I’m tired. The heat, the stress, the burnout… I know so many of you also feel this way right now and it’s hard to know how to deal with it all on top of trying to make good food choices.

So let’s let go of the idea that all your choices need to be perfect. That’s too much pressure.

We talk about mindset in my programs and how it can make or break your progress as you make the changes toward your hormone-balancing goals. But it’s not just about how you see your body and what it can or can’t be or do. It’s also about how you talk to yourself about food.

Let’s break down some ways to reframe it more positively. Take, for example, a sugar cookie. A decadent-looking, bakery-fresh, perfectly-frosted, Instagram-worthy sugar cookie.

Stock by Jewels squares - 0026How can you reframe your reaction to this cookie?

  • “I can’t eat this” -> “I can eat this”
  • “This is a cheat food” -> “This is a sometimes food”

Making any food off-limits right from the start ascribes morality to any food choice. A food is forbidden, and we’re bad for wanting to eat it and good for eschewing it. There may be additional reasons to avoid a food beyond how “bad” it is (e.g. allergies, taste/texture preferences, and yes, personal philosophy such as veganism among others), but in this context – assuming a food is “bad” solely for its lack of nutritional function – reframing it as “I can eat this (sometimes)” makes it less of a moral failing and may do considerably less damage to our self-esteem if we do choose to eat it.

  • “I’ve eaten one, I may as well binge” -> “I’m going to eat one and enjoy it”
  • “I need to skip a meal now” -> “I can still reach my goals”

An extension of the idea that foods outside of an ideal regimen are “bad”: that eating them means you’ve failed entirely and ruined all your progress. You haven’t. If you’ve eaten 3 “bad” meals in a week, but your other 18 meals were “ideal”, that’s still 85% “ideal”. You still get an A for your progress and your goals are still on track. It’s also important to recognize that while food is functional fuel for our health, it can also serve as emotional fuel for enjoyment and comfort, whether it’s physically nutritious or not, and that’s ideal too.

Make some space for comfort and pleasure foods alongside the functional foods, flip the script when you talk to yourself about those foods, and I promise you’ll be happier for it.

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