Eggs are good.
Eggs are bad.
Dark chocolate is good.
Chocolate is bad.
Red wine is healthy.
Alcohol is bad.
Protein is good.
Meat is bad.
Whole grains are good.
Carbs are bad.
Dairy is healthy.
Butter and milk are bad.
I could make list after list of judgments that we carry around in our internal belief system about how to lose weight. Yet despite all these rules, are we happy? Do they work? Do rules have the power to take you to the life you want? I believe the more rules we have, the farther we are away from our healthy body weight and peace with our body.
I think of food rules like I think of religious rules. People love to go on about rules. This is good, this is bad. Judge, judge, judge. But a long list of restrictive rules misses the whole point. The point is to make choices and live your life lit up from the inside out with joy, health and light. I don't follow a rule in religion to avoid being bad, I am obedient to the Truth because I know that it will lead me to the life of my dreams.
Same with health and fitness. A long list of food rules is just "graceless religion", as my dear friend calls it. But that misses the point. There is a way to relate to food, exercise and your body that leads you to your healthiest, authentic self. Not the self shrouded in too much body weight or the shame you carry with that. Not the self that you label lazy or lacking self discipline. No! The you that SHINES. The you that is full of life and hope and energy and gratitude. That You.
Look, I've read all the magazines and books that you have. I could cite a new research article every day and add a new rule to the list. The issue for me is this; the rules never worked. In fact all they did was cause shame. Yet I was convinced I had to hold onto them. Maybe because it was the only belief system I had. Maybe I feared eating three gallons of ice cream and a pizza every day and nothing else if I had no rules. None of those fears are true.
There is a better way. You must find something to move towards. Add things to your day that affirm your health and your life. Fill up with goodness. The truth is if you eat enough plant strong whole food, you get feeling awfully good. The truth is if you make healthy choices to fill up on, the rules start to fall away. Try it. Take a week and let all the controls go. No counting, no weighing, (yes, I said NO SCALE), no measuring, no rules, no restriction. What you will find is much less shame, judgment and self condemnation. A person who is not under that kind of wrath of judgment is much more likely to take positive steps that a person who feels constantly judged. No one was every criticized into changing.
If you find it impossible to let go of restrictive, controlling processes try to understand why. Do you know what you are afraid of? It is OK to trust yourself, even if you went off the rails in the past. The energy you are spending thinking about how to keep holding this beach ball under water is going to exhaust you. Let it go.
The way to freedom is to find your vision. What is the life you want? What does it look like? Then without rules, by grace, step towards it. Find your courage and make a positive change. Deal with what comes up! (Because stuff will come up when you try to change.) Then take another step. Left foot, right foot. Rules keep you stuck where you are. You have to get moving forward towards the life you want. It's there just waiting for you to let go.