Did you know it’s OK to not like things when you live in freedom from food and body image issues?
No, really. In case you didn’t, here’s your permission slip. *hands over permission slip*
“Eating what you want” sometimes makes people scared and think it means you’ll only eat stuff our society labels as “bad”.
Hint 1: Food doesn’t have a personality. Say it with me: FOOD DOESNT HAVE A PERSONALITY.
Thank you. Food is neither good or bad, all food is just food and neutral.
Hint 2: “Eating what you want” really means eating what your body wants. Don’t worry, it will tell you, but it’s your responsibility to get to a point where you can listen.
But it’s not just about what your body and tastebuds want.
It’s also about what they DON’T want.
Just because you’ll eat whatever you want doesn’t mean you’ll have to force yourself to eat indulgent food just for the sake of it.
I can tell you one thing: I do not like mayonnaise-based potato salads. And neither mayonnaise-based pasta salads.
I can tolerate a really good, food-snobbery level homemade mayo about twice a year, as a dip for my equally snobbish and entitled crudités.
But I will say no if you offer me potato salad in a mayo dressing. It’s perfectly fine if you want to eat it, but I really, REALLY don’t.
For the longest time I struggled with this mindset.
I made myself eat indulgent things I didn’t really like because I thought that’s what food freedom means.
I made myself eat more than I really wanted from things like cookies or cake, because I thought that’s what eating what you want means.
I denied myself whole foods like vegetables and whole grains when I really wanted to eat them, because I thought that’s what letting go of the diet mentality means.
But I ended up feeling like utter shit. QUELLE SURPRISE 🤦🏻♀️
Why? Because I wasn’t living in food freedom.
I was still dictating my food intake on a distorted image painted by society and media and influencers, albeit the other way around:
That letting go of mental control when it comes to food intake means all we’re going to do is binge on “junk” food.
Because that’s what they all have us believe: You’re just a pig who will eat burgers and cheesecake in bed all day if you don’t exercise willpower/take control of your eating/restrict restrict restrict.
Oh, and by the way, here’s a product that will help you with your willpower.
And we believe them. And we believe them when they tell us these foods are “bad”.
And by restricting access to these foods (because remember, they are BAD and we want to be so good), even if it’s just in our minds, we’re putting them on a special shelf. Which, in turn, makes our minds want them more than our bodies ever will (and is OK if our bodies or souls want them, but in a neutral space without this forbidden fruit mentality).
Society celebrates thin women and congratulates their willpower. Society also frowns upon body fat like it’s the plague. And an obviously visible lack of willpower.
But I say fuck their shit show.
You don’t need willpower. You just need your body’s instincts.
You don’t need to be thin. You just need to be you.
You don’t need to restrict. You just need to trust.
You don’t need to pick between good food or bad food, because remember? All food is neutral.
Seriously, it’s just fucking food. It’s not that important.
And since all food is neutral in food freedom (haha think of food as Switzerland?), you are not obliged to enjoy every single indulgent food out there, and shun natural food items, just because you’ve quit dieting.
It’s not that complicated.
It took me a while of eating frozen pizza, ice cream and fried cheese sticks to get over my food food/bad food mentality.
It took a few weeks of eating entire packets of cookies and bars of chocolate to free my mind and re-nourish my body and soul.
(And then I got pregnant and some other disordered eating things happened, and it took giving birth and stuff to heal.)
But once I got to a point where I truly started to understand my body and its intuition, wow.
I suddenly realized I didn’t have to care about which foods I’m “supposed” to like or how much I’m “supposed” to consume or if I can eat vegetables without being a hypocrite.
In food freedom, there’s no “supposed to” rules.
The only rule is to listen to your body and feed it. Feed it feed it feed it.
IT’S ALL JUST FOOD AND YOU JUST PICK WHAT IS APPEALING TO YOU. And stop eating when you don’t feel like eating anymore.
There are no “good” foods you can’t have anymore because you’re newly anti-diet, and there are not “bad” foods you have to force yourself eat because you’re the rebel who eats whatever the heck she wants.
It’s just another form of restriction. What you really want to do is care for and love your beautiful self so damn much that you’re letting your body decide on its own.
I can guarantee you one thing.
My body will never pick the potatoes in mayo. Vinaigrette-based pasta salads are way more appealing to me. I’ll even take a fully loaded creamy potato salad, with bacon and eggs and all that tasty shit, as long as you make it with sour cream and not mayo.
Because IDGAF about calories or restricting or anything. I just care about what my body wants. And it does not want mayo.
It’s perfectly awesome if you love mayo-based potato salad. Eat it. It’s perfectly awesome if you don’t love mayo-based potato salad (or chocolate or ice cream or whatever “”””bad”””” food). Don’t eat it.
You’re allowed to dislike foods (once you’re sure you really dislike them, vs putting them into an arbitrary “forbidden” drawer). You’re allowed to eat chia pudding. You’re allowed to pass on dessert, just as much as you’re allowed to eat it.
You’re allowed to eat freely.
As long as it’s a decision that’s truly made by your body’s desires, and not dictated by an external force or rule or belief.
And as long as you’re not overthinking and obsessing and will not break into sweaty panic if mayo-based potato salad is all there is to eat and can still take a portion without having an existential crisis, if the only other option is starving (obviously this doesn’t count for medically legit food allergies or intolerances).
Remember, food is neutral. It’s just fucking food. It’s not that important.