Do Food Rules Help or Hinder?
Updated: Jan 24, 2018
In the world of binge eating, food rules are best left at the door.
In fact, that's exactly where people leave them when they're about to binge anyway.
Those rules that create the structure and control we believe we need around food, are the same ones that eventually have people feeling backed up against a wall, with nowhere to turn. So they break free- at least for a little while. They're 'off the wagon' and eating it all while they can. They know when tomorrow comes, those are the exact foods they have to keep in the 'off limit' category of their rule book so as not to lose control, again.
So which comes first? The desire to eat said food? The rule against eating it? Or the lack of control around it, and subsequent 'all of nothing' mentality?
If I tell you not to think of a pink elephant... If I swear the grass isn't greener... If the person you want a relationship with doesn't feel the same... If the house or job you've been eyeing is suddenly taken...
This is how we work- we imbue more energy and desire in the things we've told ourselves, or been told, we cannot have. I'm sure you have your own examples. Maybe your example is carrot cake.
So take stock of your rules. Are the things you overeat symbolic of all the foods you've labeled as off limits? Do you believe you cannot be trusted around certain foods? Are you rebelling against a system you've helped to create? When did these rules come to be? Who told you them? Was is from a diet book, or a weight loss system, your mother, or you friend who just read the latest study? Did you know what you were agreeing to when creating these rules?
There is another way of eating, and it has a lot to do with unlearning what we think we know, and relearning what has always been available to us. It's a way of eating that is intuitive, that allows the cues of our own body to dictate quantity and quality, that has nothing forbidden. It's a way of eating that has awareness and presence woven into most bites, and reflection and growth as a natural practice. It's a way of eating that creates no resistance, where the word sabotage has no meaning, where there is nothing to rebel against. It's imbued with love and respect. It takes some time to get there, but it is 100% possible. Step 1: check your food rules at the door and answer honestly: Does this food I'm choosing to eat, feel like love?