How to Not Lose Your Sh*t with Food While Traveling

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I just returned from a two-week vacation in New Zealand for the wedding of two wonderful humans, and it was refreshing as all hell!

It was also exhausting, but I (mostly) accepted that as part of the journey. Only some complaining about it:)

As someone who loves to travel internationally and experience new cultures, cuisines, cities, and adventures, I was forced to face my fear of losing control and going off the deep-end years ago.

In fact, when I backpacked throughout SE Asia for three months in 2014, it was the beginning of a very healing journey for me—in all aspects of my life, but especially food. 

I succumbed to the lack of routine, the unusual (to me) foods, the lack of sleep (those overnight buses were ROUGH), and the absence of gyms. I decided that if there was ever a time to release the reigns and really double down on trusting myself, that was the time.

And so I did.

I committed to honoring my body and treating it with kindness and respect—a completely foreign concept to me at that point in time.

Listening to hunger signals and eating when I needed to, not when my three girlfriends were hungry. 

Listening to fullness cues most of the time. When I decided to eat beyond the point of satisfaction, it was a very conscious choice.

Not eating to numb or distract from feelings of discomfort.

Asking myself if and when I truly wanted to consume alcohol. On that particular trip, I had maaaybe one drink every couple of days, and that was the perfect amount for me.

Developing this trust in myself around alcohol was one of the most liberating tools I acquired during that time.

Exercising when I wanted to—not due to any feelings of guilt or unworthiness. This usually meant bodyweight workouts or runs after long, overnight bus rides or when I needed to process energy.

To be clear, this wasn’t comfortable right off the bat. It was VERY uncomfortable in the beginning, and I feared that I would blow up from the lack of rigidity. To my surprise—the opposite occurred.

I lost weight—seemingly effortlessly!

While this wasn’t my intention whatsoever, it was incredibly eye opening for me.

I realized that I had it wrong all along.

My body is actually on my side, and it will settle at the weight it feels most comfortable with given my lifestyle and priorities at the time.  

My job is to let it do its thing.

My journey with food and my body endured additional ebbs and flows once I returned to the states, but that extended period of travel taught me that travel is nothing to fear and has everything to teach us.

My Recent Trip

This most recent trip to New Zealand was a very different kind of trip from the one described above. I traveled with around 15 friends for a significant portion of it, had zero alone time, was constantly on the move, drank a significant (for me) amount of booze, and ate quite a bit of processed foods.

Yet, I didn’t doubt myself, my intentions, or my actions once.

Why?

Because I’m now able to see the bigger picture, and I trust myself and my body.

I don’t follow “rules” about filling up with protein and veggies, drinking a ton of water, not standing in particular parts of the room near food. NOPE.

I focus on ensuring my mind is right, that I’m actually living—not preparing for it—and that I’m being mindful of both my body and soul.

These are my top mindset tips and approaches to keep in mind while traveling, especially this holiday season!

  • Allow Room for Change – Our bodies are ever-changing on this journey, as are our lives. If you don’t want a stagnant and boring life (I don’t), then you can’t expect your body to exemplify those traits. Essentially, loosen up a bit!

  • Play the Long Game – Trips are temporary, and healthy foods and opportunities will be more readily available once you return home. What you do the majority of the time is what matters.

Interestingly, this isn’t even comforting to me anymore. I trust my ability to adapt to these situations so much now that I look forward to the change and excitement of the new!

  • Prioritize Your Mental Energy – Using mental energy on the unhealthy choices or the calories you’re consuming will instantly take you out of the present moment. What a tragedy it is to miss out on creating memories for such trivial matters!

I experienced this on a trip to Machu Picchu in 2015, and I vowed to never make that mistake again. 

  • Weigh the Balance of Body & Soul This is the big kicker, right here. Listen to what your body is telling you, and weigh that against what your soul is craving.  

Does your body want rest and a night off from alcohol, but your soul is calling for another night out on the town with friends and a couple drinks? Which is more important to you in the moment, and is the payoff the next day worth it?

You won’t always get this answer right (you’ll know the next morning), but keep asking yourself these questions, and you’ll hone the skill of balancing these competing priorities.

The only “rule” I tend to follow is the last one, where I listen to both my body and soul, consider the action that will balance both of them (although they’re usually aligned), and act accordingly.

It’s tempting to cling to rigid rules that make us feel safe and in control, but the experience of travel should feel anything but. It’s the whole point!

If you’re fortunate enough to be able to travel to various parts of the state, country, or world, then don’t let the amazing opportunity to go waste by playing small.

You already have everything you need within you. 

How I Navigate My States of Anxiety & Take My Power Back

Disclaimer: I do not have clinical anxiety, nor am I formally educated in this realm, so please don’t take this advice in lieu of that of a medical professional.

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I was struck with intense sensations of anxiety a few weeks ago, and this was due to a multitude of factors. 

  • A few weeks of continuous travel with very little alone time (which is essential for my well-being)

  • Sleep deprivation

  • More alcohol than usual

  • Too little nutrient-dense food

  • Work stress

  • The energy of those around me

Several of these things are within my direct control.

I can make better food choices. 

I can consume less booze.

I can enforce stronger boundaries around my sleep habits and travel plans.

I can ensure my energetic boundaries are stronger when in the company of certain people.

However, work stress is an example of a type of stress that is seemingly unavoidable for many people.

For you, work might be a breeze, but the real stress comes from personal relationships, finances, or health concerns, just to name a few.

While we may not be able control situations like this (at least immediately), we can control our responses to our thoughts and physiological reactions.

The physical, anxiety-ridden reaction might be:

  • Knots in the stomach

  • Tightness in the chest

  • Sweating, everywhere

  • Rapid heartbeat

  • Shakiness

  • Or any other manifestations specific to you

Our bodies believe we’re in a state of distress, so our “fight or flight” mode kicks in.

Logically, we may be able to tell ourselves that there is no reason to be fearful if we believe this to be true, but this doesn’t mean the physical sensations will subside. 

Therefore, our only option at this point is to witness these physical sensations. That’s it. Notice and observe them. The minute we try to fight them, they intensify and persist. 

Does this mean the feelings of discomfort immediately dissipate with this observation?

No, but it changes our relationship to them, and this is everything.

(**Does this sound similar to our relationships to our thoughts we aim to achieve during meditation? It should, because it’s the exact same concept!)

Our bodies and minds are strange entities, and they’re often doing their own things without any input from “us”. Yet, we identify with their ebbs and flows so deeply and without hesitation.

Feeling anxious usually involves both our minds and bodies—the incessant thoughts that send us down a spiral of fear and the physical sensations noted above.

All of this forms a seamless narrative that leads us to believe we’re not safe.

In reality, these physical sensations and the accompanying thoughts are transient. They’ll leave, and they’ll return again—as they do for all of us—and they’ll drift away once more.

Rather than jump on this bandwagon and allow these thoughts and physical sensations to control us, we can identify, witness, and accept them.

We can acknowledge that we are not them.

They’re simply part of the human experience.

Where to start

I have experienced great relief by implementing the concepts of my meditation practice regarding my thoughts and applying them to the physical sensations my body experiences during stressful situations. This includes:

1.     Identify the Sensations with Neutrality

Approach the thoughts and physical sensations with a sense of curiosity, and try to simply identify them without labeling them as good or bad.

They’re only negative because we perceive them through that lens, but many of the physical sensations experienced with nervousness or anxiety are the same as excitement. A neutral lens is best.

Whatever you do, do not to label yourself as “anxious”. This indicates a permanent state, which will lead you to believe you’ll never experience reprieve.

2.     Accept the Sensations

The phrase “what we resist, persists” can’t be truer in these situations. I find that the more I fight these feelings, the more they intensify and the longer they last. Rather, I have learned to simply notice and accept them.

3.     Get Curious – Are They Teaching You Something?

This one can be tricky, because our minds and bodies are often sending fearful signals simultaneously during these states. However, if we follow the first two steps, we can then approach them with a sense of curiosity.

Ask yourself—what are these feelings trying to tell me? Have I been burning the candle at both ends? Am I in a job I hate? Am I surrounding myself with negative or dramatic people? Have I been neglecting my nutrition and movement? Journal your ass off and see what comes up!

4.     Control What You Can

Based on the answers you obtain from your curiosity, start implementing measures that will help you course correct onto a path of increased well-being. Personal relationships and financial woes may seem too daunting to change immediately, so start by making a plan if all else fails.

Some ideas include:

  • Time in nature or outdoors

  • Quality time with uplifting and growth-minded individuals

  • Solitude and self-reflection

  • Removing negative or “toxic” people/energy

  • Meditation

  • Journaling for introspection

  • Creative pursuits

  • The quality of your diet

  • Sleep patterns

  • Movement – dialing it back or increasing as needed

Remaining stagnant will only serve to make you feel more powerless.

As I continue to learn and grow, the more I’m accepting that nothing in this life will remain the same.

Our lives will ebb and flow as we move through seasons in life, and the same is true with our states of well-being—physical, emotional, mental.

Meditation continues to reinforce the notion that there is so much power in simply paying attention, observing, and accepting that we have a choice in how we perceive these experiences.

Our feelings and emotions—especially the seemingly unpleasant ones—may just be our best teachers yet if we’re willing to perceive them this way.

Stop Acting Like This Is a Dress Rehearsal & Heal Your Relationship with Food Now!

Do you find yourself saying you want to change something in your life, but when push comes to shove, you find that you don’t really want it badly enough?

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This is true of everyone, and it benefits us to be completely honest with ourselves about our priorities and what we’re willing to sacrifice. Self-awareness is key, here.

Many of us have also experienced being more invested in someone else making a change for themselves than they are!  It has been through these experiences—rather than my own bullshit (which is still alive and well)—that I’ve come to accept:

None of us are going to make a change until we really want to.

We’re averse to change, as our misery often becomes our standard mode of operation—our comfort zone.

We’d rather dance with the devil we know than the one we don’t.

These are all normal human responses to making changes—all born out of our monkey minds/egos, I’d argue.

Said another way, our brains will default to the “easy” road automatically, so we have to make a concerted effort to act from a higher place. To act from a place of consciousness, not fear.

When we make this shift from living in our monkey minds—where our brains are swirling with excuses and projecting fear onto the future—to a more conscious state of awareness, we’re able to understand that our fear-based thinking is keeping us small and comfortable.  

We begin to make choices based on deeply rooted values, growth, and the possibility of our future selves, and we become keenly aware that this isn’t a dress rehearsal. And we can’t afford to live our lives as such.

If you’re deep in the cycle of yo-yo dieting, neurotic food behaviors, lacking self-trust around food, or excessive exercise, you may or may not realize that life is passing you by.

While it’s tempting to stay rooted in these behaviors due to fear of the unknown, I recommend asking yourself if the costs outweigh the benefits (if there still are any).

Is it worth it to continue playing out the same patterns and miss out on experiencing everything life has to offer in this limited time we’ve been given?

Obsession with food and our bodies isn’t something to take lightly, as it can consume our entire being and fill every crevice of our brains.

The stakes are HIGH here.

The patterns you’ve become accustomed to will always be waiting for you if you decide that a new way isn’t worth it.

If you decide that the discomfort of growth and expansion outweighs the misery of your comfort zone.

I know the feeling of wanting to stay wrapped up in my comfort zone all too well, and the reality is that we can’t prioritize everything. We aren’t going to change the things we don’t really want to change.

My only ask is that you consider the gravity of the situation when it comes to giving up so much of your life to controlling food and your body.

This isn’t a matter of learning a new hobby or saving for new pair of boots—priorities that can understandably fall to the wayside for more pressing matters, I’d argue.

Our relationship with food is a major part of the foundation on which we live our lives, so we really can’t afford to wait.

We can’t afford to say “one day” and hope for things to magically feel comfortable enough to finally make a change.

Today is all we have, and I hope this serves as a reminder that we need to act like it (myself included).

Binge Eating - What's Really Causing Yours?

Binge eating is a common struggle for many, but the root cause isn’t always the same.

It can be caused by physiological or emotional factors, but it’s often a combination of both.

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Physiological Drivers

Excessive dieting and restriction, via overall caloric density or a specific macronutrient, can lead to the body’s physiological response to counter this deprivation—bingeing.

As we know, our bodies are smart, and they’re going to find a way to get what they need to survive. We tend to resent this quality and perceive our bodies as the enemy, but this is a gift! We literally wouldn’t be here today without this.

Furthermore, restriction elicits a mental battle.

This often comes back to the discussion about Moderators vs. Abstainers—those who can enjoy all foods without going off the rails, and those who believe they have to follow strict rules or they’ll go off the deep end (i.e. binge).

I have witnessed many self-proclaimed Abstainers—even those with very addictive personalities—become Moderators by simply easing up on their rules and restrictive behaviors.

With a newly developed self-trust and relaxation around food, the urge to binge on “bad” foods lessens significantly.

As someone who formerly subscribed to the label of Abstainer, I can attest to this personally as well.

If you’re struggling with binge eating, and you believe it’s due to excessive restriction, slowly add more foods into your diet. This might be overall food quantity (i.e. calories), a specific macronutrient (i.e. carbs), or allowing yourself to enjoy more processed or “bad” foods.

I completely understand the fear this process invokes if you’re in this situation.  

Leveraging a coach can be extremely helpful, and commitment is essential. You may find yourself continuing to binge throughout the healing process, so it will be tempting to throw in the towel and accept that you’re destined to live a life of deprivation and bingeing.

I promise this urge will dissipate as you get more wins under your belt and your confidence grows. It’s a practice, just like anything else.

Emotional Drivers

The emotional component can be more complex, as there are often several factors at play, but it’s often driven by the need to fill a void or to serve as a distraction for something deeper.

  • Loneliness and lack of deep connection in relationships.

  • Feeling trapped in a relationship that’s no longer serving us.

  • Lacking inspiration in our careers and/or being on a career path that stifles our souls.

  • Pretending to be someone we’re not in front of others due to a lack of acceptance of ourselves or fear of the outcome.

  • Not speaking our minds or setting boundaries with others, so we’re left feeling like shells of our true selves.

  • Making choices in life rooted in fear.

  • Not trusting our intuition.

  • And the list goes on.

There is no shortage of reasons why we use food to circumvent addressing a deeper concern.  

We’ve become so accustomed to deflecting our emotions and believing that anything that resembles discomfort or pain doesn’t have a seat at the table.

That happiness and exhilaration are the only acceptable ways to show up in the world.

As a result, we use food to numb these feelings rather than address them—similarly to using drugs, alcohol, attention, or shopping.

Furthermore, many of us may find ourselves living our lives from a place of fear. 

  • Fear of being unlovable if we show our true selves.

  • Fear of failure if we decide to quit the jobs we hate and try something new.

  • Fear of saying something that may upset someone else.

  • Fear of rejection if we make the first move.

This fear leads to playing small, becoming condensed versions of our true selves, and living lives that are completely unfulfilling.

Eventually, discontentment becomes our standard mode of operation.

This discontentment leads us to self-medication via food, as we believe this to be our only “escape” from our misery. For some, it’s the only source of happiness experienced throughout the day.

As I noted previously, you can apply this concept to some of society’s more widely accepted forms of distraction and superficial medication—booze, drugs, sex, attention from others, gambling, shopping—as they provide a quick hit of exhilaration that distracts us from everything else.

The same level of understanding and acceptance is not usually applied to food.

There are additional layers of complexity with food, too.

We HAVE to eat to survive—there’s no getting around this fact. We can go “cold turkey” with the others, but we have to engage with food on a regular basis.

Additionally, in most Western cultures and societies, food is widely available, making it incredibly difficult to avoid. If food is a person’s “drug of choice”, they’re fighting an uphill battle right out of the gate.

These challenges don’t mean it’s impossible to overcome them, but I do believe they (hopefully) foster additional understanding for those using food as a coping mechanism.  It’s complicated.

What To Do

As we can see, the emotional layers associated with food run deep for many, so the healing or unraveling process is equally as nuanced. There’s no “one size fits all” approach.

However, every single person benefits from introspection, honesty with themselves, and a willingness to address the root cause. 

1.     Introspection—meditation and journaling are widely available to almost everyone, so this is a great place to start. Dedicate yourself to becoming familiar with your internal landscape to better confront and understand what’s going on beneath the hood.

2.     Honesty—when following Step 1 above, you may find yourself wanting to justify or neglect whatever bubbles to the surface. This is common! And very understandable. However, it doesn’t serve any of us in the long-run. Commit to being radically honest with yourself, but ensure you’re being equally as compassionate with yourself too.

3.     Address the Root Cause—it might take several iterations of the first two steps to arrive at the root cause, or there may be several (which is common). The awareness itself is a huge help, but action also needs to be taken to address it (them). Don’t let yourself off the hook by telling yourself, “I don’t know how or what to change though”, or some other fear-based narrative. The faster you begin to take action, the faster you’ll uncover what does or doesn’t work for you!

Binge eating isn’t a surface level issue, and it certainly isn’t one derived from a lack of willpower.

The causes are layered and nuanced, so the remedy is equally so.

The introspective path may not sound as sexy as a cookie-cutter program that promises to teach you how to finally stick to its diet rules, but it’s the only way to experience lasting change that will actually improve—not only your relationship with food—but the way you interact with life, too. 

How Would Life Be Different With The Dream Body?

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I used to spend all of my time and energy thinking about food, exercise, and how amazing I would feel when I finally achieved my ideal, dream body.

I imagined that:

  • I’d finally wear the clothes I believed were only reserved for those with abs.

  • I’d confidently walk around in a bikini and shorts.

  • I would develop a slew of hobbies, like rock climbing, wakeboarding, backpacking, painting, or photography.

  • I would spend my weekends fully enjoying social activities, where I wasn’t constantly fearful of the tempting food and drinks that would be present.

  • I would feel confident with the guys I liked. In fact, I would feel confident all the time.

  • I would be able to eat foods that weren’t on my “good” list without stress and without going off the deep end—making myself sick.

  • I would spend my time learning about something other than nutrition and fitness.

  • I would finally be free to start living.

As the years ticked by, and I eventually became sick of my own internal dialogue and lifestyle, I saw a glimmer of what my life could look like if I didn’t spend all of my time and energy on food and my body.

I asked myself if I could really become the woman I envisioned—with the life I dreamt about for myself—despite not having the body I had been hustling for.

Was it possible?

Of course! Logically, we know this to be true. 

My list above may look differently than yours, but we can look at each one of those items and understand that none of them are dependent on the appearance of my body.

Not one.

And the same is true for your list.

Rather, each one is fully dependent on our mindsets and the actions we employ in tandem.

Upon reflection, it dawned on me that I had been playing the victim for almost a decade. I had convinced myself that I needed permission by way of my appearance to live the life I envisioned for myself.  

A clever way of playing small and keeping myself safe, no? 

I see this ALL the time with clients and friends alike, too. Waiting until everything about ourselves is “perfect” before we make the leap. Before we step outside of our comfort zones and go after the things we want in life.

This all comes back to a lack of belief in ourselves.

Rather than focusing on developing our own self-worth, we outsource this to others.

We believe that we need the permission of others (friends, family, society at large) to go after what we truly want and that our bodies hold the ticket to what we’re really seeking.

I call bullshit.

Everything we want is available to us RIGHT NOW. But we have to be bold enough to prove this to be true. 

  • By wearing the clothes we don’t believe we’re worthy of wearing yet.

  • By putting on the bikini and shorts and realizing that—we’re still alive and well.

  • By signing up for the hobbies and saying “yes” to the next opportunity.

  • By attending the social events and giving ourselves permission to simply be present without overanalyzing our food and beverage choices.

  • By developing confidence in ourselves on a deep, internal level, which is the only form of true confidence anyways.

  • By slowly adding in foods we’ve been avoiding and fearful of and developing trust in ourselves around them.

  • By reading the books, watching the movies, and reading the articles that have nothing to do with nutrition and fitness.

These things take time, to be sure, and you’ll likely feel like an imposter at first. We don’t reframe our narratives and belief systems overnight. 

However, all we need is one win—just one—that proves our stories to be false. To prove that everything we long for can be ours, regardless of our appearance.

If this sounds like a lot of work—it is. There’s no way around it.

But time is going to pass regardless, and if you’ve been caught up in the same patterns for years with no change in outcome, then I’d argue that the work is absolutely worth it.

Your dream life actually depends on it (not your body).

Behaviors Over Outcomes

Outcomes are fun to fantasize about.

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We envision ourselves with the bodies we want, the money we’ll have, the relationships we’ll be a part of, and the freedom we’ll experience when we’re no longer obsessing about food and exercise.

Honing in on our visions is important—absolutely. We won’t know how to get “there” if we don’t know where we’re going.

However, we also need to focus on the action that will lead to those goals. And, more often than not, these are actions that we apply consistently over time.

Otherwise known as habits.

The foundation of a healthy relationship with food, fitness, and mindset is determined by our behaviors.

Yet, the vast majority of people are spending all of their time obsessing about the outcome. 

It’s a colossal waste of time, and it makes us feel like we’re making progress, when in reality, we’re often not moving the dial at all. 

We’re caught up in the fantasies and vision boards in our minds, and it’s easy—tempting even—to believe that one day, our vision will magically become a reality.

This is a common misconception associated with manifestation, which is a very popular concept these days.

I adore this concept when it’s fully encapsulated, as it involves getting crystal clear on what we want to call into our lives and then taking aligned action towards those visions.

Doesn’t sounds like rocket science, but it can be incredibly impactful.

However, most of us spend our time shooting fish in a barrel and hope our dreams will magically come to fruition, but that’s not how it works.

Our actions and behaviors—aligned with a clear vision—make our dreams a reality.

 Developing a sound foundation based on impactful and consistent behaviors doesn’t sounds as sexy as the dream body or the relationship with food you envision in your head, but it’s the only way “there”.  

I know it sounds overwhelming—and like a shit-ton of work—to start from scratch and completely rebuild your relationship with food and exercise, but there truly isn’t another way.

The process, the behaviors, and the consistently applied actions are what dictate our future outcomes.

Once we accept this truth and settle into the process, the outcome we’re seeking will arrive with significantly less stress.

Every single time I’ve lost weight in the last several years, my focus was never the outcome, but rather my behaviors and mindset associated with food and exercise.

Conversely, whenever I gain weight, it’s because I’m not grounded in my mindset and behaviors.

And this is the case with my clients, too.

While it’s important to understand where we’re going, we can’t neglect the process of getting there. It is EVERYTHING!

It’s the key to making these changes last long-term, to loving ourselves along the way, and to actually enjoying the process.

Try shifting your focus to the process rather than your goals, and see how that changes the game for you!

Afraid of Freedom? You're Lacking Self-Trust

 The look I give when I’m feeling skeptical AF. Can I really trust myself?

The look I give when I’m feeling skeptical AF. Can I really trust myself?

Freedom can be a really scary concept for people, and not just when it comes to food.

As I’ve mentioned before, the rest of our lives are VERY intertwined with our relationships to both food and our bodies. 

A recent theme with clients, myself, and my social circle is the concept of self-trust when it comes to freedom.  

Oftentimes, we have either convinced ourselves or have been convinced by others that we don’t have the capacity or ability to self-regulate.

That we aren’t to be trusted.

That we need rigid rules and guidelines to dictate our behavior.

That we’ll go off the deep end and find ourselves in a dark hole of destructive behavior if we’re not ruled by an iron fist (or list of dietary rules).

But will we?

The short answer is no.

We have the capacity to tune into our own intuition, to reflect on our behavior and motivations, to be honest with ourselves, and to adjust our actions and decisions based on the outcomes of previous ones.

In order to accomplish this, we first have to be open to the idea that we can, in fact, trust ourselves.

Note that this doesn’t mean we immediately trust ourselves, but we start by accepting the idea that we can trust ourselves.

You know, that whole “open mind” thing.

Sure, the beginning is rocky, and self-awareness is absolutely essential, but the end result is a solid understanding of:

  • our own motivations

  • our own hierarchy of values

  • what we’re willing to sacrifice (or not)

  • what we’re willing to accept for ourselves

  • if the goals we believe to be ours are truly our goals

  • and much more

In order to be open to the idea of regulating our own behavior and trusting ourselves, despite our primal instincts and ego-driven thoughts, we have to reject the notion that we should fear ourselves.

Many of us have been told from every angle that we must defer to others to make important decisions for ourselves, so it’s no great surprise that our faith in our own decision-making has eroded.

As you read this, you may not be thinking of rigid diet and food rules—at least not in isolation.

Perhaps you’re thinking of how you’ve outsourced your decision-making related to:

  • The path and timing of major life events (marriage, children, buying a house, etc.)

  • Your religious or political values

  • Your sexual preferences

  • Where you live

  • Your career path

  • How you choose to spend your free time

  • What your relationship looks like to others

This is all valuable information!

As I stated above, our relationships to food are often a reflection of other areas of our lives.

In order to develop greater trust with food, we need to develop greater trust with ourselves everywhere in life.

It all works in tandem.

So—let’s say this this hits home for you, you realize that you have a pattern of deferring to others when it comes to making decisions in your life, and you realize that you’ve subscribed to the false notion that you can’t trust yourself to make the best decision for yourself.

How do you start unraveling this narrative? 

By purposefully and intentionally granting yourself more freedom.  

The only way to develop self-trust is to throw ourselves into the arena, gather feedback and data, self-reflect, come up with another strategy, and go back in with another attempt.

We just need one small win to get the ball rolling—we need inertia to begin the process of believing that we’re capable.

Examples of Turning into Your Own Intuition

If you typically read articles, magazines, Instagram, or ask others what foods are best to eat, commit to answering this question for yourself.

What feels best to YOU in this moment? How much of this food does my body truly want?

 If you typically ask your family what you should do when it comes to your career, tune into what your own intuition is telling you.

Which decision feels the most light and peaceful in your own body?

If you don’t believe you’re capable of choosing the right relationships in your life, ask yourself how you feel when you’re around this person/people.

Are you having to convince yourself they’re right for you, despite feeling uneasy or insecure? Or do they feel aligned with who you are and where you’re going on a deeper level?

If everyone in your social circle is drinking alcohol at an upcoming event, you don’t want to partake (or at least not heavily), and you doubt your ability to practice moderation or abstain—challenge yourself to make the best choice for your own well-being.

Am I making this choice to please myself or to please others? Will this cause myself harm in order to mitigate some brief discomfort? Which decision puts my well-being at the forefront?

These may seem small, or they may seem like monumental challenges.

Either way, they’re proof that you can trust yourself to make decisions about your own life and your own body.

And if you “fail” your first few attempts, commit to stepping up to the plate again and again.

Every single one of us is capable of developing trust within ourselves, and the importance of this can’t be overstated.

There is absolutely a time and place for expert and external advice, but this should be coupled with a strong sense of self and personal intuition as our foundation.

Trust that you know so much more about what’s best for you than you think you do.