the power of permission + joyful eating program

Last week, after deciding that we had nothing in the house to eat, my husband turned to his favorite stand-by: a frozen pizza. After taking the same pitiful look around the house, opening and shutting the fridge and the cabinets several times, I settled on my favorite easy meal: avocado toast with a fried egg.
Later, we both sat on the couch with our respected dinners and he commented on the fact that I wasn’t going to eat any of the pizza with him. Eh. I love pizza. It’s hands down one of my favorite foods to go out for and I cannot resist a wood-fired slice of margarita pizza. But generic, frozen pizza? I can easily pass.

I was in control of my decision to pass on the pizza because I knew it wasn’t the food that I really wanted in the moment. It would have just been quick nourishment, nothing special, nothing gained. The next time we go out for the speciality pizza that I love so much, I will gladly allow myself to enjoy as much as my hunger and fullness levels dictate without any guilt.

With my happy weight clients, I spend a lot of time talking about the concept of permission. Granting yourself permission to eat what you want without fear is the only way to truly break out of the diet mindset. It’s a small piece of the puzzle that carries big results. When I am in control of my decisions around food, there isn’t any room for self-doubt, guilt, or shame. It’s not that I couldn’t have the frozen pizza, it’s that I truly didn’t want it.

Permission and intention around food are a big key when it comes to finding joy in eating and discovering your happy weight. There’s been a lot of talk on the internet this week around the concept of Moderators vs. Abstainers and I think it all comes back to the power of permission. Though I highly recommend reading Rachael’s post on the subject, a quick synopsis is that moderators can have just a little bit of something and be okay with it, but an abstainer has to eliminate things entirely. In the food/dietitian world, most of my clients come to me as abstainers. Years of dieting has reinforced the idea that they cannot be trusted around certain foods, so they abstain. (Until they don’t, usually followed by overeating or a binge).

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