When I help women to ditch the diet obsessions and way of ‘eating’ I talk to them about the two types of allowance that are important but not of equal weight:
Physical allowance: the physical act of eating food – AND – Emotional allowance: the belief that eating whatever food you want to eat/ are eating is fundamentally ‘okay’.
In my experience many people can ‘do’ the physically allowance part- but what actually makes the difference around finding sanity with food is being able to ‘do’ the emotional allowance part….. and this probably what many of you are struggling with and the reason why ‘things just aren’t working out’.
Furthermore emotional restriction has a lot to do with your perception that the food you “want to eat” says something about you as a person (hence the guilt, shame and self judgment).
In other words emotional deprivation is at play when you experience:
….. underlying pangs of guilt, shame, worry
…..obsessive thoughts about weight gain,
…..generally feeling like you’re doing something wrong when eating
Hence emotional allowance is SO important.
But how do you get to the stage where you can emotionally allow yourself to eat?
……The answer lies in doing the work on the emotional restriction.
Which means working on the voice you hear when eating/ thinking about the food/ wanting to eat the food that says: “I shouldn’t be eating this. This is wrong/ bad/ naughty! What if I get/stay fat?! What would my friends think if they saw me eating this? How will I justify eating this to others?”