As I’ve mentioned before, I spent nearly two decades in a weight loss yo-yo, the rollercoaster of binge-restrict-binge-restrict. Round and around I went. I was sick of it, of course, but figured that I was just one of those women predestined to struggle with self-control around food. Then the pandemic hit and I needed HELP with a capital “H”. When calling out to God I felt a distinct nudge to stop trying to do this on my own power and instead open up to the possibility that healing could happen.
And, healing did happen. I discovered how to find that Freedom around Food that Dr. Ubell talked about. Today I want to break down both what that is and the basics to how to get there.
First, freedom around food means that you eat what physically supports your body and steer clear from things that don’t serve you. That means that you no longer are ruled by the limiting beliefs that you need what you crave in order to survive.
I used to be that woman that if I made a batch of cookies, I was physically ill by the time the last batch came out of the oven. I would eat so many gooey yummy cookies that I was nauseous and frustrated at my lack of control. The only way I could prevent the occasion was by refusing to have a single bite. Do you know what Freedom Around Food looks like? Just having one. Really. I can do that now. I can put a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie, fresh out of the oven on my plate, eat it, and be done. I can pass up a cupcake, turn down a bowl of chips, and even shrug away a loaded waffle.
I want this for every woman out there that is struggling with the frustration and shame they have around their eating and drinking choices. I truly believe that our culture has gotten way too good at shoving highly palatable destructive culinary choices at us and made us feel trapped. God cares about your physical health and the mental head space that is being sabotaged as you try to fight yourself out of your unhealthy choices.
So, I’ll tell you how to get there.
First, you have to listen to your body again. It is that simple. Use the bathroom scale, see what foods cause you to put on weight easily and which one allow systematic inflammation to go down. Pay attention to your digestion. Arm yourself with knowledge about your unique body and how it functions. You can read a plethora of diet books and get information, too, but the best teacher is that beautiful body your soul is housed in. Honor it and start paying attention.
Second, start to work on what your heart and mind needs in order to stop turning to food for comfort. When I work with women we address this at two levels. The first is that we pay attention to our cravings and urges and learn to comfort ourselves with better self-care. I have them dig into their personalities and invest in refreshing their heart and soul. The second level is learning to handle life with less stress and heartache. We learn to have patience with ourselves and others, we learn to lean on God and rest in Him so that we aren’t running to a jar of peanut butter to fuel our depleted minds and hearts.
Third, we kick destructive habits to the curb and cultivate life-giving rhythms. Habits are the key. Once we learn what our bodies need and how to handle or prevent stress, then we develop habits that protect our choices, setting us up for a lifetime of success. Doing what serves us becomes what we do without having to really even think about it.
So, let’s recap, in order to have freedom around food you will want to start learning what foods your body likes by paying attention to mainly digestion and the scale. Next we learn to both handle and prevent stress, exploring practices that comfort and heal when we are hurting and guard our heart and mind. Lastly, we take all that information and develop habits, routines, and rhythms for living that give us ongoing health all the way around.
Yes, it isn’t a magic pill or an overnight process, but it is transforming. I had no idea that finding freedom around food would build my confidence and strengthen my precious connection to God with the help that I received from others.
Now, I want you to stay tuned, because in a couple weeks I’m releasing a new free resource that will help you with everything we’ve been talking about today.
You are brilliant, my love. I am so excited about the freedom that will be yours. Talk to you next week, good bye for now.
by Lora Armendariz
You Can Do It!
Do you want to fall out of love with a destructive habit? The first 42 episodes of this podcast are a resource for anyone who wants encouragement and information as they take a six week break from a habit in order to fall out of love with it.