Ep 90: How to Care About What You Eat Without Really Caring at All
What if we told you that you don’t need a bunch of nutrition knowledge to be a confident eater?
This may seem funny coming from a couple of nutrition professionals. Honestly, when we first received our degrees and started practicing nutrition, we truly thought we would help people by telling them what to eat.
We soon realized that most people know what to eat; lack of information is certainly not an issue...and may actually only create more issues.
Sure, nutrition is a science -- which is what drew both of us to this profession in the first place. We love the science of nutrition.
And because we understand it well, we know you don’t have to overthink, overanalyze, or second guess.
In this episode, we are going to teach you how to care about what you eat without really caring at all..otherwise known as finding the middle ground.
Healthy eating has so much to do with flexibility, variety, satisfaction and what’s happening over weeks or months -- not meal to meal or day to day.
For the vast majority of people, caring LESS about nutrition is actually a really good first step to creating nutritionally adequate food patterns.
We aren’t kidding! When you’re obsessed + preoccupied with what you eat, you actually run the risk of not eating the kind of variety and balance that are necessary for health.
There’s a way to care about what you’re eating without really caring at all.
Maybe that's a bit of a mind-bender. 🤯 It’s a difficult frame of mind to adequately describe without experiencing it for yourself...but we do know how to get you there!
Here are the first 4 steps:
Step 1: Lose the judgment.
This is hard, but it’s gotta happen. If you are still judging food as good or bad, then you’ll still care about food in ways that aren’t truly effective and helpful.
Does that mean you see all food as nutritionally equal? No, because they aren’t.
It means you’ll have the same emotional reaction no matter what you eat – you aren’t patting yourself on the back for eating carrots and hitting yourself over the head for eating cake.
It’s just food, and there isn’t any morality tied to it. The practice here is to reframe your beliefs about food to include the idea that all foods can fit.
Step 2: Check in + connect.
How often are you checking in on your body? Do you notice what it’s communicating to you at regular intervals throughout the day?
Knowing what your body is communicating to you will be a key factor in learning how to care about what you eat without actually caring. You’ll be internally motivated by innate signals rather than externally motivated by the clock or calories or rules or what everyone else is doing.
The confidence you’ll build through checking in + connecting will be pivotal.
We love this quote:
“When you have a deep level of self-awareness, you can tell if you’re getting the nutrition you need.” – Daxle Collier.
We’d encourage you to do start with a quick body scan every morning, afternoon and evening. Start from your toes and work up to the top of your head. What sensations do you notice? What cues is your body sending you? How is your body feeling? What does it need?
Step 3: Recognize that food confidence comes one meal at a time.
Every meal is an opportunity to learn more about yourself.
What nourishes and satisfies you, what keeps you energized and full, what isn’t enough food, what’s too much food, etc.
Instead of the judgment we discussed above, curiosity will be your biggest asset.
There’s a learning curve here, and many people give up because they think they aren’t “getting it.” In reality, there’s nothing to "get" except whatever lessons food might be teaching you that day.
We understand it’s easy to feel overwhelmed + discouraged, because we’ve been right where you are. But trust the process, and be open to learning!
Step 4: Don’t focus on what others are doing -- focus on what you are doing.
The thing that messes us up the most is the disconnection that happens when we lose ourselves in pursuit of keeping up with everyone else.
This process is deeply personal, even among those making peace with food. It’s not about being good or bad, or doing it right or wrong. It's about learning how to be true to yourself.
Get rid of triggering social media feeds, leave food obsessive conversations, set boundaries, and do whatever else is necessary to help you stay connected to this process + to yourself.
At this point, you’ll start to learn how to naturally self-moderate without a bunch of rules. Basically, you’ll care but not care.
That’s only possible when you’ve fully separated what you eat from your worth and value.
In this process, you’ll find your value outside of food. You'll realize that your appearance + your food choices don't determine your worth.
That’s SO important! At the end of the day, equating our worth + value with our appearance + food choices only keeps us stuck in caring too much.
You are NOT what you eat.
Food does NOT define you.
And it’s quite possible to care about your health + wellbeing...without caring too much.
We hope this has felt helpful for you as you work with your food in your own life to develop confidence in yourself.
Now you know that there’s a way to care about food without caring too much. There’s a way to find the middle ground with food, to take good care of yourself without being preoccupied with food or your body.
If you’re wanting to learn more about how to become a confident eater, we have a free training for you - our free online workshop, Cultivate Confidence: How to Bridge the Gap Between Food Rules + Food Freedom and Find Peace with Your Body.
Join us to learn how to create an environment that builds food + body confidence and find wellness without a diet.
All you need to do is head over to eatconfident.co/freeworkshop, pick from one of the 3 times we’re teaching it this month, and save your seat.
If you have any questions about the workshop, head over to our Instagram @eatconfident.co and DM us and we’ll help you out.
Thanks so much for listening and we’ll talk to you next week!