It seems that everyone understand that restrictive diets don’t work. So they tell me that it’s not a restrictive diet they’re just not eating xyz (insert long list of foods or ingredients that they’re not eating) ?
They call it a “lifestyle”.
One of the (many) things that makes intuitive eating different from diets is the nuance, the exploration and the permission.
For example, I LOVE the taste and texture of cheese. Same for cream in my coffee or Alfredo sauce over pasta. AND dairy doesn’t sit so well in my guts ?
When I lived in diet and wellness culture, I declared myself dairy-free! I sang the praises of dairy-free options and espoused the many health benefits of being dairy-free. At times I even went as far as demonizing dairy and blamed it for all kinds of health conditions. Btw, I’ve also done this with sugar, grains, fats, meats and soy at various times?♀️ I’m so sorry.
I felt guilty every time that I consumed dairy. I would berate myself for putting my body through that. And when I did eat dairy, I would eat ALL of the dairy. In for a penny in for a pound right?
Let me tell you about how it is now.
I’m MOSTLY dairy-free. By adding that one word it gives me permission to include dairy into my diet. The other night for instance, I had some lasagna. Not because it’s my favourite but because it was easy and accessible and that mattered at the time. The potential bloat was worth it for the ease of that meal. And since I had full permission there was so need to follow it up with a bowl of ice cream and block of cheese.
I acknowledge that dairy isn’t the devil. While it may CONTRIBUTE to SOME people’s health challenges it is not the cause nor the cure. And even if it does contribute to someone symptoms, they are not a lesser person for choosing to eat it anyway.
Absolute restriction, with the exception of anaphylaxis, is not necessary or healthy.
Food and health are not moral obligations. As such, guilt has NO place. If guilt starts to rise within me, I know that I need to take a closer look because it’s a sure fire way to know that it’s diet culture looming in my unconscious.