Day 5 – Eat What You Want

Now before you come unglued by the title of this post, please hear us out.  We understand that eating whatever you want is a total paradigm shift – a fundamental change in approach or underlying assumptions.*  And let’s face it.  We don’t let go of our assumptions without a fight.  So let us explain what we mean when we say you can eat what you want.

For years we tried to eat what everyone told us to eat.  We did our best to conform and comply to their rules, but it never brought us peace.  When we began our Peace with Food journey however, we took a different approach – that of a scientist.  With this mindset, we didn’t try to manipulate the results, but instead we were open-minded and unbiased about the outcome.

That was our approach.  We just wanted to experiment to see what really worked.

Eat What You Want

So, in the spirit of experimentation, and using the resources we had, we set off, clueless as to what we would discover.

Feeling so deprived of being able to eat foods we loved, we gave ourselves permission to experiment with eating the foods we most loved.  And when we did we were shocked (in a good way) to see the #peace go up.  It was unbelievable because we were breaking all the diet rules, yet our peace was through the roof.  And although we allowed ourselves to eat whatever we wanted, we learned early on that if we wanted our #peace to stay up we couldn’t eat as much as we wanted.  There were limits.  These limits were similar to the the lines on a highway.  Going over one line can lead you in the ditch and going over the other line into oncoming traffic.  Neither scenario is good, so the lesson we learned was this: keep it between the lines.

Yes, initially we were eating what might be considered a lot junk food, but this was the first time in our life we were doing it with permission and in moderation and the end result was peace. As we continued to pursue peace in this area over time, we saw that we desired to eat healthier foods, not because we had to or because someone was telling us to, but because for the first time in our lives we actually wanted to!

This was a major breakthrough for us.

Peace with Food gave us A Power we had never known to choose healthy eating in a way that dieting never could. It was unbelievable. Now before you think that we are giving you permission to eat anything regardless the results, remember, our whole mantra in Peace with Food is to Follow Peace.  Poor health and excessive weight gain doesn’t give lasting peace, so eating in a way that is detrimental to your health would be a deal breaker. For us eating “junk food” for a period of time brought peace because it counteracted the effects of extreme deprivation. It allowed us to psychologically uncoil from years of strict dieting and rule following.  It was as if we were making up for all those years of dieting, but doing so in moderation and in peace.  Finally, after all the experimentation, this is what we found to be the most effective:

 You can eat whatever you want, as long as it brings you peace.

So these days, before we decide to eat something, here are some questions that we will ask ourselves:
-Will eating ______ bring me peace?
-Will the way I will feel after eating ______ bring me peace?
-What quantity of ____will bring me the most peace?
-If I don’t eat _____will I regret it and then end up eating something else later to try and “make up” for it?
-Will eating_____bring me peace or make me feel deprived if I pass it up?

You may be thinking, “There are no foods that give me peace because eating anything causes me to gain weight”. We can understand why you would initially think that. But to further explain, read some of the ways we eat in peace.

Lara Says:
-Eating birthday cake with my kids brings me peace because I know if I pass up that special moment it will make me feel deprived (and, I LOVE cake!). Plus, if I don’t eat it I will have regrets later, resulting in raiding the pantry to make up for it.
-Currently what brings me peace, is allowing myself to eat one or two cookie dough balls and a glass of milk every night. I enjoy indulging in this treat in the evenings, after the kids are asleep in bed–the house is quiet and I can savor every bite. It is the most relaxing part of my day. Earlier in the day, if I am tempted to eat other random sweets, I remind myself that my evening snack (and relaxation time) is what I look forward to the most, which helps me avoid wasting my calories on other cookies I may be tempted with.
-Drinking pop with pizza is another food that brings me peace. I am not a huge pop drinker, but when it comes to pizza I really love having it! Typically pop would be a waste of my calories, but if I try drinking water with pizza I usually regret it…which means I head back to the kitchen later that evening trying to satisfy the desire, even thought moment has passed.  Over time I’ve learned that letting myself enjoy pop with pizza is what brings me the most peace–and actually saves me more calories in the long-run because I’m not trying to “make up” for it later!

Robynn Says:
-Thanks to Peace with Food, Robynn actually gave up diet pop.  Before PWF she had many unsuccessful attempts at kicking this habit. But with her new PWF mantra of “Follow Peace” she determined she wasn’t willing to give up one more day laying in bed with a splitting headache as her family enjoyed life without her.  Does she miss pop?  Sure.  But does she have greater peace not drinking it to avoid the headaches it caused her?  Yes!
-Drinks with calories are a waste of calories for Robynn.  Every once in a great while she will enjoy a hot cocoa on a cold wintry day or an ice cold glass of lemonade on a summer day, but for the most part, caloric drinks are an easy way for her to eliminate unnecessary calories.

It is important to mention that what brings you peace today may not bring you peace later. If Lara finds that pop becomes something she “likes” with pizza, but doesn’t “LOVE” then she will switch back to water or make adjustments to find what brings her peace at that time. People change. Moods change. Try to avoid doing things because it is routine, and instead, be more conscious about asking if your actions are still bringing you peace.

This is what has worked for us.  Now it’s time to find out what works for you.  Remember, you have to know yourself. Know your health and physical condition. Eating junk food may wreak havoc for you with your current health condition which would result in no peace.  If you suffer from celiac disease, you’re not going to find peace by disregarding your condition and diving into a plate of pasta.  Maybe that would give temporary satisfaction, but it’s end result would not give peace.

Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all so find what works for you!

Are there foods you love, but have made off-limits?  Is it time to reintroduce those foods and allow yourself to enjoy them in moderation?  Do your own experiment and see how it works:

 You can eat whatever you want, as long as it brings you peace.

Then report back to us and tell us what you have discovered!

Posse Discussion:
1-Do you agree with being able to “eat what you want, as long as it gives you peace”?
2-Do you have any questions after reading this post? If so, what are they?

The Peace Coaches

*This is Google’s definition for paradigm shift.

**For the majority of people, this principle applies. However, because there is no one-size-fits-all, you may have to adjust this according to your specific needs. This would include, but is not limited to, those who are diabetic, have celiac disease, or some other issue requiring strict monitoring of food intake.