The authors state, “Call a truce; stop the food fight! Give yourself unconditional permission to eat. If you tell yourself that you can’t or shouldn’t have a particular food, it can lead to intense feelings of deprivation that build into uncontrollable cravings and, often, bingeing. When you finally “give in” to your forbidden foods, eating will be experienced with such intensity, it usually results in Last Supper overeating and overwhelming guilt.”
Have you been there before? I have for sure. Whenever I’ve tried to avoid certain foods in my diet- I’ve always ended up craving them even more. I’ve also observed this with my diabetes patients, in particular. One gentleman, who said he had never really cared for desserts or sweets much before, after being diagnosed with diabetes (and being led to believe that diabetes meant avoiding sugar forever), found that he was literally having dreams at night about candy bars and M&M’s…the food that he thought he could never have began to hold a mysterious power over him.
Because of experiences like that with many patients and clients over the years, I came to believe strongly in the principles of Intuitive Eating and I have adopted the principles into my life…it is just how I think now. Of course, there are still times that I eat un-intuitively. It is not easy, and it doesn’t happen overnight…it is definitely a process.
Many people are scared to try to allow themselves “unconditional permission to eat”…they’re afraid that they won’t stop eating once they start. It takes time and it takes practice to truly understand that you don’t have to eat as much as possible of a certain food, because, it will be available whenever you want it. Thinking about food this way truly allows us the freedom to eat healthy foods and some not-so-healthy foods. And, the really neat thing that I have found is that when I truly tune in to what my body wants- a large percentage of what my body truly craves is really healthy stuff!
Do you give yourself unconditional permission to eat?
What are your thoughts about “Making Peace with Food”?