Unconditional Permission to Eat

I was recently in a Facebook group where a woman posted to ask if a splash of soy milk was allowed in her morning coffee.

I was immediately taken aback by this, not because what the woman did was so unusual, but because I realized it was the norm. This is where we’re at with nutrition: A grown woman asking a group of strangers for permission to add a spoonful of soy milk into her coffee.

The way we approach health and nutrition in today’s world is referred to as the “Expert Model”. You are not the expert on you, someone else is. The doctor, the heath guru, the Instagram wellness influencer, the diet book author, the local Isagenix rep all wield more power over your body than you do.

The expert model takes away your responsibility and puts you in the role of a child waiting to be told what to do.

The challenging part about that is all the experts have something different to say, so most people feel confused and overwhelmed. 

This leaves you with two options: You can continue to seek the answers outside of yourself, which involves hitching your wagon to one tribe of thought and hoping for the best. Or - option 2 -  you can figure out ways to come up with your own answers.

We cannot give ourselves our own permission to eat when we’re always looking to someone else to do it for us.

When y’all were asking permission, I just stepped up and took it.
— Mos Def
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I got to a point in my life where I just COULD NOT ask permission for my food or my body or my needs anymore. So instead, I started taking what I needed. And the world didn’t end. Incidentally, it was around the same time I stopped apologizing for my body and myself.

I know this is scary. This goes against a lot of what we’re taught.  The common fear is “If I give myself unconditional permission to eat whatever I want, whenever I want, then I will gain weight and I won’t look good or feel good.”

If you’re having this thought, don’t be hard on yourself. Understand that it is a normal, innocent response to being soaked in a culture that tells you dieting is the only way to love yourself and the expert model is the only way to be well.

But also see if for the programming and brainwashing that it is. 

The underlying messages being:

1. Your body is not to be trusted, so you cannot be left to your own devices with food.

2. Since you are not to be trusted, you must rely on the expert to tell you what to do.

3. If you don’t fit society’s standards of beauty or performance,  you are unlovable and unworthy.

4. The only reason to take care of your body is to look good or perform for someone else.

(If that feels like a bitch-slap right now, wait a beat. Then get mad. Then rebel.)

When sleeping women wake, mountains move.
— Chinese Proverb

Did you know that 97% of American women have the “I hate my body” thought?  (P.S. who are the 3%?? I want to meet you.)

A burnt out, stressed out, hungry woman who hates herself is not a powerhouse, not a force to be reckoned with. A woman asking permission for a teaspoon of soy milk is not out in the world moving mountains. 

We need to stop acting like children. We must stop looking to others to tell us what to look like and what to eat. We need to take back our responsibility, and with that, our power.

You CAN create your own autonomy with food. You CAN learn to be your own expert. You CAN be the boss of you.

And if that’s something you want to explore more, definitely jump in on the next round of the Carb Compatibility Project™. Sure, we talk about carbs. But more importantly — we talk about how to get your autonomy back with food.

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