Why I don't Follow Food Rules

I’m at a place in my life where I can honestly say I don’t feel one single morsel of guilt for something I eat.   And it feels amazing to be at this place. 

But not too long ago I was living in a food obsessed world.  I was obsessed with controlling what and how I ate and dictating whether or not a particular food item was good or bad.  This past February I was living alone and quite depressed and lonely.  I decided to lose those pesky 10lbs (that never really exist…only in my head) to have something to do to fill my time. 

Diets always start out good.  You have the best intentions to be healthy and perfect with your food with the hopes of shedding weight and feeling better about yourself.  However, they always backfire.  They become obsessive, strict, and just unbearable.  At least this is what happens to me.  I get to the point where food is all I think about.  It’s my best friend.  And my worst enemy.   And honestly, that’s a sad reality to be living.

Luckily, I was able to shake myself out of that funk.  I don’t know exactly what helped me, but I was able to see that what I was doing was unhealthy and just plain dumb.  I was inflicting this misery on myself…and for what?  A smaller number on the scale?  I was actually more depressed at a lighter weight than when I was a few pounds heavier.

Since that depressive February, I have not dieted.  Have I had the urge to? Eh, once in a while I’ll have a thought of “I wish I looked like that”.  In fact, I thought this watching the “Bachelor Pad” while looking at Melissa Rycroft.  But the thoughts pass and my life goes on.  I will never look like her.  Ever.  And I am fine with that.

When it comes to food I have no rules.  I don’t decide what I am going to eat ahead of time.  I don’t plan out my meals in advance.  I don’t count calories, carbs, fat grams, or protein.   I just simply eat.  I eat when I wake up.  I eat when I am hungry.  Sometimes I eat only because something tastes good. I eat nutritious food.  I eat food that is considered incredibly unhealthy by most (example: Sunday I went to a Fair and had fish n’ chips, a piece of pumpkin role, and I also had donuts that morning).  I eat what I am craving and I eat what makes me happy.  I EAT.

There is no method to my madness.  There is no method to my lifestyle.  I’m at a place in my life where I am happy and feeling great.  And I think it has a lot to do with self acceptance and giving up some control and just going with the flow. 

My advice to anyone who is struggling with food is to try and give up those food rules.  Stop trying to stay within a certain calorie limit.  Our bodies don’t require a specific number each day.  I am an example of that.  I weigh the exact same as I did when I was 20 years old (I am now almost 26) and my diet changes daily.  There are days when I eat like it’s the end of the world and I can’t get enough.  And there are days when I simply graze.   There are times where I eat ceral for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Or days where I eat half a pizza and call it a night.  My point is that if you listen to your body and cravings, it can balance itself out.  

The same goes with exercise: listen to your body.  Have you seen my exercise log? I take many days off and enjoy them!  I don’t do crazy workouts daily.  It’s just not what I am craving at this point in time.  Can that change? Sure! My workout interests always change.  But I still always listen to my body in regards to what I want to do and what I will enjoy. 

Stop the “good” and “bad” lists of food.  Just have one simple category: Food.   I promise, life is a lot less stressful when you can just go with the flow and eat what you want.   I am not saying to completey abandon any thoughts of nutrition.  After all, my blog is about healthy living! I am a big advocate of whole grains, fiber, fruits, veggies, supplementation, etc.  But I am also a fan of ALL food and finding a balance that suits YOU. 

Question: Are you currently following any food rules?

Non-Food Related Update:

I got a new job!  I have been working at a vitamin store for the past couple of months.  While I have enjoyed my time learning about all things supplements, I was not happy in the retail environment.  My passion is with fitness and health promotion and I am excited to say that I accepted a position as a Fitness Specialist for a company in Cleveland, OH!  I am beyond excited to start!  I begin October 1st!  I am getting back to my roots in wellness programming, personal training, and teaching group exericse classes.  

I hope you all have a great night! 🙂

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30 responses to “Why I don't Follow Food Rules

  1. This is so great to read.

    I’m honestly not quite where you are yet. I wish I were. Granted, I eat whatever I want now. And it doesnt make me feel guilty. But, I still question it. In my mind, I still feel like I could be doing better. But I know I need to eat what I want, so I eat and I never feel bad about it. Does that make sense?

    I hope I get to the point where I don’t even question it. I know I’m close.

    And congrats on the job! That’s fantastic! I can’t wait to hear more about it. Hopefully ou can blog more if you get a more set schedule. If not, thats ok to. 🙂 I miss you though. and I miss your blog–you inspire me to just be. just be with workouts and just be with food.

    • I think it will give me more time to blog…it’s a set schedule and mon-fri. I can’t wait!

      I love your blog, keep doing what you’re doing! You’re posts are great to read 🙂

  2. I love, love, LOVE this post!! Sometimes it feels like nobody has this mindset anymore…with all the people obsessing over this food or that food, it gets tiresome to hear about. How refreshing to hear of a young woman who doesn’t stress about it and eat what she wants WHEN she wants it. No rules, no guilt, etc. I love it!

    I was actually thinking about this before I even read your blog post. I got home from a Zumba class tonight and wasn’t in the mood for what I had planned to cook(scrambled eggs and toast). I looked in the cupboard and saw Kraft Dinner…so I had that for supper instead. No guilt, it’s what I wanted so I had it! So what? This post makes me feel better about living life and NOT stressing anymore. Thank you for being one of the few easy going people when it comes to food and fitness. It’s great to read about 🙂

  3. Congrats on the new job!!!!!

    I agree that once I gave up the rules my guilt and issues with food decreased dramatically. Its so freeing and I love how you are such an example of that. 🙂

    And for the record, I thought Melissa looked gross and sickly skinny when watching The Bachelor Pad. She looked better when she was on the regular show. And I was sad when I saw her pregnant body. That’s just not right.

  4. Congrats on your new job, how exciting!

  5. Good for you for having such a healthy food philosphy 🙂 And also, CONGRATS on the new job!

  6. You are so right that diets usually start off innocent and well-intentioned, but it isn’t long before they backfire. That’s part of the trick, I think; they make you feel “good” for awhile, and then they ruin your life. Haha, ok maybe that’s extreme, but not in my case!

    CONGRATS ON THE JOB!

  7. awesome post. i don’t follow any rules anymore. i just follow my healthy guidelines, which i dont consider “rules” (eating whole grain, little to no artificial ingredients, etc) but i am so happy to not have to stick to certain ratios anymore. that was a pain.

    congrats on the job!

  8. That’s great advice – I’ve been on such a roller coaster with diets but what you’re saying makes so much sense!

  9. This is perfect! I dont think we ever need to be apologetic about fueling ourselves how we need to be fed. Healthy is good but sane is better – sometimes ya gotta have that chocolate!!!

  10. love your posts as always! so refreshing to read!

    congrats on the new job as well! 🙂 🙂

  11. This post is awesome Lindsey! I wish I could say the same- not quite there yet…but making progress 😀 So, that’s a good thing, right?! 🙂 So good to hear from you when you write!!
    HUGE CONGRATS on the new job!!!

  12. I hate the idea of “good food”/”bad food”. I figure it’s all about balance and choice. For example I love my wine. Which means I pass on ice cream. Or creme brulee beats out a martini. Life’s not worth livin’ if you’re not livin’ it. But you also have to make it as worthwhile while you’re here. All a lot of rhetoric to say what I already said. Balance. I. Am. Long. Winded. 🙂

  13. Congratulations on the new job and return to normal eating habits! I know you worked long and hard for both. So could you share with us more details about the job? Are you going to be teaching classes? Does this mean a return to the gym environment?

  14. great post linds!! I think that I was at a time where eating intuatively worked for me and I KNOW that it still can! BUT these days since I am training for a fitness comp-as you know the food rules are a little regimented but it is nothing that will last my whole life. when its done its done and I know I can get back to eating intuatively!!

    CONGRATS ON THE JOB!!!! im wondering what company you are working for because that is what I do!!!

    • That’s cool about the fitness comp! Good luck!!

      The company I work for is called Singleton Health Services and they contract with other companies and work with their employees. I will be working with the employees of a NASA research center

  15. Huge congrats on the job. I wish I find something more “Me” one day. Whoever that is.

    I love your Food Rules. Especially the :sometimes I eat because something tastes good. I simply eat. I EAT.”

    Amen.

    And, Melissa Rycroft? Pffshwah – she got nothing on you 🙂

  16. Carly in Wonderland

    This is so inspirational! I hope to someday not follow one single food rule. Thank you for sharing!!

  17. I read this post several days ago, because I am the way you used to be. BUT it has helped me so much this past week! Thanks you thank you thank you!

  18. Congrats on the job- it sounds fun judging from the title 😉

  19. Thanks for posting this…I am recovering (or attemptiong to) from severe disordered eating and I am trying to figure out what normal eating is…

    I know the general rule is to “follow a meal plan” but as an anorexic, I am not sure that is the best route.
    I am thinking I may be strong enough to JUST EAT and get on with life, you know? I don’t want to spend the rest of my life going to meetings and weighing my food.

    This post encourages me that (even if I am not able to now because I am in recovery) one day I will be able to live and eat with the simple attitude you exhibit.

    ~Missy

  20. Great post! I completely agree that ditching the rules around food, but I can also see where it’s hard for some people who have been following rules for so long! I am at the point that I eat what I want and don’t feel guilty. It’s a great feeling!

    PS- Congrats on the job! I can’t wait to hear more about it.

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