Change is hard.
When we’re talking about changing thoughts that have been around for at least a decade for many of us, it can be even harder.
I encourage you to focus on removing food police thoughts before starting to work on changing these two types of thoughts or voices to their more positive counterparts. If you would like to learn more about how to say goodbye to the food police you can read about that here.
If you still have strong food police thoughts, you will just end up frustrated and feeling defeated. Nobody wants that!
I like to rush to the end of books I’m reading, shows I’m watching, etc. If this is who you are too, you’ll find that learning to love the process of tuning into your needs and your intuitive eating voice will take you far.
Accepting that there isn’t actually any arrival or end so to speak can help you make the choice to pursue this process with your eyes (and heart) wide open.
After you’ve worked on reducing food police thoughts or feeling confident in your ability to challenge the food police you can shift your focus to the positive food talk voices.
Two of the seven food talk voices have positive counterparts and with the removal of the food police they can flip to the good side.
Those two are the diet rebel and the nutrition informant. If you want a refresher on what these voices sound like you can find that here.
When you get rid of the food police you free these voices of their judgmental, harsh inward tones and let them become more compassionate and protective voices.
Here are some things you can do to help grow them into their powerful positive identities.
Diet Rebel –> Rebel Ally
Being a rebel can be fun…
It can also cause completely reckless behaviour that could hurt yourself and others.
With the diet rebel your behaviours usually feel more like the latter,
BUT with the rebel ally it’s going to be more fun, less reckless.
The rebel ally channels all that frustration, lack of autonomy and self doubt into a voice that helps you hold your boundaries about your eating habits and choices. It gives you confidence and clarity in expressing your needs with words instead of secretly using food as a weapon.
With your kids this helps create boundaries around body talk and feeling confident in directly telling others that their comments about your kids’ bodies or food intake are not welcome.
If you find yourself wanting to rebel or act out, ask yourself these questions:
- What am I feeling right now? Disappointment in myself, anger towards a diet message or other people, fear of failure, etc.
- What did I really need in that moment? Space, to more assertively communicate my needs, honor my hunger, feel my fullness, emotional support, self care, etc.
- How can I be more outwardly expressive about this in the future?
Making the switch over to the rebel ally will feel like a literal switch has flipped.
You get to feel more in control of these food or body talk situations that often left you feeling angry and well, rebellious.
To be clear, just because you feel more in control in these situations doesn’t necessarily make them any easier, it takes time and practice to connect with your rebel ally voice.
Nutrition Informant –> Nutrition Ally
Health matters and nutrition can play a big role in your health status.
But when eating for “health” becomes about deprivation, discomfort and punishment there’s likely more going on. This sounds more like the nutrition informant.
This voice is also the one that tells your children they need to eat their vegetables before they can have dessert or 5 more bites of the “healthy food” before they can have the sweet stuff. You feel like you’re doing it for their health but really it’s a reward/punishment system.
When making a choice between two foods ask yourself these questions:
- Do they both satisfy me equally?
- Will I feel morally good with either choice?
- Am I choosing this food because I know I’ll both be satisfied and feel better physically or is it so I will morally feel good about this choice?
- If I choose the food I think is less healthy, how will I feel?
Once you can switch over to the nutrition ally it will help you make choices with both health and satisfaction in mind.
If you find this transition difficult you aren’t alone. The nutrition informant is usually a difficult voice to switch away from given the clean health marketing and sneakier diet culture messages we have become accustomed to. In addition, a lot of the dieting=healthy eating messages run deep and are things that have been around most of our lives.
Once you untie the food police’s grasp from the nutrition informant, you’ll notice a difference in how you respond to food choices. It doesn’t matter if you’ve made or rejected a decision in the name of health, if you feel mostly neutral you know the food police has loosened it’s grip of the nutrition informant so you can feel more freedom around your food choice while still thinking about your health.
Remember to only pursue flipping these two voices once you feel like you have a good handle on food police thoughts. If you’re looking for support and accountability to find your intuitive eating voice the FED Mamas program might be for you. Join the waitlist here to be the first to know when doors re-open!
Thank you so much for being here.
With kindness and compassion,