Often, clients think that eating disorders and disordered eating is about control. But when we dig into the root of the issue, they almost always come out with an understanding that disordered eating is when your eating habits are out of alignment with your goals. If you’re feeling out of control around food, it’s because you feel you don’t have a choice in the matter. You feel as though you’re being controlled by food and this comes from imbalances that are happening in our lives.
If you’ve been following the Hungry for Happiness story for a while, you know that I always vote no when it comes to restricting and depriving. We were meant to enjoy this experience of life, with all of its yummy food and more. What that means is that we use our food as a means to achieve health and vitality. In other words, we are eating because we know our body needs to be fueled — but we aren’t controlled by food.
We associate ‘being good’ with restricting and latching onto fad diets that are shoved down our thoughts by the corrupt diet and weight loss industries. We diet because we’ve been told from the start that the body of our dreams is one diet, one pill, or one workout away. When in reality, this is far from the truth. We’ve been manipulated into believing that our health and wellness is based on our weight. And we’ve been wrongfully told that the ‘industry’ was the answer to all of our questions.
I’ve worked with countless people and it’s always the same. Our emotional and physical beliefs of what’s healthy, what’s beautiful, and what’s fit have all been insanely mutated to fit the bill of the non-existent human with the ‘perfect’ body. News flash — that body does NOT exist.
We are all creations of the divine, which means we have been made perfect in its image. But what happens is we are sucked into this ideology of consumption and restriction, a never-ending and vicious cycle I’ve spent the last decade of my life standing against. Listen, the diet industry preys on your vulnerabilities so they can market DIRECTLY to them. They have studied and analyzed the behaviors associated with disordered eating and lifestyles and capitalize on them while making you believe that you’re doing something that will create change in your life.
You keep failing at all of the fad diets and starting over because they were designed that way. They wouldn’t hand you a diet that would change you forever, why? Because then they’d stop being the multi-billion dollar industry that they are. They want you to fear being controlled by food so that you think it’s your issue, but it’s not.
You’re constantly fighting with yourself about the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ choices about your food. You eat the taco and you immediately feel like a POS because you’ve been on a ‘good’ steak for weeks and you just ‘broke’ it. And when you opt-out of eating the taco, you feel like you’ve made a ‘good’ choice because you stuck to your guns and were successful at restricting yourself from one of the best freaking’ treats in life (yes, tacos are amazing).
Get this — restricting leads to more overeating, more bingeing, more pain, and more suffering. And where does all that suffering get you? Right back into the hands of the diet industry that's ready to feed off of your pain and feed you another diet pill or diet plan to help you ‘get back on track.’ In both of these instances, you (whether subconsciously or not) feel as though you are being controlled by food.
You don’t feel you have a choice, but you do. Now, hear me out, control isn’t always bad. I’ve worked with clients in the past that have succeeded wonderfully in adding more control and structure to their lives. But what I’ve realized over the last decade is that, more often than not, being controlled by food is the consensus of what’s going on. But, again, you do have a choice!
You have the choice to base your decisions on owning your own story and choosing what your body needs in the moment. You have the choice to eat for health and hunger. It’s not about being ‘good’ or being ‘bad,’ it’s about choosing what’s best for you in any given moment. Everything in moderation, right? Well, that one taco isn’t going to be the end all be all, is it now? And I know the next question, ‘okay, well, if I do eat that taco, I’ll just want more.’ And while that may be true, this is where the coaching context comes into play.
The question you get to ask is: what food would be best for my body right now if I were choosing health? And maybe you’re out with your friends and it’s the one time that week that you’re going all-in on some delicious food at your favorite restaurants (re: when they all open back up). It’s not about the stories of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ than it is about the questions of what will I choose that feels satisfying to me right now? And underneath all that, comes the emotion and the feeling. I always have my clients ask themselves: what am I really hungry for? That is the step toward the food freedom that you so crave.
This concept gets so much deeper, and we do just that in the Food Freedom Journey, a monthly program about connecting to a community and getting the support that you need. It’s something special, that’s for sure. You aren’t being controlled by food — YOU are in control, you might have just forgotten, and that’s why we started this new journey for you.