This a blog post I’ve been working on for (literally) months. I’ve written and re-written it a handful of times because it is a topic that is SO important to me, and it gets even more important to me by the day. I started Hungry Blonde as a fun way to share my love of wellness and healthy eating, but over the past 6 months or so I’ve been feeling like there’s a much bigger purpose behind it. The more I become a part of the wellness community, the more sharing this post on Food Freedom has been on my heart in a big way.
I talk a lot about how one of my health philosophy principles is that everybody is different, and so I find myself understanding and being “pro” many different styles of eating: Keto, Paleo, Plant-Based, etc. There are many incredible influencers and resources out there sharing helpful and inspiration information for people intersted in those diets/lifestyles, whether it’s based on their body, their mind, or their particular goals. If you follow me here or on Instagram it’s no secret that I dabble in aspects of many different dietary preferences and make it a point to share various recipes for them as well.
But, as time as gone by, I’ve felt the need to stand my ground somewhere in the wellness sphere. I’m someone who has very strong convictions in other areas of my life, and I began to want to be that way in the area that…well, I have the most influence in! So here it is.
I stand for Intuitive Eating. I stand for Food Freedom. I stand for nourishing my body not just with healthy foods, but also indulgent ones that are part of living my fullest, most pleasurable life. No diets. No labels. It’s not about restrictions – it’s about choices. And I want to share that more with you.
My journey toward Intuitive Eating / Food Freedom is one that has happened over the course of many years and many trial & error. It’s a journey I’m definitely still on! I wish I could say it was something that happened overnight, but the truth is that it has taken time and a handful of decisions on my end…decisions to “break up” with the dieting mentality over, and over, and over again.
This is something I definitely want to continue having an ongoing conversation about here on HB. But I figured the best place to start was to share the main decisions/principles that helped me get to this place. While I am by no means an expert, I truly believe that you’ll find these principles extremely helpful if you’re someone who wants to have Food Freedom too.
I made a conscious decision to never label my diet again.
I actually remember the exact moment it happened. I was lying in a bubble bath, feeling defeated that I had “failed” a particular diet. And then out of nowhere, God told me so very clearly – Never. Diet. Again. For those of you who aren’t spiritual/don’t have a relationship with God, I understand how strange that may sound. But for me, it was more real than I can explain (if this is something you’d like to learn more about, please don’t hesitate to shoot me an email). In that moment I knew that there was something bigger going on behind the scenes – that God was preparing me to share that message with others one day (starting now, I suppose). To be completely honest, between then and now I’ve conveniently forgotten that moment countless times and dabbled back in and out of the dieting mentality. But the truth is that no matter how hard I try, I can’t undo that moment of clarity, and I can’t fight it. So now I am embracing it, and I’m deciding day after day to pursue Intuitive Eating and complete Food Freedom.
Always remembering that a full and fun life comes first.
As much as I truly love and enjoy living a healthy lifestyle, I refuse to let it hold me back from other incredible and more important life experiences. My relationships. Traveling. Spontaneity. Dining out. Social gatherings. I want to look back on my life and know that I savored every single moment and didn’t forfeit a single thing for a silly set of diet “rules.”
Acknowledge what style of eating makes me feel best (mind & body), and keep that as my base.
Here’s the thing about Food Freedom/Intuitive Eating – it doesn’t mean eating like crap 24/7. It’s knowing what works best for YOU and makes you feel your best (physically, mentally, emotionally), and eating/living that way. But it also means having the freedom to eat whatever you want, whenever you want, without any guilt or “messing up” associated with it. So for me, that looks like eating real/whole foods most of the time, but indulging in whatever I’d like when I’m dining out and/or have a particular craving. Period. No labels, no guilt – just a lifestyle that allows me to look/feel my best and is also maintainable for the rest of my life.
I stopped following accounts that don’t help me in the right direction.
Ohhh, this is a toughie. Like I said before, there are so many incredible resources and people sharing diet-specific lifestyles on the Internet/social media, and I believe that inspiration can be gained from them even while practicing Intuitive Eating. But I know for me, when toward the beginning of breaking that dieting mentality, following diet-specific accounts would mess with my mind and be confusing. It can help to take a break from following these accounts, and instead finding other likeminded people that you can connect with and encourage you on your journey of Intuitive Eating. Eventually, once you realize how much Intuitive Eating has changed your life for the better, it will be easier to re-follow those accounts and pick & choose which inspiration fits best within YOUR new lifestyle!
Read Food Freedom Forever by Melissa Hartwig.
Read it, read it, read it. I can’t emphasize it enough…read it! Melissa Hartwig does such an incredible job of explaining what Food Freedom is, how to get there, and tools/practices you can implement to make it last a lifetime. You might be thinking, “didn’t she also create the Whole30, which is restrictive?” I’m glad you asked. In Food Freedom Forever she explains that topic in depth – how the Whole30 is a RESET – not a style of eating that is meant to be longterm (this relates to the “base” style of eating I referred to above). P.S. I still 100% stand by the Whole30 program and believe it greatly lead me to this place of Intuitive Eating. Once again, you just have to read Food Freedom Forever yourself to understand why 😉
Talk about it.
In a world where there’s a new diet being introduced every day as the “best,” it’s easy to get swayed out of Intuitive Eating & Food Freedom. That’s why it’s important to have people you can talk to who reinforce your decision. For me that’s Sydney, and I’m excited that it will now be you – my friends who follow me here on Hungry Blonde!
Well, I’m not entirely sure. Ha! But I had to guess, I’m thinking that HB is just about to get a lot more real.
One of things I’ve always missed since my Girl Meets Life days is relating to my readers on a deeper level. With GML I felt the need to hit the breaks because I wanted to keep my personal life more private (and am still glad I made that decision, to be honest), but when it comes to wellness I feel like I have a lot to share and hopefully help/inspire at least some of you…to be a voice in the wellness sphere that isn’t really there right now.
What I would really love would be to create an even stronger community and turn this into a conversation with YOU! So if you have any questions, feedback, or things you’d like to see more of, please feel free to reach out and let me know. Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can DM me on Instagram 🙂 xoxo GG
Please note that I am NOT a medical expert, and this is just my own experience/opinions. Please seek a medical professional before making any changes to your health routine.