When I sat down to write this post I started really thinking about what food freedom looks like for me and started reflecting on my journey to get here.
Your journey might look totally different.
I’m all about each one of us being unique!
For me I remember a time where I couldn’t imagine actually experiencing anything that was remotely close to food freedom. I can remember feeling out of control around food and desperately uncomfortable in my own body from as young as 12 even though I was a slim and sporty 12 year old. I’m not sure exactly when this progressed to my eating disorder taking hold. Maybe around 14, maybe 15.
And it took me 10 years to even start to move towards what I would call food freedom.
I can remember back then though how I would have defined it was to be able to just be “normal” around food. To not think about food all the time.
I was scared of eating everything. And I felt guilty all the time.
I was always starting tomorrow (this one took me soooo long to get over!) which would cause a binge or more poor choices today.
So What Is Food Freedom For Me?
For me Food Freedom is not being consumed by thoughts of food all the time and constantly fight cravings. It’s resisting each new fancy diet that comes out and just eating in accordance with my unique body and genetics. It’s no more guilt and no more crazy negative thoughts about my body. This doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes want it to be different. Or am happy with it all the time. But I for sure don’t say the nasty things I used to say to myself anymore.
Food freedom is also not caring what anyone else thinks about any of my choices healthy or not. It’s amazing how much more judgement you get from some people for choosing healthy food. I totally don’t get it. But I don’t care what anyone thinks of my dietary choices. If gluten doesn’t work for me I’m not eating it. If it does, I am.
It’s enjoying eating out, not stressing about what I am going to eat and it’s actually craving all the good stuff. I can honestly say that I prefer a big salad with some salmon over any take away option, so much so that no matter how tired or lazy I’m feeling, I will always go to the grocery store over the take away shop. I just really don’t feel like anything I can buy at those places and I’m not willing to give up any of my day feeling bad from food that didn’t serve me.
How Did I Make Food Freedom Happen?
Firstly I quit dieting.
Like really quit dieting.
The biggest part of that was not starting tomorrow. As soon as the thought crossed my mind that I was going to start a diet tomorrow, or Monday then the cravings would get soo intense. I would just have to consume everything I thought I was going to give up the next day.
I also started swapping out any of the sugary foods for real food. For many food freedom is eating what you want when you want for me it’s actually getting to the place where you don’t really want the sugary junk food anymore.
I can’t eat sugary foods in moderation.
Some people totally can and we incorporate these types of treats into their lifestyle but for me. These types of foods, chocolate, ice-cream just trigger too many cravings and I just can’t stop at a small portion of them. Part of this might be from my decade or so of restriction but part of it is genetic. There are different genes that affect your sweet perception and your predisposition for sugar addiction and so for me food freedom includes not feeling like I’m missing out when I don’t have these foods.
I started trying to figure out what I was really hungry for when I was craving food.
Am I bored or procrastinating? (This is a big one even today for me)
Am I tired? (The cause of any sugar cravings I do get today)
Am I unfulfilled in some area, either my work or a relationship or perhaps I’m not getting enough exercise and my body craves movement?
I started trying harder to listen to my body and eat more intuitively. This can be hard at first especially if you have a lot of sugar or processed foods in your diet.
First Step To Food Freedom
This may be counter intuitive because whenever I read about food freedom it’s all about eating whatever you want. And I agree that is the end goal but for me the first step was to crowd out sugar and processed foods.
Not cut out. Crowd out.
I need to get these foods out of my system so that I could reset my hunger hormones and actually start listening to my body again and eating whatever I wanted but I also had to make sure my body felt supported and not restricted. So whenever I had a sugar craving I would have a bliss ball or some dates with almond butter or some guacamole and veggies or a piece of cheese. It took time for me to get to a place where I felt like I actually had achieved some level of food freedom so no matter where you are on this journey be kind to yourself.
It takes time.
See if you can be friends with your body and make a deal to be on this journey together with your body.
Because working against it and relying on willpower just doesn’t work.
Food Freedom And Genetic Testing
I wish I could have done a genetic test to help me figure out what foods worked for me back when I was at the beginning of this journey. It would have stopped me trying all the different diets out there because I could get real data on what actually works for me. If you are interested in checking out what genes we can look at through genetic testing HERE are my reports you can download and have a look at (No email address required).
I would love to know in the comments below or over in my facebook group, what does food freedom mean to you?
To your health,
P.S. I’m continuing my Valentines Day Special for the rest of February on all my DNA health testing programs and so if this is something you have been interested in finding out more about Click HERE to schedule in a time to chat to me to find out whether this may be the right option for you and get $100 off.