupcake.” —> oh thank the lord yes. If only I could tell all the people I serve at my restaurant this each and every day……

    And this new idea of shifting what we celebrate from what we did or did not have to celebrating fully nourishing our bodies and giving our bodies what they want… this is gold.

    1. It is so empowering to hear your growth and how far you’ve come, Cora. And how hard you are working. There is light at the end of the tunnel!

  3. SOOOO true. That is so true. I had to say it twice, because I have totally learned that I can not deceive my body into wanting a salad if I want ice cream or vice versa. If my body is craving a ton of veggies, a bowl of yogurt usually doesn’t satisfy. I LOVE how you described accepting the choices coming with grace and gratitude; that is so true. The more that we do accept those, the more we do find so much more joy and gratitude around food. I see that in you Sarah, and it’s so contagious!!! <3

  4. Oh yeah, I’ve been there with weird food combos 😉 . This week I’ve been craving chocolatey things and so I’ve been listening to my cravings and enjoying things like homemade cake while staying at my friend’s house, the Chocolate Walnut Brownie Perfect Bars at lunch, or a warm peanut butter chocolate chip protein cookie before bed. In the past, I may not have been as comfortable or free eating something sweet a few times a day if I want during the week, expecially if I knew I wanted to go out on the weekend. Your posts are a great reminder to go with the flow and trust your body like I tell myself 🙂 .

    xxMeah

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