Food is Your FRIEND, Not Your Enemy
May 17, 2019
One of the biggest mindset mistakes I see people make when trying to lose weight is the restriction mindset.
They focus on what they WON'T eat. So those foods, usually their favorites, are now "bad" or “not allowed.” So the next time they inevitably eat them, THEY have now done something bad. Guilt and shame kick in, which causes an emotional spiral into eating all the other "bad" things, since they have already failed.
I have had this conversation with just about every client I've ever had. It's so common. When I had this mentality, I failed at weight loss over and over.
Everything changed when I changed my mindset from a restrictive mindset to an abundance mindset.
Nothing was off the table.
"I can eat anything I want" became a mental mantra I repeated any time I felt that mean old gatekeeper saying "don't eat that."
"I can eat anything I want," I reminded myself positively.
"I can go get a dozen cupcakes and eat them all."
"I can have the entire bag of chips."
"And wash it down with ice cream."
And you know what happened?
Nine times out of 10, I decided nah, I'm good.
It was literally like the little 5 year old in me just wanted freedom of choice, and when that was "taken" from me (BY ME haha), it created an unhealthy obsession with getting that thing. What happens when you tell a 5 year old out of the blue they can't have candy? All of a sudden they WANT CANDY. They NEED candy. This is what we do to ourselves when we impose arbitrary restrictions.
When I finally lifted the restrictions and moved into a food abundance mindset, I finally lost 30 lbs and got in the best shape of my life.
When I took the PRESSURE off, and quit turning these foods into forbidden fruit, the emotional wreck disappeared and I was able to make logical decisions. I knew I could have it so it just became a choice.
I did say 9 times out of 10. Simetimes I did have those things, even when I was trying to lose weight. I was very mindful to NOT guilt myself afterward. I made the choice, and I had it. And it was delicious. I ENJOYED it. Even afterward! I was happy for myself I got that indulgence. But I knew if I chose that all the time I wouldn't get the results I wanted. So it was time to move on to the next healthy meal - no skipping meals to make up for it- and get on with life.
All along my weight loss, and I can't reiterate this enough, I did not deprive myself of anything. There were no restrictions, only positive choices. It was now about ABUNDANCE- adding nutrition to build my body and help it recover. Everything switched to a positive mindset.
I've maintained a healthy physique and solid physical performance for 4 years now and love my new healthy lifestyle so much. I have found nutritional freedom, just like someone with an abundance mindset with money enjoys financial freedom (now I just need to apply these principles to my financial life, ha!).
Below is a recap as well as some of the other mindset shifts that helped me completely change my body and adopt a fit lifestyle for good:
Never tell yourself you "can't" or "won't" eat something. That sets you up for failure and causes an unhealthy relationship with food. You can eat anything you want. You're a grown adult living in an abundant world. Give yourself permission. Don’t create “forbidden fruit syndrome." Don't create scarcity where there isn't scarcity. CHOOSE what you really want, CHOOSE better for yourself.
And if you do choose something unhealthy? That's ok! Some of those things are delicious and part of life and it's ok to indulge sometimes.
2: Be a nutrient hunter 🔍 Think of INCREASING nutrition. What can you ADD? Not take away. How many nutrients can you get into your body today? Those packaged crackers aren't going to do much good. You want the most nutrient dense, unprocessed foods as possible. They will literally create miracles of healing and growth inside your body. And when your body has all its bases covered, it stops telling you to search for nutrients in more food. So eat the good stuff. Before you eat something, ask: what is this going to do for my body?
Don't try to go from A to Z.
You can work on manipulating calories and macros down the road if you want.
First just get used to only eating whole, unprocessed foods.
If you don't know where to start, hire a trainer or buy a book or program that gives you an idea of what to eat.
4: Get FULL on REAL food! Still feeling hungry after lunch? Eat more real food! 🥗
Food from nature. Meat, vegetables, fruit. Fill up on nutrient-dense food, not convenience snacks.
5: Don't "Reward" Exercise with Junk Food When you exercise, your body just went through something hard- it needs good food now more than ever. Give your body some love by giving it building blocks to build and repair from the exercise. Tearing your body down with exercise and then making it deal with sugar, hydrogenated oils, and bleached flours isn't nice. Give it some love.
6. Add Resistance Training to Your Life
Building muscle gave me sooo much more freedom in my eating. The increase in metabolism was honestly the ticket I needed to be able to eat to satiety and not gain weight.
I hope this has been helpful to you. Please leave a comment! And remember, you can eat whatever you want!