For those of you not in the know, I have an old school biscuit, chocolate box. You know the ones from your packed lunches when you were a kid. Current residers are; Toffee Crisps, Breakaways, Rockys, Clubs (orange ofc), Yorkies, Blue Ribbons and Kitkats.
The entire gang.
It’s pretty full to the brim and I keep it topped up regularly.
I’ve posted it a fair few times on my social media and I always get the same responses:
‘I could never have something like that!!’
‘I’d eat them all at once!’
‘That looks dangerous!’
You might even be thinking the same now.
Responses like this remind me of how much has changed. Honestly my response to something like that would have probably been the same a few years ago. As someone who experienced very disordered eating for a long period of my life, trust me when I say I get it.
I can’t open the packet cos once I do, I eat them all.
But now? My chocolate box sits in my cupboard, available whenever I want it. Complete freedom.
Some days I eat 1 chocolate bar.
Some days I eat 4 chocolate bars.
Some days (most days) I eat none.
Not out of restriction, or me telling myself that I can’t have them, or convincing myself (poorly) that I don’t want them like I used to.
Just because, I genuinely, don’t want one.
Anyone that knows me, knows I love chocolate. It’s kinda my thing.
(I’ve been known to order 3 courses of dessert when out for dinner)
But I don’t crave it anymore. Because I have food freedom & food neutrality. And the thing with food freedom, is that when you eliminate restriction, all those cravings, go away.
It might sound far fetched and unrealistic, but I assure you it’s real.
Take your favourite food. Think of it now. Mine’s pizza.
Now imagine, that that food hypothetically, has no effect on your health (weight gain or otherwise), and you can fill your house with it. Fridge, freezer, cupboards everywhere full of your favourite food. (Pizza house partaaaayy). You’re probably going to eat it all, am I right? All the flavours, all the toppings, all day, every day.
How long until you get bored of that food?
A week? A month? A few?
However long, at some point, you’re going to want something else.
That doesn’t mean you like your favourite food any less (pizza will always be queen), but you’re probably going to want something different. The pizza (or <insert favourite food here>) isn’t going anywhere. You can have it again tomorrow if you fancy it. Or the day after. Or maybe even next week. You can literally have it whenever you fancy it. You have complete freedom over that food. So it doesn’t seem so enticing anymore. Still tastes great, and you love eating it, but that hold it had over you is gone, cos you know it’s there when you want it. You’ve taken it off the pedestal.
When I first started working towards food freedom this is what happened.
Yep, I did eat the whole pack. M&Ms, cookies, you name it. Several times. ALL the food. It was scary and it was an emotional and confusing process.
I stopped telling myself I couldn’t have it. Or that it was only for special occasions. I allowed myself to decide it was okay when I wanted it.
And eventually, the hold went away. The pedestal was gone.
Slowly, food became neutral because I trusted in myself that when the time came that I wanted to eat the chocolate, I’d have it. When I wanted to order a pizza, I would. And it still tastes just as delicious as it did before. Yes, there are still times when I eat the whole packet of biscuits or entire tubs of ice cream, but I’m making that choice because I want to, not because it controls me.
There’s no guilt, there’s no shame and there’s no restriction.
It’s just me.
And my not so dangerous chocolate box.