Eating is self-care

Eating is self-care

Look, I know there is a ton of information being blasted on your social media feeds, in your office, and even within your groups of friends when it comes to what to eat.

It can be overwhelming. And when we feel overwhelmed, we can’t take deliberate action in creating a health-full life.

I decided to offer some help, because I know how lousy it is to feel incapable, lost, and simply exhausted.

I’ve given you some building blocks in this post. My intention is that you take what you want from the information and start creating your own unique, healthy foundation when it comes to matters of food.

Eating Is Self Care

1. Evaluate your current relationship with food. Yeah, I know, you’re not taking the food out on dates or anything. I’m saying as humans, we are constantly deciding how we relate to people and things around us, which happens mostly in our subconscious. As with any relationship, if we approach it with feelings of anxiety, apathy, guilt, resistance, or rigidity, we do not enjoy the relationship as much as we would if we had feelings of freedom, joy, vitality, and excitement. 

The fastest way to assess your relationship with food is to listen to yourself talk. Do the following statements sound like your typical script? “Healthy eating is expensive/complicated/hard to stick to/nasty tasting” or “I’m too lazy/busy to eat healthy” or “I HAVE to eat healthy because my doctor/sister/husband/mailman/random girl on social media told me so.” 

This is a foundational point, so I’m going to drive it home. What you think is what you create. If you are thinking of how hard something is, it will be hard. If you think of how easy something is, it will come easier. 

Another point, you don’t HAVE to do anything. You GET to. You GET to live a vibrant, fulfilled life. Don’t hold yourself back anymore. Think about what would happen if instead of saying you’re lazy, you decided you are SO capable? Change your story about food (and anything else in life) to one that makes you feel like a freaking rockstar. 

2. PERFECT DOESN’T EXIST. As much as those social media gods want to play you, it is simply not real. Throw the idea of getting it perfect out the window. Forgive yourself for screwing it up in the past, forgive yourself for the times you will not get it 100% in the future. 

Friend, you need to have more compassion for yourself. When you think you’ve messed up (those pesky thoughts again), ask yourself, “what would I say to 5-year-old me?” Forgive, release, get back up, tweak your process, try again, rinse and repeat. 

3. Start noticing how foods make your body feel. Sure, you can eat what you want. I’m giving you that permission, if needed. But notice how you feel. Because if you want to stick with any lifestyle change, you must tune in to how you physically feel after taking action. Yes, you can have donuts for breakfast. But how does that make you feel? Are you in the bathroom 30 minutes later? Does your stomach hurt? Are you hungry within the next hour? Are you snappy with co-workers? Compare how it feels to a bowl of oatmeal with nuts, honey, and blueberries? Probably a little different. Experiment with yourself. Find meals that make you feel like you’re ready to take on the world. 

4. Commit to flexible planning, grocery shopping, and wholesome meals. One of the most searched questions on Google is “How can I eat healthy AND STICK TO IT.”  Here’s the deal. Going out to eat can be part of a healthy physical and social lifestyle. But eating out every day or most days of the week is not practical or health promoting.

Commit to meal planning every week. In your plan, incorporate nights you plan to eat out and nights for LEFTOVERS or super easy meals. Include meals that integrate carbohydrates, protein, heart healthy fats, and a variety of colorful fruit and veg. Include meals you know you’ll enjoy AND play with new recipes. 

4. View Eating as Self-Care. Self-care is a huge buzzword right now, but I believe feeding yourself needs to be included in its concept. You don’t need to eat 15 small meals a day, or fast for 48 hours to achieve optimal health. Your body thrives on food. It loves it. When fed, it thinks better, listens better, tolerates better. Hangry is not a myth. It is a natural biological response to being hungry. So please, stop punishing and dragging your body around for not looking a certain way or because you “just don’t have time to eat right now.” No matter your size, your schedule, or your obligations, your body deserves to be fed properly. 

Woo! Now that was a mouthful! I’ll step off my soap box now, but before I go….

Please know that It’s time. It’s time for you to stop with the old stories that hold you back. It’s time for you to stop putting everyone and everything else in front of you and your body’s needs. It’s time for you to START living the life you want to live. And this is your permission slip to do so.

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