I’ve had the pleasure of working with many women helping them to achieve sanity and freedom around food. And, I’ve done a fair bit on work on myself in the past so I too can eat cake, brownies, tablespoon upon tablespoon of peanut butter and just ‘not give a shit’.
And, on top of that I’ve done a lot of research and study (because I love human behaviour) on this topic because it’s essentially what my clients want to achieve for themselves.
So get ready because I’m going to share with you the fundamental mentalities of “normal” eaters that are keeping you from freedom with food. And because you’re probably not quite sure that’s this so called ‘normal eating’ is actually possible, let’s just get straight into it, shall we?……
5 mentalities of ‘normal eaters’
1. ‘Normal eaters’ generally don’t plan their food.
First up, they don’t plan what they’re going to eat in advance. Meaning they don’t sit around on a Sunday night meticulously meal planning, looking up recipes and trying to work out what their body ‘might’ want days in advance. If you’re not so sure why I find meal planning #lame check this out. Calories, portion sizes and how much food they want to eat is also not something planned out in advance.
Secondly they eat when they’re hungry, or when it’s typically time to eat. And in between one meal to the next they don’t think about food, which also means they don’t over think/ worry/ plan/ obsess/ start to organize the next meal in between meals.
Get it: They don’t plan. They trust their gut and eat what they want, when they want, however much they want.
2. ‘Normal eaters’ think about things other than food in between meals.
This goes to say that they have and live a life in between meals. Weight loss, dieting and thoughts about their bodies are not at the forefront of their mind.
Imagine a life where you can think about other things other than food I know now that I’ve healed my relationship with food and my body that I’ve suddenly carved out all this time to call mum, spend time with friends and enjoy early finishes from work.
For me today food just happens when it happens, as it happens.
3. ‘Normal eaters’ don’t judge/ shame/ blame/ loathe themselves when they eat something that might not be the ‘most nutritious’ thing for them.
Read: They don’t feel like eating is “wrong”. This is a HUGE point and one I think is the hardest for ‘non normal’ eaters to grasp.
In other words ‘normal eaters’ don’t inflict moral judgment onto what they’re eating. Furthermore they don’t buy into the idea that people judge them for what they’re choosing to eat (eg. ice-cream, chocolate cake, a pancake stack for brunch in a cafe). Which also means they don’t feel the need to ‘sneak’ to the fridge and secretly eat, in fear of being caught out (Man! I hated those days…and nights).
Generally speaking ‘normal eaters’ know what is best for their bodies, and because they don’t restrict, obsess and attach moral judgment onto food, making healthful choices is generally something they do easily. Because they are able to tune into their bodies. Read here for more on this…. BUT when they do eat some dessert, wedges after a ‘big night’, enjoy the bread basket or tuck into the cheese platter at a function, they aren’t sent into a massive ‘guilt/ self loathing/ shame/ fear’ frenzy.
The big take home point: Food doesn’t dictate their self esteem. If you eat something that’s not as nutritious for you as other types of food, normal eaters don’t judge or shame themselves.
4. They eat when they’re hungry, stop when they’re full, and usually eat what sounds good to them in the moment.
And before you cry out “But how the? I’d gain so much weight…that’s just not possible!”, let me provide some counter arguments:
‘Normal eaters’ aren’t dieting, which goes to say they aren’t following rules in order to control and manipulate their bodies through food. Therefore they aren’t engaging in unhealthful eating behaviours (eg. diet-binge cycle, restriction, emotional eating, binge eating etc). Which I could easily argue is what is making it impossible to control your weight in the first place (and will always make it impossible….go figure right).
I could also write an essay on the fact that diets have a 90- odd- % rate of failure, so you have a better chance of actually learning to stop hating your body than you do controlling your food…which is something normal eaters generally don’t have too much of an issue with (ie. body acceptance).
Also: eating like a “normal” person means making decisions about food based on what makes your body feel physically and emotionally well, rather than eating in a way that you ‘should’, ‘ought’ and ‘must’ (the basis of ALL diets).
When you get to the stage where you’ve dropped the diet and practiced allowance around food, you will discover that your body is in fact VERY intelligent. When you can stop thinking like a dieter your body knows exactly how much food you need to maintain a weight that’s healthful for you (which is the biological basis for hunger).
5. ‘Normal eaters’ don’t turn to food as a coping mechanism.
Instead they have a range of other strategies and techniques to get them through fear/ pain/ discomfort/ vulnerability/ shame. This is ONE of the most important points to really understand and it’s likely to likely most of you are REALLY struggling with.
Whether it’s your instinct to turn away from food or towards food as a coping mechanism, ‘normal eaters’ have been practicing coping with life’s “triggers” using other coping mechanisms. I promise this can be learned.
If you want to know more about how you can free yourself from fighting food and feeling crazy around food, stick around by signing up for free coaching emails.