What is food confidence?
Basically, food confidence is eating when you are hungry. It’s nourishing a craving, it’s tending to yourself on any given day so that you give your body fuel so that it can function and YOU choose your own foods.
There’s a misconception that this way of eating confidently, intuitive eating, mindful eating is that you can eat whatever you want, but the true basis of the approach is that you are choosing foods that you believe will satisfy you. You’re staying connected to your body and eating with awareness and enjoyment so that when you get to the place where you reach fullness, or your body is satisfied, you stop.
Somebody who eats like this is somebody who knows that their body needs fuel, They will allow themselves to eat if they fancy something and they respond, respect and learn to hear their hunger, choosing foods based on what their body says it wants and doesn’t want.
Does that mean that you will go and eat cake all day long every day? No, it means that you will eat in a way or with an approach that allows you to have salad as equally as it allows you to have cake. You are not better because you had a salad, and you are not bad because you had cake.
They don’t try to satisfy themselves with what somebody else has told them should satisfy them. They eat food that really satisfies their own needs, and they get to learn that maybe a big burger is not what satisfies me, maybe it is a bowl of soup and a slice of bread today that will satisfy me.
They also don’t have this huge expectation from their food. They don’t expect themselves to be Jamie Oliver or they don’t expect the food to be orgasmic on any given day. They’re staying connected and aiming for enjoyment and satisfaction but understanding too that food is functional.
They’re aware of their sense of feelings of fullness and satisfaction. In essence, eating becomes like breathing. They don’t have to intentionally think about it, they can say yes and no, and there’s no big deal.
How does body image impact your food choice?
So, let’s go back to what we mentioned in our last blog, the concept of imposter syndrome. This belief that you are never good enough and that there’s always somebody out there who’s eating better than you. That might mean you are always looking to see what’s the latest nutrition information, so you can be the best and never settle with just good enough. You may perceive yourself to be a bad eater and think ‘I’m never going to change the way I’m going to eat, so therefore your food choice will just become reflective of that feeling you hold of yourself.
Social media, and I could go on all day about this, and the perfectly curated pictures that you see will always make you feel and think that there’s something more that you should be doing. You might put yourself under more pressure than is necessary to choose certain foods and cut out other foods in order to meet that perfectly curated picture you believe or think is real.
The impact of this is that we’ll probably eat less than we want to eat. We’ll start feeling more tired, because we don’t have enough energy, we’ll start maybe losing some muscle mass because we’re forgetting to feed the muscle that needs the energy. The reality is, body image impacts so much of how you choose your foods.
So, how can we develop a food confident mindset or a body confident mindset?
I am going to share with you my three thoughts on this:
The first one is you have got to develop trust in yourself. In the same way that your body tells you biologically that you need to go for a pee, your body tells you that it’s hungry, and it is only through learning to trust that hunger that you will be able to really nourish your body with what it needs. By trusting yourself, you’ll be able to feed your body freely without thinking and wondering whether it’s the right or the wrong thing. You will nourish yourself from a sense of feeling rather than from your thoughts.
The second piece is being authentic. When you think about yourself and you start thinking about self-image and body image and how you see yourself, your thoughts and your reality are not necessarily joined together. They’re not necessarily congruent. Being authentic means that you learn the tools and you are coached and supported so that you can actually live true to what really means most to you. Remember, health is about creating a life that is meaningful for you. You’ve got to learn how to be authentic to what that meaning is for you, but first you’ve got to discover it.
Be Body and Mind Confident
The third point that I want to share with you to develop this confidence in your body and your mind is that you’ve got to learn to celebrate your wins. We are so easily distracted by that imposter syndrome when we have low self-perception. Everyone else on social media is doing it better than us, our negativity bias is constantly reminding us of what we didn’t get right, that we have got to intently every single day focus on what we got right. Focus on the wins, focus on the positive, focus on accepting the reality as it is. We don’t have to be perfect; we can be imperfectly perfect.
So, for today, as I finish up in this, I want you to think about what did you already know from what I shared and what have you learned? The piece you’ve learned, I want you to write that down so that you will have it out of your mind and onto a piece of paper? Your body actually likes that.
Now I want you to ask yourself, what do I want to know more about? What is it that piqued my curiosity that I would like to know more about this?
The final question is, how will I find this out? Will I read another book, or will I bridge the gap between being curious and changing by investing in myself, by investing in someone who can support me on this journey of taking the information that peaks my curiosity and becoming a healthier version of myself that is really meaningful to me and to no one else?
If you feel like you would benefit from a deeper conversation about this, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or book a consultation here.
You can also download my guide to Food confidence here and learn more about the intuitive eating approach.