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.

How to Have Your Cake & Eat It Too During Fall & Winter

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Fall is in full swing for most of us, and there are so many seasonal foods, drinks, and traditions to enjoy throughout the next few months. I LOVE it!

However, years ago, despite my love for the seasons, the months would pass without me allowing myself to enjoy the full experience. 

Pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin bread, mulled wine, hearty casseroles—they weren’t on my list of approved foods, and I hadn’t developed the skills of enjoying the things I wanted without going overboard.

So, I didn’t enjoy them at all.

I deemed them completely off limits, and once Spring rolled around, I would be filled with regret and sadness that I didn’t give myself permission to live in the moment (or season). 

What a damn shame!

Looking back, I meet my former self with compassion and understanding.

After being told for years that so many delicious foods and beverages were poison that would lead to rapid weight gain and/or deteriorating health, it’s no great surprise I acted the way I did.

If this sounds familiar to you today—cut yourself some serious slack!

You’ve been told that everything in your midst is either “good” or “bad”, and you likely haven’t been given the tools to improve your mindset and behaviors around food—the essence of food freedom.

Today, so many of my clients come to me distraught, depleted, and disappointed by their inability to experience life while also keeping their goals and well-being in mind. It sounds too good to be true, but it’s entirely possible with a few strategies.

Pick and choose what you really enjoy

  • Eating everything you might have the slightest craving for will leave you feeling physically unwell, so focus on what is REALLY good to you. I.e. “Is it worth it?”

  • Ask yourself if you’re eating or drinking things simply because they’re in front of you (i.e. stale, run-of-the-mill pumpkin bread vs. a bomb-ass homemade variety).

  • Simply eating whatever is in front of us is typically a byproduct of feeling deprived. In reality, you can choose to eat these foods whenever you want, so you’ll want to raise the bar with your food standards. You deserve the best!

  • Note that this can take time after years of being disconnected with our bodies and preferences, so we’ll need to constantly reassess our experiences.

How do those foods make you feel?

  • In response to the first point, you might be asking yourself, “well what if everything in sight IS really delicious and amazing?” Fair question.

  • We have access to so many enticing things in today’s world, so we need to be mindful of how our choices are going to affect us physically, emotionally, and energetically.

  • I love pumpkin beer, but it gives me a serious headache, so I stay away from it. Pumpkin spice lattes and other seasonal beverages are delicious, but the sugar doesn’t make me feel great if I drink a whole one.

  • Sometimes it’s worth it to accept the trade-off of feeling subpar to enjoy something delicious, and that’s a completely valid choice. Just ensure you’re being mindful and aware enough to be the one deciding!  Food isn’t in the driver’s seat—you are. 

Adjust the Dose As Needed

  • This is one of the most important tools to be aware of: simple portion control. I understand that this concept seems simple enough, but it’s often difficult to execute for many (and it once seemed utterly impossible for me).

  • This is often due to the all-or-nothing mentality with food, so the thought of only having a couple bites or sips seems completely unrealistic. This takes PRACTICE.

  • Practice will lead to wins, where you witness yourself only have a few bites, enjoying yourself, and still feeling physically well.

  • Wins lead to self-trust, and you’ll develop the confidence to know you’re the one in the driver’s seat.

Put It All Together

  • Using self-awareness before making decisions regarding food and asking ourselves:

  • “Do I really want to eat this, or am I simply eating it because it’s in front of me?”

  • “Does this actually taste as good as I want it to?”

  • “If I eat this, how will I feel later?”

  • “If it won’t make me feel great, am I willing to accept the trade-off?”

  • “Will a few bites satisfy me?”

  • “How much can I eat/drink of this while still keeping my physical and emotional well-being in mind?” I.e. “What’s my balance point in this situation?”

Enjoying the seasons fully is a testament to how we’re enjoying our lives at large, and this doesn’t need to be an all-or-nothing situation like restrictive ways of eating lead us to believe.

Choosing to dedicate ourselves to finding our own version of moderation when it comes to seasonal experiences takes just that: dedication. Especially in the beginning—but it gets MUCH easier over time. 

We tend to be so afraid of freedom due to lack of self-trust, but the only way to build this is through practice and dedicated consistency.

You absolutely can enjoy everything these amazing months have to offer, and you don’t have to sacrifice your well-being in the process.

The Dreaded Boomerang Effect

One of the primary concerns when considering the concept of giving up control around food is the boomerang effect—eating everything in sight and in massive quantities.

The truth is that yes, it’s common to feel the urge to eat a lot of these foods, and it’s also very common to act on this impulse. This can be a necessary part of the process for many people.

 Going to town on these brownies

Going to town on these brownies

However, it doesn’t last forever, because with a newly formed sense of awareness and connection to our bodies, the desire to eat in a way that isn’t uplifting—emotionally or physically—isn’t enticing.  

The allure of these foods quickly diminishes when we realize and accept how they make us feel, and we also become aware of why we’re making the choices we do. This includes overeating in general, too.

These foods are typically processed foods that have been on our “bad” list for years, but I often see clients fearing fruit, rice, and other natural carb sources too (as I once did) or foods that are higher in fat if they’re coming from a low-fat background. Everyone’s food rules are different, so the roads to unlearning vary accordingly.

 It can be incredibly helpful to be aware of the boomerang effect prior to embarking on a more intuitive way of eating in an effort to reduce the fear of it occurring, as it’s nothing to be afraid of!

It can propel us towards healing much more quickly than “dipping our toes in while still holding on to our controlling ways” ever will.

The caveat here is the necessity of presence, awareness, and connection.

Without these elements, we’re simply acting on the opposite side of the same coin: treating our bodies disrespectfully and allowing our egos to run the show while not learning anything about ourselves in the process.

However, it can take time to develop these skills after years of neglect.

The goal is to learn how to effectively and consistently implement the practices of presence, awareness, and connection while simultaneously unlearning the rules we’ve been told about our own bodies.  

Sound complicated?  It really isn’t once you have an idea of how and where to start! 

Meditation: This is the simplest, fastest, and most widely available way to develop a sense of presence and awareness of both our physical bodies and our internal landscapes.

When we sit in silent meditation, we’re forced to bear witness to our thoughts and any discomfort that arises. As a result, we become aware of our thoughts, emotions, and urges related to food and our bodies. This is absolutely essential to the process.

Pause before, during, and after eating: meditation will naturally lead to greater awareness during daily activities, but making a concerted effort to check in with our physical bodies and our emotions to understand what we really want and need in that moment is extremely important.

It takes time for this to become a habit, so be patient with yourself! Start by checking in before eating, especially snacking, and once you’re consistently implementing this at least 80% of the time, you can then add “during” and “after” to your practice.

Journal: We can evaluate the choices we’re making and their short-term and long-term effects much more effectively and quickly when we write them down and put our thoughts on paper. This enables us to connect the dots and really get clear on how our choices are affecting our bodies (energy levels, digestion, menstrual cycles, workout performance, skin, etc.).

Additionally, and often more importantly, we need to write about how our emotional and internal states are contributing to the choices we’re making. Does stress lead to overeating and eating foods that don’t make you feel well? Are you using food to cope when you feel lonely? Do you tend to eat highly processed foods during the work week because you’re miserable at your job? These are a few of the REALLY important things to understand about ourselves, and even bringing awareness to them is often enough to change our behavior.

Keep an open mind: this may seem obvious, but it’s impossible to “unlearn” rules if we’re convinced that we already know everything there is to learn. I certainly fell into this trap when I first began my journey, as I was all-in on eating according to hunger and satiety signals, but I wasn’t willing to let go of my dogmatic low-carb and paleo approach.

It wasn’t until I accepted that I may have more to learn that I was finally able to fully connect with my body and listen to what it was telling (read: screaming at) me.

The process isn’t black-and-white

The outcomes of these steps aren’t necessarily prescriptive, rigid, or black-and-white, and this can cause a sense of unease with many former dieters due to the freedom involved. And I get it! I’ve been there.

However, while it’s human nature to crave certainty, most things in life don’t fall into this category, and our relationships with food are no exception. This stuff is layered and nuanced—cultural ties, personal memories and emotions, forms of celebration, fuel for performance, personal preferences, suitability to lifestyles, effects on cognitive abilities, type and duration of activity, and many more. 

It will take time to discover how all of these layers stack up and align for YOU, but the beauty of this tailored approach is that it’s created by you, for you—with your own body and intuition as your guide.

The boomerang effect might be part of your journey, but it certainly isn’t the last stop. It’s merely a byproduct of unlearning everything you’ve assumed over the years, and freedom is surely on the other side.

In Defense of A Drunken Night Out

So you’ve had a late, booze-filled night out—potentially with some late night pizza involved—and you wake up the next morning wondering what the hell happened to your motivation to live a healthy lifestyle.

 I used to adhere to a rigid approach with alcohol, but similarly to food, the relationship should be fulfilling on a holistic level. Not just physical health.

I used to adhere to a rigid approach with alcohol, but similarly to food, the relationship should be fulfilling on a holistic level. Not just physical health.

How the hell did I get here?

I uttered those words to myself every Saturday and Sunday morning for years, and it was as though I had no control over my decisions the night before. The reality is that I fully participated in the decisions that led up to my over-consumption of alcohol and junk food, but I just wasn’t ready to face that fact.

This feeling of lack of control—being on hamster wheel of overdoing EVERYTHING after loosening the reigns just a little—was a major source of my discontentment every morning.

It wasn’t the choices and uncomfortable aftermath, both physical and emotional, that led to my internal battle, but rather the feeling that I wasn’t the one making those choices. The feeling that something or someone else was in the driver’s seat of my life—it was unsettling AF.

After finally accepting the adage of “nothing changes if nothing changes”, I embarked on the journey of reframing my relationship with food, exercise, and alcohol.

Little did I know these were all directly related to my relationship with myself. 

As I worked on uncovering the motivation behind my self-destructive patterns, I started to realize that I could in-fact trust myself to make balanced choices, and that my version of balance could include consciously choosing to go overboard when I wanted to.

Discovering this involved a process of trial and error for about a year.

I would drink too much because I was caught up in what everyone else was doing and completely lost sight of what I wanted for myself (old patterns I slipped into).

On the other side of the spectrum, I would strictly adhere to my pre-determined drink limit despite my soul calling for a night of letting loose with some extra drinks.

To my surprise, the feeling of ignoring the internal pull to throw caution into the wind and have a drunken night out was often just as unsettling as a hangover I didn’t truly sign up for. 

This threw me for a loop, and I was incredibly confused. 

Wasn’t booze in excess the cause of so many of my previous internal battles?

Does this pull towards excess every-now-and-then mean I’m slipping into old patterns?

Is my intuition leading me astray? 

The answers to these questions, I discovered, was no.

The source of my internal battles was the use of alcohol (just like food) as a replacement for an internal void that I needed to attend to or a complete lack of connection to my body, intuition, and emotions.

As I explored my relationship with the concept of choosing to drink in excess consciously, I realized that there is absolutely nothing wrong with making this choice. It’s not indicative of an addiction, a lack of discipline, immaturity, or of an unevolved human being.

When made consciously and with a sense of discernment and connection, these choices are simply a part of the human experience!

And what a shame it would be to live life so rigidly in the middle that we miss out on meeting our edges again. 

This may seem contradictory to my thoughts about how our extremes help us find our own middle and definition of “balance”, but balance doesn’t have to mean one mode of operation at all times.

It can mean periods of less alcohol when needing to feel more grounded or less social (if we choose to drink at all).

It can mean having a drink every night for a few weeks or months simply because it feels right and it still makes you feel physically and emotionally well overall.

It can mean an entire season of drinking more every weekend because you’re yearning for carefree social time, or simply because that’s the experience your soul is calling for.

If living a life of pure moderation isn’t one that aligns with what you want out of this life, THAT IS OK!

It’s not one that I want either, and I wish I had been given the permission to truly create my own definition of balance at the beginning of my journey of self-discovery.

Your definition of balance, health, and a fulfilling life doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s.

The key is to ensure that you’re the one in the driver’s seat—in tune with what your body and soul are calling for.

“All things in moderation, including moderation.” – Oscar Wilde

We Can Use Our Past Extremes to Our Advantage (Before & After & After & After Pics)

The exploration of our edges and living in extremes can be incredibly valuable. For most who struggle with their relationships with food and their bodies, they’ve inhabited one or both ends of the spectrum. I sure have spent my fair share of time on both ends. 

Swearing not to eat until I felt faint, vomiting, insane amounts of exercise to burn off and earn my food, only eating foods from a specific list, intermittent fasting on top of an already restrictive diet, swearing off all coffee and alcohol, and trying every diet known to man.

 Around 2006 - Before my weight was brought to my attention for the first time in high school.

Around 2006 - Before my weight was brought to my attention for the first time in high school.

 2007 - After several months of restriction, I was LOST. Zero period & absolutely miserable.

2007 - After several months of restriction, I was LOST. Zero period & absolutely miserable.

 Circa 2008. I went up and down several times per year in weight during college, which the highest being 15-20 lbs. more than today.

Circa 2008. I went up and down several times per year in weight during college, which the highest being 15-20 lbs. more than today.

Binging until I physically couldn’t move and was in so much pain, eating in secrecy, anxiously eating while hungover or drunk after days of restriction, eating chocolate chip cookies every time I passed through the kitchen every Thanksgiving break, stuffing myself with food—didn’t matter the type—and eating well beyond what my body wanted, binge drinking until I blacked out multiple times per week, drinking so much coffee I nearly induced panic attacks, and not moving my body for days.

 Post college 2012-2013! Still boozing until I blacked out a couple times per week, eating garbage all weekend, and being incredibly strict during the week.

Post college 2012-2013! Still boozing until I blacked out a couple times per week, eating garbage all weekend, and being incredibly strict during the week.

 After returning from three months abroad in Asia in 2014. My body dropped weight without giving it a second thought after I committed to only listening to my body and doing what FELT good and true to me. Major turning point for me.

After returning from three months abroad in Asia in 2014. My body dropped weight without giving it a second thought after I committed to only listening to my body and doing what FELT good and true to me. Major turning point for me.

 Last weekend! Letting my intuition guide my choices, which aligns with the season of life I’m in.

Last weekend! Letting my intuition guide my choices, which aligns with the season of life I’m in.

Like a pendulum, I swung from one extreme to the other, and looking back, I learned a lot while I inhabited both.

  • Restriction and living according to rigid rules are soul-sucking.

  • My body doesn’t subscribe to a playbook, as it doesn’t have the same needs day-in and day-out. I need flexibility with how I eat and move.

  • Someone providing me with rules about how to live instantly makes me anxious. I hate nothing more than being told what to do, especially arbitrarily.

  • Overdoing it on things that are “pleasurable”—like processed foods, booze, significant amounts of food, sitting on my ass for too long—makes those things unenjoyable. In fact, it makes me resentful of them.

  • Spending all of my time thinking about food, either how little or how much I’m able to eat, is a substitute for feeling something deeper; a distraction.

  • Inhabiting one end of the spectrum for too long will—without a doubt—force me to the other end.

  • My body doesn’t feel alive, energetic, or like it’s my own when I’m under or overdoing it with food or exercise.

  • It’s nearly impossible to overdo it with too little or too much when I’m present. Disconnection—both mind and body—is necessary for us to live in extremes.

  • I’m most myself energetically, physically, emotionally, and mentally when I’m balancing pleasure and discipline, and these two things aren’t mutually exclusive.

  • Going to extremes on rare occasions can be nourishing for the soul, although rarely for the body. It’s OK to make this sacrifice when I’m actively choosing this, and the choice is coming from a present, centered, and grounded place. I.e. I’m not using it as a distraction.

This certainly isn’t an exhaustive list, and I wouldn’t have been able to discover these valuable nuggets of information without exploring the edges of extreme behaviors and states of being. 

Does everyone need extremes to live in balance? No. But if you have a personality type similar to mine, where you “have to touch the stove to know it’s hot”, as my dad used to say to describe me, then it may be best to view these experiences with gratitude.

They teach us our limits, and they allow us to know ourselves on a much deeper level. The facilitate our growth, and they put us on the fast track to self-discovery.

This is all contingent upon us being ready to accept the lessons by establishing a foundation of self-worth and respect, of course, otherwise the motivation to cease the cycle of self-harm won’t exist.

However, sometimes the birth of this foundation is derived from hitting rock bottom. From being so obsessed and controlled by food and our inner demons that we have no other choice but to make changes.

Regardless of where you are in your journey, don’t be afraid to reframe your “negative” experiences and use them to your advantage. Make a list of everything you learned, the things you’ll no longer tolerate, and how those moments will benefit you going forward.

Perspective is a magical thing, and the lens through which we’re viewing ourselves, our past, and our future is everything. How can you use your past to inform your present and future?

Never Miss a Monday Workout? I Call Bullsh*t

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I used to be ALL about the sentiment of this slogan, but this didn’t just apply to Mondays. I was militant about my workout regimen, and never once did I stop, sit with my body, do a fully body scan, and ask what would be best for her.

Nope. Sick, injured, run-down, stressed—none of it mattered.

I would anxiously think about my workout for the entirety of the day if I was planning to complete it in the afternoon (often the case), and I quickly learned how much I enjoyed morning workouts, as my mind was then free for the remainder of the day to think about other things.

It never occurred to me that I wasn’t actually happy in this pursuit, and I certainly didn’t consider the health of my mind or body during this time.

I was so far down the rabbit hole of hustling for a sense of worthiness—either through body composition changes or pushing through an intense workout—that I didn’t know which way was up.

This behavior encapsulates the peak of my obsession with exercise and controlling my body, but I continued to move through many other iterations as I progressed towards healing.

Not All In, but Still Too Much

Just three years ago, I was still convinced that as long as I was taking two full rest days, then it was impossible to be behaving in a neurotic or disconnected fashion. Note that these were primarily CrossFit workouts.

This frequency can certainly work well for some, and it’s largely dependent on a variety of factors—sleep, stress, nutrition, intensity and duration of activity—but it didn’t work for me. The fact that I was actually taking rest days didn’t mean shit to my body, as it was still stressed to the nines.  

I was allowing my strictly disciplined mind call all the shots and was greatly disconnected from my body.

My ego (or monkey brain) continued to play puppet master, and my body, mind, and soul were paying a serious price.

We can argue the nuances of different personality types, various life circumstances, and different goals until we’re blue in the face, but the fact remains that there are still MANY good reasons to miss a Monday. Or any planned workout, for that matter.  

  • Feeling physically run down due to emotional or mental stress

  • Illness or imbalances (such as hormonal), chronic or acute

  • Lack of adequate fuel, so it will only serve as an additional stressor

  • Injury in various degrees and forms

  • PMS

  • A general lack of downtime and rest (i.e. living in masculine energy)

  • Going to happy hour instead

  • Simply not wanting to

Some of these can be labeled as excuses, and depending on the context, they very well may be. We are the only ones who hold the answers for ourselves.

However, for those of us who are perfectionists at heart (recovering or otherwise), who often thrive in the masculine energy of constant productivity, who function with high levels of discipline, and who receive great pleasure from intense physical activity and success, these are anything but excuses.

These are legitimate, life-giving reasons that may serve us far more from a health perspective than an additional workout ever will.

Before you give credence to another #nevermissamonday social media post and throw yourself into a shame spiral for not being disciplined, hard-core, or productive enough, sit with your body and ask her what would be best for her.

Our bodies hold greater wisdom than we often give them credit for, and through this stillness, we’re able to tune into the needs of body and soul.

 Our habits and mindset related to exercise are the perfect opportunity to practice establishing and deepening this relationship.

You don't have to pursue weight loss right now

 I love everything about the Fall and Winter seasons, which means taking full advantage of all festivities and everything they have to offer! As long as I'm feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally balanced, then I'm good.

I love everything about the Fall and Winter seasons, which means taking full advantage of all festivities and everything they have to offer! As long as I'm feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally balanced, then I'm good.

The fall is almost upon us, and with this time of year comes football, holidays, travel, and festive gatherings. Essentially, really good food and booze start to roll in, and there are often plenty of reasons for us to celebrate.

This isn’t to say the Summer season isn’t filled with the same, but people tend to be more conscious of their choices due to the clothing attire accompanying the season. The colder months usher in heavier food (and hopefully red wine), and I’m allll about it!

Many of the women I work with are beginning to fret about the upcoming seasons.

  • “I love Fall and Winter foods, and I tend to eat more of them.”
  • “Football season is my favorite, and I love to eat the snacks and drink the beer.”
  • “I really enjoy my wine nights in the Winter.”
  • “I bake so many seasonal treats during this time of the year, and I really want to enjoy them.”
  • “Holiday parties are my favorite!”

To anyone not stressing about their food choices or their weight, these statements seems innocent enough. All of these statements should be celebrated, right?

To the chronic dieter or food obsessed, these are relayed with a sense of stress and panic. Wanting to enjoy the season to the fullest is the ultimate source of internal conflict—

I want to change my body, but I also want to live my life!

I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to pursue weight loss right now. You can actually take a break—permanently or temporarily—from pursuing body changes.

For many, living in a state of constantly thinking about diet manipulation is the norm, so to consider actually living life and thinking about other things is absurd. But there are certainly some benefits.

  • Eating more food will allow your body to reset hormonally if you’ve been living in a chronic deficit.
  • You can crush your workouts with the extra fuel.
  • You may actually find that the weight loss you’re so desperately seeking isn’t what you really want—it’s giving yourself permission to actually live your life.
  • You get to experience everything the season has to offer to the fullest. 
  • You’ll give yourself the opportunity to enjoy your favorite foods and booze in a way that aligns with your physical well-being—not an aesthetic goal. This means honoring a balance between enjoyment and nourishment. Essentially, this is an opportunity to practice.
  • You can utilize this time to get crystal clear regarding your priorities. If you find that enjoying the season is more of a priority than changing your body, then that’s extremely valuable information.

That last point is important, as we often don’t take the opportunity to look up and ask ourselves if our autopilot manner of thinking is what we really want for ourselves.

Do I really want to be sacrificing the seasonal food, wine, beer, or the social outings? Or am I blindly following the societal programming I’ve been given that tells me I should constantly be moving towards a better physique?

If you answer these questions honestly, you may in-fact find that you don’t give a shit about changing your body right now, and that’s more than OK!

It’s tempting for us to feel ashamed when we’d rather eat and drink than lose weight, but that’s simply a product of societal conditioning. YOU get the make the choices you want for your body and your life, and you also get to change them whenever you feel necessary.

There’s nothing that says we have to be in a constant state of betterment of our bodies.

There isn’t anything that says we need to feel shame in response to wanting to change them either. My only suggestion is that you ask yourself if NOW is the time to do so. Is pursuing aesthetic goals really in alignment with your true desires at the moment?

If not—let it go. The opportunity to pick it back up will always be waiting for you if you so choose. In the meantime, go on and live your damn life and enjoy the wine, the festivities, and the heavy food to the fullest.