How can I let go and eat what I want without guilt?



What an
idea right? Eating what you want and maintaining your figure. We roll our eyes
at those girls on Instagram with their size 8 frames and their pizza eating
shenanigans, secretly full of jealousy that if we ate pizza all the time we would not be a size 8. LIFE IS SO
UNFAIR!!

So is
there a way for us to eat what we like, when we like, guilt free without
gaining weight? Of course there is. And it’s easier than you might think…

So what
magic pill, diet or workout am I recommending to achieve this goal? Letting
go.

Letting go
of judgement of your own body, letting go of any type of judgement you have
towards food, letting go of believing that there are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods,
letting go of the stress of really wanting a doughnut but turning it down,
letting go of the fear of gaining a few lb’s because you had a really fun night
out with your friends, letting go of the idea that if you eat ‘perfect’ foods
then you’ll have the ‘perfect’ body, letting go of the idea that if you ‘binge’ at
the weekend all of your progress will take massive step back. I believed these
ideas for years, and it’s only now that I’ve let go that I look back and
realise how much I missed out on by being held back by these judgements.

I went to counselling for my anxiety just before my wedding
because I was stressed and anxious but above all the idea of having to look a
certain way in my wedding dress was honestly just too much to bear. The
counsellor asked me to talk about what my issues were around food and body
image. I told him that I was super strict and ate ‘perfectly’ mid week, I
worked out 5 times a week, I said no to any ‘bad’ food offered to me. But when
it came to the weekend, I would binge on alcohol, on chocolate, on pizza, on
anything I wanted that I had deprived myself of through the week. And come
Sunday night I’d be depressed, anxious and writing in my journal that I’d been
a total failure and probably gained 10lb and I really need to do better next
week. And I honestly believed that. It was a constant struggle.

My
counsellor looked at me blankly and said ‘it doesn’t sound like you have a
problem with binge eating. It sounds like you eat healthily most of the time, you exercise regularly, and you treat
yourself when you want to. That sounds like the perfect balance to me.’

Looking
back this sounded so simple and he was 100% right. But I was dumbfounded by his
answer and convinced myself he just didn’t get it. Because if I stopped feeling
guilty, stopped trying to ‘be good’ and let myself go, all of my progress
would have gone to waste and I’d be back to being unhealthy and overweight.

If I’m
being honest, I think that I only truly let go when I found out that I was
pregnant. One of my biggest insecurities has always been my stomach, which
looking back now postpartum was ridiculous because I was tiny with zero stomach fat. Since I was pregnant
I figured, I don’t have to worry about it any more right? Because there’s a
baby in there, and a bump and a reason to not have to breathe in and be
self-conscious about it. So it’s safe to say I worried less about what I
look like which has led to me slowly letting go and being less strict with my
eating habits. If I feel like crisps, I eat them. If I want a bag of mini eggs,
I’ll have them.

So what
has happened since I’ve let myself eat what I want? Has my health deteriorated?
Have my workouts suffered? Do I hate the way I look? No! Even despite all of
the changes with my pregnant and postpartum body, I’m healthy and happier than ever.  More importantly, my mental health has never been better. I
haven’t gained any unnecessary amount of weight, I’m strong, I still worked out in my third trimester and I’m getting back into exercising after having Jacob. I feel
great and can finally say that I love my body even though it looks completely different to what I used to work so hard for.

Living a
happy and balanced life both physically and mentally is not about 5 days of
eating perfectly and 2 days of sitting knee deep in empty chocolate bar
wrappers and feeling guilty. If you want to live a truly balanced life, you need to
just keep it simple. Eat healthy nutritious food because you want to and
because it makes your body feel good. Make healthy choices where you can like
not eating ice cream for breakfast. Move regularly in a way that you enjoy and
makes you feel energised. If you have a craving for something, eat it. The
likelihood is the more you allow yourself these little treats that aren’t
restricted to the weekend, the less likely you are to binge and you start to develop a healthy routine that’s easier to maintain.

One of the
quotes that really resonated with me was this, ‘You are what you consistently do.’
If you eat healthily 80% of the time and are generally active then a night of
drinking wine with a takeaway is not going to derail this. If you eat a
takeaway every single night, then you’re consistently choosing foods that don’t
benefit your body and you’ll feel the effects of it.

So how do
you eat what you want without gaining weight? Let go, love your body enough to
trust that it will not betray you and trust yourself enough to know that you
will make the choices that are right for you and you did your best at the time
of making them. I promise you that it is impossible to gain 3 stone after 1
week in Tenerife with your mates.

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