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3 Ways to Ditch The Diet & Discover Food Freedom

This blog post by The Fit Flamingo is about How to Ditch The Diet and Discover Food Freedom
I'm Madison!

As a personal trainer, nutrition & self-love coach I help women transform their mindset, heal their relationship with food, and feel worthy in their own skin. Welcome to The Fit Flamingo!

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Wanna know 3 things that will totally change the way you approach your relationship with food!? I’m telling you — these 3 things will help you set yourself free!!! You’ll feel empowered to nourish your body in a way that’s right for you without feeling stuck in that negative cycle of dieting or just doing what you think you “should” do!!

I also just want to encourage you big time. It’s time to release the judgement and sideline your shame so you can see yourself with love. Are you ready to dive in and discover food freedom? Heck yes! Let’s do this.

How to Ditch The Diet & Discover Food Freedom

Wow friend, I’m so glad you’re here. I’m proud of you for clicking on this post because it means you’re willing to see your relationship with food in a new light. And that willingness is something to celebrate. Because before we can make a change in life, there has to first be a willingness there. And just you be willing to see things differently will result in new ideas and new solutions coming your way with ease.

Say it with me, “Changes are easy for me to make. I make new changes with ease.” YES!! The more you think to yourself, “Ugh change is so hard for me” guess what!? Change will be hard for you. If you think it, you feel it. So how does it feel to think, “I make new changes with ease?” It’s feels so freaking empowering!

Do you not realize how unstoppable you are? You are amazing. And I fully believe that you can heal your relationship with food with ease. It may take time. It may require some unlearning. But wow, who says it has to be hard and heavy? What if you stepping into your power could be fun? What if it could be EASY? I love thinking about it from that perspective. It’s so freeing. And I hope it helps you too 🙂

When Did Your Relationship with Food Change Forever?

Okay friend, if you’re anything like me, your relationship with food has been filled with so many highs and so many low lows. I bet you can pinpoint the exact moments in your life when you started to see your body in a negative light.

Do you remember the moment in your life when your relationship with food changed forever?

Did someone say something to you about your weight or your body that made you think “hm, maybe I should eat less” or “wow food is bad” or “food makes me fat” or “I can only eat if I earn it.”

Maybe food is a place of comfort for you – something you can escape to; something that makes you feel better on a bad day.

Maybe it’s something you feel you can control even when everything else is falling apart.

Maybe food is a way for you to reward or punish yourself. Maybe you’ve put so many labels on what it looks like to eat “healthy” that now it just feels too overwhelming and too frustrating to eat well on a regular basis.

Maybe you’ve endured health challenges or digestive issues that cause food to be so triggering and anxiety inducing for you.

Or maybe you don’t think you’re worthy of feeling good in your body so you starve it and punish it and run yourself till the point that you have nothing left…

Wow right? We are so quick to judge ourselves for struggling with our relationship with food.

But when we really look deep below the surface, we can see that our relationship with food is intertwined with years of shame and trauma.

This is Your Permission Slip to Release The Judgment

I want to give you a permission slip to release the judgment. Let’s just set that judgment down (even if just for a moment) and take a deep breath. Take a big inhale in. Biiiiig exhale out. Good job!

Judgment is a habit. And just like any habit, it can be unlearned.

Friend, you are enough. You don’t have to hold yourself hostage anymore. You get to set yourself free. You get to write the rest of your story. Even if there is trauma there. Even though you may have chapters filled with grief and shame. The pen is in your hand and your body wants nothing more than to be a safe place for you. Food wants nothing more than to help you live this life fully and unapologetically.

Food can be a beautiful tool for expressing joy and connecting us with the people we love. It also nourishes, energizes, and helps us live a full and vibrant life. Food is so lovely and wonderful if we let it be.

Everything Is Connected

The truth is, we all have a relationship with food. It impacts everything we do. It effects how we feel in our body and what we think about our body.

It’s all connected! Your trauma impacts your relationship with food. Your mom’s view of food impacts how you see food. The way your friends talk about food shapes the narrative for how you talk about food. Girlfriend, this stuff goes deep!!!

That’s why we’re not going to judge ourselves anymore. There’s a reason this stuff is hard.

It’s hard because it’s hard. It’s hard because you may have some wounds in need of healing. And that is OKAY!

So how can you start to shift the way you see food? How can you begin to discover food freedom? I’m going to teach you 3 things you can do to start healing your relationship with food. Ready for them? 🙂 Here they are:

3 Things You Can Do to Discover Food Freedom

01: Observe Yourself Without Judgment

What if you observe yourself with curiosity instead of judgment? What if you pretend you’re a lil scientist in a cutie lil white lab coat. And you just observe. You think hm, how does food X make me feel? Hm, how do I view my relationship with food? How could my trauma be impacting the way I’m seeing food right now? And so on!!!

What if you were just willing to get out your pen and clipboard and observe your thoughts and feelings before, during, and after a meal? No judgment allowed.

Remember, this stuff gets to be fun. It gets to be healing!!!

When you observe yourself without judgment, it allows you to take a step back. It allows you to sideline the shame. Because when you feel ashamed, it is so hard to move forward with love. When you’re judging yourself for every single choice you made, it’s so hard to see yourself as a whole person with a beautiful story and a beautifully abundant life ahead of you.

This may take practice and patience before it becomes a habit. But I promise that when you do this out of love, you WILL discover food freedom.

02: Make One Choice at A Time

One of things I don’t love about dieting is that (at least most of the time) it doesn’t teach you how to make decisions for yourself in real life settings. Dieting can so quickly become about all the foods you can and cannot eat.

Then, what usually ends up happening is you go out to dinner with your friends and there’s nothing on the menu that’s diet compliant. So you quote-on-quote “indulge” and it instantly feels like you failed. You feel ashamed that you didn’t have more self-control and you blame yourself for not meal prepping before or having a backup plan in mind. Yikes, doesn’t it suck to feel like this!?

When we talk about food freedom, what it means is we’re allowing ourselves to see all the options and make a choice that best supports us in that moment.

Instead of deciding how we’re going to eat every single meal, every day for the rest of our lives we put the power back in our own hands and do our best moment to moment.

We can learn what it looks like, what it feels like to make our own choices without consulting a diet guidebook for every meal. We’re free to mess up. And we’re free to get it right.

Let me say that again! You are free to mess up. You are free to get it right.

Here’s what I want you to try. Next time you’re deciding what to eat, try these 3 steps:

#1 — Observe all of your choices. Remember you’re a cutie lil scientist in your white lab coat. We simply observe all the options.

Then, #2 — Take a deep breath. Remember our 4-7-8 breath? Pull it out of your self-love toolbox and let yourself breath deep. By doing this, you’re tuning back into your body and that’s a powerful place to make decisions from.

Finally, #3 — Trust yourself to make the best choice you can. You can literally say to yourself, “I trust myself to make the next best choice.” Isn’t that cool! It’s not even about making the perfect choice. It’s just about making the best choice for yourself in that moment.

So there are 3 steps to making our next choice: We observe. We breathe. We do our best!

Then what happens as a result? Let’s say you eat something and it doesn’t make you feel good. Or you make a choice and instantly feel ashamed or anxious. All we’re gonna do is repeat the process! Observe. Breathe. Do your best!

You can always choose again.

It’s in choosing again that we learn what works and what doesn’t, gaining more and more confidence with every choice with make.

Doesn’t this feel like such a kinder, more empowering way to approach food!? I’m obsessed with this 3-step method!!

03: Kiss the Labels Goodbye!

Last but not least, I want to encourage you to kiss the labels goodbye. Now I’m not talking about the nutrition labels on the back of your fav cereal box. Rather, I’m talking about the labels you place on food. Labels like, “apples are good, cookies are bad” and “salads are healthy, pizza makes you fat.”

Here’s the reason why I want you to say goodbye to labels… These labels make it really hard to see food as anything other than good or bad.

If you subconsciously label a cookie bad then eat that cookie, how do you think you’ll subconsciously feel about yourself? BAD!!! Either you’ll feel like you did something bad or it becomes this part of your identity that you are now bad, that you never get it right, or that you don’t have enough “self discipline” to stick to the diet. Wow right!

But what if (what if!!!!) food was neutral?

Have you ever spent an evening celebrating a big win with your favorite people? You savor a giant bowl of pasta and sample every dessert item on the menu. You laugh and cry and treasure every moment because it just felt so free and fun?

The truth is, when we label food as good or bad, we deny ourselves the opportunity to create and express joy through food. We also create a lot of unfair expectations for ourselves.

Food can be neutral. Neither good nor bad. Because isn’t it true that sometimes the cookie you ate made you feel really good? And sometimes you ate something that was supposed to be “healthy” but it actually left you feeling quite awful?

Let’s move forward together, kissing labels goodbye and seeing food as neutral. YOU get to decide what food means and represents moment to moment. Every meal is a clean slate. And you can always always choose again in the next moment!

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Ah friend, I hope this post helps put the power back in your hands. It’s actually been there all along but wow, isn’t it easy to forget that we don’t have to judge ourselves anymore?

You don’t have to beat yourself up!! You can observe yourself without judgement. You can mess up and still choose again. You can keep doing your best, knowing that your best is always good enough. You can see food as neutral. You can set yourself free!!

Food freedom is a beautiful thing. We explore it more in the posts and podcast episodes to come but I hope this post provides a really lovely place to start. Let’s keep doing our best, shall we? 🙂

You’re doing so much better than you know. I’m really proud of who you are. I love you a whole lot. And I’m sending you so much love.

If you’re looking for one-on-one coaching, I would love to meet you where you’re at and help you find food freedom. In my business, The Fit Flamingo, I help women heal their relationship with food in a fun and approachable way. We can set up a 30-minute discovery call if right now you’re thinking, “wow yes I need this!”

In our call, we’ll talk through your biggest struggles & dreams and I’ll offer insights that you can implement right away to release judgement and see yourself with love. You can reach out to me through Instagram @thefitflamingo or via email to thefitflamingo@gmail.com.

I’m in your corner cheering you on!

With Love from your Fitness Coach & Wellness Obsessed BFF,
Madison | The Fit Flamingo

Hi, I’m Madison Deaton. As a personal trainer, nutrition and self-love coach, I focus on the inside first, helping you get to the root of why you think and feel the way you do. Then I use things like functional fitness, holistic nutrition, mindset and self-love tools to help you connect with yourself on a deeper level, see things from a new perspective, and unlearn habits that no longer serve you so you can take up space, step into your power, and become the woman of your dreams (friendly reminder: she has been YOU all along). Welcome to The Fit Flamingo! I’m so glad you’re here.

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I'm a certified personal trainer, nutrition coach, and Kinesiology graduate but at the end of the day, the thing I'm best at is being a friend. I'm drawn to deep conversations and authentic relationships and in our times together, I just want to be that friend who sees the best in you and meets you where you're at. I know how lonely it can feel to make changes on your own. So I'll be here every step of the way to cheer you on and reflect your own light back to you.

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