Principle 4: CHALLENGE THE FOOD POLICE
Welcome to day 4 of the IE Principles & Practice series! Your comments have been awesome and so helpful for others on this journey.
PRINCIPLE 4 CHALLENGE THE FOOD POLICE
Scream a loud “No” to thoughts in your head that declare you’re “good” for eating minimal calories or “bad” because you ate a piece of chocolate cake. The Food Police monitor the unreasonable rules that dieting has created. The police station is housed deep in your psyche, and its loud speaker shouts negative barbs, hopeless phrases, and guilt-provoking indictments. Chasing the Food Police away is a critical step in returning to Intuitive Eating.
Our entire culture – from media to doctors, family, school, and friends – normalizes and reinforces judgmental diet culture thinking. There’s no problem in having food preferences, but when they morph into rigid rules, and trigger you to feel bad about your self, it’s time to say adios to the food police! Unless you killed the chef, there is no morality or guilt in what you eat.
Repeat after me, “You are NOT your thoughts or your beliefs!” Rules and thoughts are a byproduct of your mind—not a direct experience from your body.
To practice this principle, I invite you to explore your food beliefs and rules. What are your food rules? How are these rules related to your body? Where did you first hear these messages and how did they get reinforced? How do you feel when you break a food rule—and how does it effect your eating behavior?
- If you have been practicing Intuitive Eating for a while, dive a little deeper. When do judgments or guilt-inducing thoughts tend to arise?
What story do you tell yourself when you break a food rule? (Our minds are excellent at making up stories!) What do you need in order to be more aware of your thoughts? What do you need in order to let go of a food rule or become more flexible?
- If you have mastered this principle, for the most part, what was a turning point or aha moment for you? PLEASE SHARE to help inspire others who are struggling.
Remember to approach your thoughts with curious awareness rather than with critical judgment. Be patient and gentle with yourself.