Can Food Freedom and Fitness/Health Goals Coexist?

When it comes to discussing Food Freedom and Intuitive Eating, I always feel like there’s a bit of an elephant in the room that I can’t ignore any longer. It’s an area where I find myself struggling to communicate properly and wanting to make sure that I’m not sending mixed messages.

A large part of the Intuitive Eating program/movement involves weight and body acceptance, which I am 100% a proponent of. From personal experience, it wasn’t until I stopped fighting my body that I learned how to truly practice Intuitive Eating and gain complete freedom in all areas of my life. It is a crucial first step in Intuitive Eating/Food Freedom that absolutely cannot be overlooked.

With that being said, I fall in the camp that believes it’s possible to have Food Freedom yet still want to reach fitness goals at the same time…and I’m not just talking about losing unhealthy weight. My thought is, just because someone is at a healthy weight, why can’t they want to improve themselves? Many might not agree, but I believe it’s possible to have a healthy relationship with food AND your body and still want to make improvements. 

Food Freedom Fitness Goals

Food Freedom includes…well, FREEDOM. No more “black or white” thinking.

For me, one of the best things about finding true food & fitness freedom is that I no longer think of things in terms of being “black or white,” or “good or bad,” and I’ve stopped pendulum swinging from one mentality to the next. I no longer judge myself or how I’m feeling based on an outside set of circumstances of how I should be thinking or how I should be feeling.

In my opinion, implementing a new lifestyle of freedom shouldn’t mean going from being a slave to dieting to being a slave to intuitive eating. While there are definitely certain principles to follow when it comes to Food Freedom/Intuitive Eating, it shouldn’t turn into yet another rigid mentality like diets do. That’s why I’m a big believer that true Food Freedom is going to look different for every person. While it is a personal goal of mine to provide inspiration for you on how to pursue Food Freedom, always remember that what Food Freedom looks like in my own life might look completely different from yours!

Food Freedom Fitness Goals

 

It’s okay to acknowledge that food can affect the way you feel physically.

Yes, Food Freedom essentially allows you to eat whatever you want, whenever you want to. But it also allows you to make decisions on what foods you eat based on how they might make you feel. Just because I love cookies and mozzarella sticks, I can also admit that they don’t necessarily leave my stomach feeling all that lovely. Does that make them a “bad” food? Of course not. It just means that when I choose to eat those foods, it’s okay for me to take into account how they are going to make me feel. The same goes for when I choose to eat healthier foods based on not just how they taste but also how they make me feel.

My point is, practicing Food Freedom shouldn’t make you feel bad for wanting to eat healthy, nutritious foods. In the same way you should have zero guilt for eating pizza, you’re just as allowed to want to eat a cauliflower pizza crust too. We’re not pendulum swinging here, remember? 😉

Reduced stress could be your missing link.

The irony of practicing Food Freedom is that you might find yourself effortlessly losing weight. Personally speaking that is something that happened to me, even though it wasn’t my intention. I think we can often underestimate the power that stress has on our bodies, and forcing ourselves to stick to unrealistic diets is certainly putting stress on our bodies and minds. If you’ve tried everything under the sun to reach your goals and they’re still not working, why not try letting go of all of those rules and see what happens?

You’re not a bad person for wanting to look good.

Ohhh, did she just say that? Heck yes I did, and I’d say it again. You’re not a bad person for wanting to look good. We’re all human, and it’s only natural to want to be the most attractive version of ourselves. THIS IS NOT TO SAY YOU CAN’T FEEL LIKE YOUR BEAUTIFUL, CONFIDENT, BOMB-ASS SELF JUST THE WAY YOU ARE. But, once again back to that whole pendulum swinging thing, you’re not a bad person if you want to make changes either. That’s the beautiful thing about food & fitness freedom – you are entirely up to you.

This is where I am pro-Whole30.

Ohh there she goes completely off the Intuitive Eating train 😉 Whatever, I’m just rolling with this. I personally think that the Whole30 is an incredible program to propel you right into your own journey of Food Freedom. The Whole30 is *not* meant to be a lifelong style of eating! It is a 30-day reset designed to teach you about your body, your eating habits, and so much more. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it 385742 more times – you’ve got to pick up the book Food Freedom Forever…and the Whole30 book, while you’re at it. They both were so crucial in shaping my own Food Freedom journey (as well as Intuitive Eating), and I believe the best information to help you come into your very own.

Food Freedom Fitness Goals

I’d love to learn more of your thoughts on this. If you haven’t yet, be sure to join the Food & Fitness Freedom Group on Facebook where we’re building an amazing community of likeminded gals discussing all sorts of topics!

Please note that I am NOT a health/medical/mental expert, and this is just my own experience/opinions. Please seek a professional before making any changes to your health routine.

You might also like:
Practicing Food Freedom on Special Occasions
The Best Part of Dieting

Dear Body
10 Healthy Habits That Have Changed My Life
I Stand For Food Freedom
What Food Freedom Looks Like In My Life 

4 comments

  1. I’ve been thinking so much about this as I’m following so many people who are promoting intuitive eating and body acceptance right now. I’ve moved away from the diet mentality long ago but would still like to lose some extra weight by watching macros, eating within those macros but also treating myself when I want to. I often feel like I’m ‘not allowed’ to want to change my body for the better and also feel like sometimes the intuitive eating messages can get mixed up. There are so many people out there who simply can’t eat whatever they want without gaining weight and there are people out there saying that if you eat intuitively and your body holds on to extra weight, then maybe that’s the weight your meant to be. But is it? Isn’t it ok to know and accept that your body doesn’t work that way and that intuitive eating might look a little more structured to you so you can maintain your health too .

    Anyways, that long rant was just to say I appreciate this perspective and I so agree with you. <3

    1. Thanks for this comment, Becky! I totally know what you mean. I personally think it’s possible to practice Intuitive Eating alongside whatever we know works best for our own bodies. Glad this post resonated with you! xoxo

  2. I love this! I do feel like I have a higher level of “fitness freedom” than food freedom right now,! I constantly am setting new goals–I want to deadlift more, do more pushups, run bit faster, but to me that’s motivating and I’m so grateful that I am healthy enough to move, it’s thrilling to advance with training goals! I love my body for being able to do what it currently does, but I also want to improve my times, strength, reps etc.

    1. I hear ya! I feel like having a fitness routine is so much enjoyable when there are goals like that involved. I want to master pull ups…or maybe at least a single pull up (haha). Thanks for this comment Julie <3

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