#WholeWomanChallenge Week 11: Only Eat When You’re Hungry
You’ve probably heard the story of how I ended up hiding in a closet with a bag of Dove Chocolate Promises after my final-failed-juice-cleanse attempt – back in the old dieting days of course.
I will never forget sitting there at work, hiding from my co-workers in shame, completely unable to even think about actually working, because I needed those chocolates like crack-cocaine.
It was such a rock-bottom moment — and not just because my waistline was suffering — but because my sanity had been compromised.
I felt like a total crazy person around food.
Constantly thinking about what I should, shouldn’t, or desperately wanted to eat.
Berating myself over and over again for my “lack of control.”
Sneaking licks of frosting off cakes, but never actually letting myself have a piece.
(And I when I say letting myself, I really mean letting myself — giving myself full permission to enjoy that cake without shame or judgement.)
It’s sanity around food that we’re often craving far more than weight loss. My mentee, friend and LIVE FREE Retreat Alum, Isabel Foxen Duke, talks about just this. I asked Isabel to Blog Babysit today for a few reasons:
Take it away Isabel!
I love Sarah’s message: Live More, Weigh Less.
Or how I would describe it: Live More, Stop Giving A Sh*t About The Candy Bowl On Your Desk.
There’s a difference between “sitting on your hands trying not to eat” and becoming so involved with more important stuff, that you literally forget there’s Nutella in the cupboard.
It’s the difference between controlling, resisting, forcing, obsessing…and just plain not even caring whether or not it’s dinner time yet.
As an emotional eating coach, one thing I can’t stand about traditional approaches to “emotional eating” is that more often than not, we feel like we’re on the “don’t-eat-emotionally diet,” which creates the same tension in our bodies that traditional diets do.
All that resisting, all that holding yourself back, all the mental negotiating of “I want to eat, but I shouldn’t”, “Am I hungry or am I not?”, “I know I should just write in my journal, but a brownie sounds a hell-of-lot more fun,” can sometimes feel restraining just like the regular diets…and it’s usually only a matter of time before we lose our resolve and “slip” right into a tube of cream cheese frosting. Emotions always win in a fight.
The shame we associate with emotional eating makes our behaviors so much worse… turning what could have just been a “fro-yo when I was bored” into a full-on-grocery-store binge because I’m so mad at myself — so frustrated that I’m not “getting it.”
All this frustration, anger, and confusion over “what we’re doing wrong,” is what makes us lose our minds with food. Have you ever considered what would happen if you didn’t put so much pressure on yourself to “get it right?”
What if you didn’t give a sh*t about whether or not you ate mindfully that day? Or whether or not you took a warm bath instead of having a cookie? What if food was just food — instead of the metric by which you judge your “goodness”?
What would happen then??
Now half of you already totally get this — you’re like, “hell yes, I wish I could stop giving a sh*t. Think about all that space in my brain I could free up. I’m so sick and tired of even thinking about food.”
The other half of you are terrified that if you weren’t trying to control yourself all the time, you would blow up to 300lbs and all hell would break loose.
There is nothing more crazy-making than constantly trying to control something that you are fundamentally unable to control for very long.
If there’s one thing that’s certain when we try to control, it’s that inevitably we’re gonna lose that control. If you pull back a bow and arrow, eventually that bow’s gonna fly in the opposite direction.
Letting go might be scary. But a rubber band doesn’t snap unless you pull it.
Today, I dare you to stop trying so hard with food. Notice what happens. Do you feel relief? Do you at some point get bored with food and go do something else? What if whatever happened with food was just fine? What if you were able to stop fighting food?
For those of you who think I’m onto something (and trust that I’m not completely off my rocker), I’ve created a free video training series that you can check out here.
These videos are about more than your weight — they’re about reclaiming your sanity, so food loses it’s power. Click here if you’re ready to Stop Fighting Food.
Simple actions to take your life back, know your worth & feel alive no matter how drained, overwhelmed and far gone you feel.