Who is really in control?
You’re a slave to my fitness pal or another calorie counting app – you can’t eat unless it’s “logged”. Before every meal, you’re working out the calories. You’re constantly assessing how many you’ve had, how many you’ve got left for the day, and whether or not you should relog your banana muffin and choose the 124 calorie option from your search when you know for well that it was more like the 240 you’ve logged…!😉 (Been their babes!)
You’re lying in bed at night going through your day – taking a mental note of what you’ve eaten and if it was acceptable. Are you on track? How much weight will you lose in a month if every day was like today…
Who’s controlling who…? 👀
Question: “How’s calorie counting been going for you… you at your goal weight yet for more than 5 minutes???”
You don’t stick to them anyway…
#Truthbomb – you don’t stick to the calories you’ve set yourself for the day every day anyway! 🤣 Otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this blog. FYI – I’m soooo grateful you’re reading this! 🙏🏼 If you’re anything like I used to be, you’re most likely setting yourself a ridiculously low-calorie allowance to adhere to every day – especially if you want a “treat” at the weekend. I. literally used to allow myself between 500,1,200 calories tops a day! That’s not even enough for an infant! 🧒🏽 🆘 And when I inevitably went over, I thought F*ck it – 🔴 ate everything and anything I could get my hands on in the confectionery aisle and then “started again tomorrow”… the problem was, I was doing the above every single week. So if I actually had dared to log the calories I had eaten during my binging weekend – ok, my 3-day binges – I would have been WAAAYYY over my calories for the whole God damn month either way! 🤷🏽♀️ I honestly used to Google sh*t like – “When consuming 10,000 calories in an hour – does your body hang on to all the calories and store them as fat or does it pass some of them out because your body doesn’t need them?”…..!!!!! Poor old me.
No I’m not going to tell you the answer – google it – or please don’t 🙏🏼
False sense of achievement
During the times you are sticking to your BS calorie allowance you feel unstoppable! 🦸🏻♀️ Like you’ve got this! Until someone brings in freshly made cookies… and then you’re spending precious time playing around with your calorie counting app trying to make it work. 🍪 Either you hit your F*ck it button 🔴 (clearly loving the emojis today!) and stop logging and then go crazy or longingly look towards the cookies with a sense of loss and FOMO.
There used to be a time where I genuinely celebrated not listening to my body when she really wanted a cookie. When I was following a meal plan to prep for my fitness photoshoots. I ‘got off’ on the feeling of hunger and felt like I was achieving something. Truth be told, I was achieving something – I was achieving ignoring my body, my cravings, and what I truly desired. I was achieving ignoring myself and instead, looking outside of myself for the answer of what to eat and when. I was not honoring the most ancient wise intelligent thing on this planet – the human body – MY human body.
Loss of self-confidence
Every time you don’t manage to stick to your calorie allowance, you feel angry at yourself. Self-loathing comes in thick and fast. And so you use what you always use to comfort yourself – food. And then you end up feeling even worse, ‘fat’, miserable, worthless, guilty, and ashamed. You think that there’s something wrong with you. Why can’t you stick to calorie counting when your sister can 😞. It must be your lack of willpower. You’re not strong enough. You’re a failure… but wait – you rock your workouts when you want to, you’re a badass at your job, you’ve achieved things others can’t but this dieting lark is just impossible to you – WHYYY…???!!! You decide there must be something wrong with you. You’re just a pig. Greedy. You need to try harder. You’re an embarrassment. And so you plan your diet or reset your calories again because starting from tomorrow you’re really going to tackle this!
Making promises to yourself that you don’t keep eats away at your self-confidence in all areas of your life. You think that you can’t trust yourself. Self-doubt is always there lurking beneath the surface ready to remind you that you were right – you are weak-willed, you always fail.
Dieting and counting calories are a fast track to low self-confidence
But I’ll let you in on a secret – it’s not you, it’s the method! Calories counting sucks. Dieting sucks.
Any form of restriction has an equal and opposite binge
So are you ready to dive into the 7 tips I have for you to enable you to stop calorie counting (and then inevitably stop binging) so that you can live in freedom!!!!?
#1 Stop calorie counting behaviours
No sh*t Sherlock! 😆 But seriously – stop your calorie counting behaviors. When those reminders come up on your phone “don’t forget to log your lunch!” say screw you MFP! 🖕 Delete MFP!
Or maybe you’re calorie counting behaviours are reading the labels of e.v.e.r.t.h.i.n.g. and then adding them up in your head. Don’t allow yourself to look at the label and repeat pink elephant in your head over and over. 🎀 🐘 .
Get rid of your fitness tracker who is telling you how many calories you’ve burnt etc – literally sell it and treat yourself to a massage!
If you’ve been consuming my content for a while, you will know that I’m all about getting to the root cause of WHY you think you have to calorie count in the first place. As in, what’s underneath the control and obsession of calorie counting? The deep work is like peeling an onion. There are many layers. But it’s also super helpful to tackle the behavioral aspects too. The surface area of the ‘problem’. Extra brownie points if you can tackle this from both sides – the deep inner work and the behavior – mmm brownies… 😋
So give yourself compassion and love and become aware whenever you’re acting out calorie counting behaviors. Say to yourself “ok I don’t need to be doing this right now. It’s ok I feel the need to but I’m not going to. I choose recovery and freedom over control and imprisonment.”
It’s all about making a conscious intentional decision to stop these unhealthy behaviors that are not serving you.
I get it that it’s SCARY! You’ve most likely been controlling for a long time and you feel you can’t just stop because otherwise you will eat and eat and eat and never stop putting on weight… I’ve been there, the fear is real. Paralyzing in fact. But the above won’t happen – especially if you follow what I teach through all my other content, and don’t forget we can work together too. It’s time to lean into your fear and to become FREE like myself and all of my clients. 💃
It is time beautiful to stop relying on something ‘out there’ to tell you what you can or can’t eat. You are being controlled by the calorie counting and control equals the opposite to freedom. YOU CAN DO THIS!!!! 🤗
#2 Listen to your body instead
So many experts say that calories are the holy grail to weight loss ✝️ I’m not saying that calories don’t count but I am saying that you don’t need to count calories! What if you could get your hands on a machine that knew exactly what you needed to eat and how much for optimal health and vitality, without you having to count a single calorie…?
You already have one – it’s called your body! I’m not playing with you! If we needed to count calories, don’t you think we would each have a built in calorie counter that has a number stored somewhere and depending on how much we burnt and ate, the number changed so that we know exactly how much to eat…?
When you were a child did you ask your mum how many calories were in your food before eating? Or did you just feel hunger and then go tell your mum, hoping she would give you something to eat?
Didn’t you then just eat until you had enough without overanalyzing anything? Or did your parents accidentally teach you how to ignore your body at a young age and make you finish everything on your plate?
The point I’m making is… Your body knows exactly what she needs and how much. And your built in calorie counter is called your hunger and fullness cues. The human body is the most incredible, marvelous, miraculous thing on this planet. She has all the wisdom you’ll ever need. So start paying attention! She has been waiting for you to pay attention to her your whole life, don’t you think it’s time you became friends?
So get rid of any diet plan or calorie counting app or suchlike and start practicing tuning into your body. Let’s practice together…
- Close your eyes, put your hand on your heart and take 5 slow deep breaths.
- Connect to your body with your focus and ask her what she needs. Maybe its rest, exercise, stretching, food etc. If you have no idea what she needs because you’re so in your head, that’s ok. Don’t beat yourself up – just practice and trust.
- If she wants food, ask her “what do you fancy eating?” Imagine eating a few different things and you will know which to go with.
- Repeat at least 5 times a day.
#3 Eat mindfully
Eating is a pleasure so we may as well enjoy it to the max, right? When you’re eating don’t do anything else. Give it your full attention. Savor the food, take it slow, enjoy every mouthful. Why wouldn’t you? Even if you’re watching a movie and you’re eating popcorn – because the movie is always better when accompanied with popcorn and popcorn tastes better when watching a movie hehe! – just pay attention to each mouthful you have. Take one at a time even. Notice it in your mouth. Savor it and enjoy it. That way you will have thoroughly enjoyed the (overpriced if buying at a cinema) popcorn before your hand hits the bottom of the box!
#4 Focus on well-being instead of calories
I’m sure you’ve managed to stay within your calories before having only eaten processed foods such as diet products or standard cookies etc. But this matrix isn’t good for your well-being and health. Instead of focusing on calories, focus on nourishing yourself. Focusing on creating the balance between mental health, emotional health, and physical health because each is as important as the other. Put your efforts into taking a holistic approach to your lifestyle in order to feel happy, healthy, free, and at peace.
Most of us say that we want to be healthy. And then we go about dieting/counting calories – restricting ourselves from what our body actually needs and then binging on high fat high sugar highly processed foods…. just sayin’ 😏
Taking care of ourselves can feel really alien to us. We may have grown up with our peers not taking care of themselves. We pick up on that and play out the same behaviors in our adult lives. Maybe you’re always saying yes to others even when you don’t want to do the thing. Maybe you’re always numbing your emotions with food. Maybe you’re not resting when you’re tired. Maybe you’re over-exercising. Maybe you’re not exercising enough…. the list goes on. Our lifestyle has such a huge effect on our eating behaviors and the way we feel about ourselves.
#5 Allow variety to create balance
This is super important. Allowing a variety of foods is key to food freedom. It’s unlikely you will feel amazing if you only limit yourself to eating processed foods or your trigger foods all day. It’s the same the other way – if you only allow yourself to eat fruits and vegetables with no fun foods then it’s likely you will feel deprived and restricted.
We feel restricted when we are not allowing ourselves to have something that brings us pleasure. If you get no pleasure from something, you won’t feel any desire to have it, therefore you won’t feel deprived of not having it. Take alcohol, for example, I don’t have any desire for alcohol so when I say “no thank you” and people look at me like I’m some kind of health freak, I explain that it’s not difficult for me to say no because I don’t desire it in the first place. So if you only ever desire to eat fruits and vegetables, you won’t feel deprived only eating those because:
Dieting is not an action, it’s a state of mind
But it’s very unlikely that you only desire to eat fruit and vegetables otherwise you wouldn’t be here right now… 😏
So allowing yourself to eat a variety of different foods is vital to true food freedom. I would say that 99.9% of humans want to feel good. And humans can only feel good when they are well-nourished in mind, body, and soul. If you have no idea how to create this for yourself, reach out to me, I got you! Give yourself the permission to create balance for yourself.
You knew this would be in here right?! 😉 Give yourself a break missy. This food freedom malarkey won’t happen overnight (sorry!) It’s likely you’ve been disconnected from your body for a long time and it’s likely that it will take a bit of practice to build the relationship back up with yourself. And the foundation to a loving relationship with yourself is self-compassion.
Even if you’ve deleted MFP – it’s likely that you know the calorie content in most foods just by looking at them. ⬅️ that was also me! So when you notice you’re doing it – give yourself compassion and connect to your new belief of “Listening to my body to know what to eat is safe for me.”
Speak to yourself as you would speak to someone who you love very much. 💖 Because the way you speak to yourself – creates your whole damn life my friend via the thought model!
What you think causes you to feel a certain way.
How you feel determines what action you take or don’t take.
Your action or lack of action determines your results.
Your living in your results (or lack of) it’s called your reality.
So stop being a bitch to yourself – you deserve to be spoken to with love and compassion, even by yourself – especially by yourself!
#7 Get to the root cause
This is the most important one! WHY are you so focused on counting calories? What are your beliefs that you identify with that cause you to feel like you need to count calories?
Maybe it’s because you think if you don’t restrict yourself then you will gain weight forever more because you will never know when to stop.
Maybe it’s because you feel like you need to control something in your life because everything else is so out of your control.
Maybe you don’t trust yourself to eat with your intuition and so you feel like you need something outside of you to tell you what and how much to eat.
Maybe it’s simply because you are scared shitless of gaining weight and so you feel you need to do anything and everything to keep yourself as small as possible.
Que the questions…. 💃
Why do you see weight loss as a sense of safety?
Do you think people won’t love and accept you if you put on weight or didn’t lose weight?
Do you think you’re not worthy if you’re bigger than you want to be?
Do you think you will reject yourself even more than you do already if you put on weight?
Do you think that everyone else will judge and reject your body the same way you judge and reject it?
Are all of these thoughts and beliefs true?
Definitely go listen to my podcast on “the truth about people judging you” if you haven’t already!
Start looking for counter evidence for those limiting beliefs:
Would you ditch your best friend or partner if they put weight on or didn’t lose weight?
Do you choose to hang out with people just because they look a certain way? If so where did you learn that?
Gaining weight isn’t the end of the world, even though it sure as hell can feel like it! Seek out other women who are your size or bigger on SM. There are so many beautiful women out there of all different shapes and sizes. Go look at them! YOU are beautiful as you are.
There really is way too much to write about for this tip of getting to the root cause but i’ve shared a snippet of what could be blocking you from stepping into food and body freedom. A lot of the time, inner child work is needed too due to past trauma.