You Have Permission To..
- February 28, 2018
- Last Updated: March 11, 2019
- 15 Comments
- Intuitive Eating
This week is eating disorder awareness week. While I have never had an eating disorder, there was a time where I was a little too hyperfocused on food and exercise. In the past, I believed certain foods were good and bad. I now know that no foods are good or bad, but some nourish me and make me feel better than others. Many of my clients are trying to break free from restrictive thinking and disordered eating habits, so I am very passionate about this topic.
Giving yourself grace is a big theme with many of my clients. And myself, sometimes too. We live in a culture of “go go go,” and one where we bestow high expectations on ourselves that only set us up for disappointment if we don’t meet them. We think we have to do xyz every day and complete each day’s to do list for it to be successful and “productive.” I am certainly guilty of this, and I’m realizing I need to be a little more realistic in what I can fit into a day, and still have my day be enjoyable.
I think once we learn to let go of some of these lines that we draw for ourselves, it’s easier mentally, to find freedom. For example, maybe you think you have to get up at 5am to go to the early morning Orange Theory class, and if you don’t, your whole day will be thrown off. But, what if you sleep in and skip it, because you listened to your body and need for extra sleep and/or a slow morning? Isn’t that freeing? You made an autonomous decision intuitively, in the moment, rather than an expectation you set for yourself the night before. Or, heck, maybe you plan your workouts by the week so you set it days ago. I used to be like that. But now, I enjoy the fluidity each day brings, and I realize some days I’m more motivated than others. Other days, I need peace, quiet and long walks.
So, I thought it would be nice to make a list of things, as a reminder to all of us, that we have permission to do. To help us let go of the tight ropes we sometimes impart on ourselves.
With Your Body, You Have Permission To…
Wear clothes that make you feel good
Throw away clothes that bring out the comparison trap or don’t make you feel good
Take care of yourself, first and foremost
Unfollow people who promote the “thin ideal” or bring you down
With Food, You Have Permission To…
Eat what you want in the moment
Not eat veggies / fruits every day
Eat foods that make you feel comforted sometimes
Not label your food as “good” or “bad”, “healthy” or “unhealthy”
Eat to satisfaction not just fullness
Realize that perfect doesn’t exist and intuitive eating can be “messy”
Eat the food you want, rather than a replacement food that still leaves you wanting more
Find pleasure in food again
Not pre-plan your meals so you can decide what you want in the moment
Eat foods you like and feel like eating
Create a pleasurable and relaxed environment where you eat
Eat the same food 3 meals in a row
ENJOY YOUR FOOD
With Exercise, You Have Permission To…
Not plan your exercise out
Skip an exercise class if you don’t feel like going
Move your body in joyful ways (some days, that means a walk, some days it might mean just going up and down the stairs)
Sign up for a race if you feel like it
Set exercise goals or move just for the joy of it (there does not NEED to be a goal in sight, despite what wellness professionals tell you)
You Also Have Permission To…
Forget about the past and stop worrying about the future
Say no to things you don’t want to do
Read a non-health related book for fun
Not get weighed at the doctors
Honor your health without a focus on exercise and food
Sleep in and forget obligations
For more self-care resources, check out this post.
What are you giving yourself permission to do this week?
I love this post! This semester I have really been working on giving myself permission to sleep-in rather than getting a workout in. It has been incredibly helpful in feeling rested during this busy time, which is so important. It can be hard to make that choice, especially when I have some running goals I want to achieve, but I know it is the best choice for my well-being. It has also been incredibly freeing to not feel any guilt when I choose sleep, I actually relish it!
This was my favorite “BLT” post ever….excellent, Sarah!
So glad you liked it, Steven!
Loving this. It starts in the mind, the recovery truly from EDs, and knowing that I have freedom in Jesus to honor my body, to honor the hunger, to not feel like I HAVE to work out, to move in a happy way and not move in a way that I feel like I HAVE to because I want to be like other people, permission to enjoy food when I do feel ‘hungry’ but my stomach isn’t exactly growling, permission to NOT judge food choices in myself or others, and permission to ENJOY food. I love that you put that, because that’s one of the first HUGE steps back towards recovery.
Enjoying food is a fundamental part of intuitive eating, because its teaching us to get in touch with our bodies and understand what foods we do enjoy. I love that you are actively working towards this Emily!
Love love love this! Have to get through the final push of this more – the pod delivery – then I’m going to pamper myself like WHOA with a massage and manicure.
You deserve it!! Moving is so mentally, physically and emotionally draining.
Love this! I really believe you have to think about what is truely of benefit to your overall (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual) wellbeing, not just what you feel like you should be doing. Sometimes that might be a tough workout, sometimes that might be some Netflix lounge time.
It’s so true that it can be tough to distinguish our health needs from what we feel like we “should” be doing.
Yes, we do. Thank you Sarah.
I love this post! I 110% agree with you that sometimes it’s way more important to skip a workout to get extra sleep or just have a mental health break if you need it. One skipped workout won’t make you gain 20 pounds just like one salad won’t help you lose 20 pounds.
One thing I’m giving myself permission to do this week is take it easy on chores. While it sounds silly, I feel like I’ve been going overboard on chores and it’s draining so I’m giving myself a break!
Give yourself a break, girl!
This week I’m giving myself permission to go to bed at 7:30 and wake up whenever. Also, depending on how the weekend goes, I am giving myself permission to negotiate with my boss for weekends off. It’s important to me and if I do well at my event this weekend, I’ll feel like I deserve to try.
That sounds wonderful, alot of us undervalue the importance of sleep. I hope you get your weekends off!