Pretty blonde with multi-colored donuts

Lately I’ve been trying to change the way I think about paying bills. There is a tendency, at least for me, when I see the wonderful sum I get paid each month minus all the bills I have to pay, to think, “how depressing, I only have $$$ left”, and I’ve been trying to reframe it. Instead of focusing on the amount that is left and how small of a fraction it is compared to my pay-check, I‘ve started celebrating bill-paying. “I paid my bills like a grown up this month, whoop whoop!” It’s weird, but it works; I’m less sad about bills and happier that the fact that I have bills to pay means that I’m living; I’m doing something right! I feel less like money is being taken from me (passive), and more like I have the power to pay my bills (active). I feel empowered.

What if we could do the same about food? Traditionally, I think we’ve considered food to be the master. “If I just resist ‘x’ then I’ll be rewarded with a good x”. What if we could take ownership back from food and make it work for us, rather than us feeling like we ‘can’t help ourselves’ or that we’re ‘out of control’?I think we can. And I think there’s a simple way we can start to embrace food with confidence and break out of the food and self-loathing cycle.

Here it is:
Put your food to work.

Food works for you, not the other way around. What do you want your food to do for you? Figure that out first, and then every time you start eating you’re immediately doing so from a place of empowerment.

Personally, I want my food to satisfy me. I don’t want to be hungry after my meal, and I don’t want to finish eating and feel like the food tasted so-so or that I should have just eaten something else. I want to enjoy it. I also want my food to leave me better off than it found me. I want to know that after a meal, my body has more of what it needs. Now that being said, sometimes I really just want my food to satisfy a sweet craving, but when I’m sure that that is what I want, and only when I’m sure, do I eat food that’ll do just that and nothing more.

Making your body its best, its healthiest, and its strongest becomes the driving force in how you make decisions about the food you eat, and this makes it easier to say both yes and no. When you say yes, you’ve thought about it, and it’s what you want, so you don’t feel guilty after eating. When you say no, you’ve thought about it, and it’s not what you want, so there’s no ‘I should have gotten x’.

What comes with it, is a desire to give your body more of what it needs, which means you learn to think more about what will bloat you, or tire you, or leave you hungry, and you naturally start to avoid those foods.

This makes it a whole lot less about looking a certain way, or seeing a number (although those things are great things too!), and a whole lot more about taking the power back so that you have the freedom to eat with joy and peace, with no guilt, and no shame.

And who wouldn’t want that?

Femi A-Williams is a health and fitness convert trying to reconcile a healthy lifestyle and a happy food life. She is 80% whole grain and 20% donut.

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