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Fear of Permissive

Almost all of the clients I work with worry about being too permissive. This comes up when we start talking about thinking more neutrally about eating they have done. The reflex reaction is that it can’t be neutral… If we let the food be neutral then we will land in the land of permissive and not stop eating.

So many of us who have dealt with weight issues have this underlying mistrust of ourselves. Through years of dieting and not seeing the success we wanted and internalizing the messaging that our weight is our fault, we develop concerns that there is something wrong with how we eat.

We think that the only thing keeping from us really gaining weight is tough love. It’s like we are alway managing some internal force that if left alone, would start eating and not stop.

It’s a trap!

This simply isn’t true. That internal force that feels like it is uncontrollable, is in a large part created by how we try to strong arm ourselves away from eating the foods we don’t think we should eat. It is from the negative backlash we create for ourselves after we have made a food choice that we perceive as being “bad”.

Being nice to yourself and treating yourself with kindness won’t create permissiveness. It will actually put you in a far better position to make your next choice in line with your goals.

Beating yourself up to avoid being overly permissive is what creates the permissive state. If we are already “bad” or “failing”, we may as well keep going and make it count!

Think of the last time you ate food you hadn’t planned. What did you say to yourself? How did that make you feel and what did you do? Did you end up eating more?

Now picture if you ate something you hadn’t planned but treated yourself with some kindness and curiosity. How would you feel? What would you do? Would you end up eating more? In this scenario, you may still make a choice to eat more. But you also may choose just to get back to your plan.

And that is a really powerful place to be. Make a choice, learn from it and make a different choice next time.

In this week’s episode, I am talking about the permissive trap and how to avoid it. Click below to listen to this episode.



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