It is common for physicians I work with to worry about being “too permissive” with their food choices.
This usually comes up when we are talking about the importance of focussing on self compassion rather than beating themselves up about food choices.
Maybe you have this too…
If so, this fear of “permissiveness” in your eating is likely getting in your way of weight loss.
This fear is based on a core belief that there are two options in eating. Either you are tough with yourself and struggling using willpower every day to force yourself to eat healthy or it all goes sideways and you may end up saying yes to any food that crosses your path.
The problem is not with your eating or your willpower. This belief is the problem.
There is a middle ground and I help the members of Stress Eating SOS work towards it every day.
This middle ground looks like not depending on willpower (because it doesn’t last… and it feels gross) and creating a customized program to find ease in food choices. Where you don’t have to fear being permissive because you are actually being permissive with food that you like AND helps you lose weight and feel fantastic.
And the first step is taking back ownership of the word. Start defining permissiveness as something good in your life and ask yourself how being permissive could help move you towards your weight loss goals.
At the core, permissiveness should be a good word, and it should feel good to be permissive.
This idea that being permissive will unleash something in you and you will lose control around food creates the fear of permissiveness. And usually there is a driver of this fear of permissiveness, that you need to look for and figure out. The permissiveness is not about the food, there is something else there that you need to find.
So, think about this… how can you take this word back? Turn it around so that it feels good and make it work in your favour for everything you are trying to create in your weight loss and in your life?
Change the way you think. Make small shifts in your thinking that will move you toward what you want. Take a way of thinking that is not working for you or not creating the results you want, and turn it around so that it does work for you.
What would you need to say yes to in order to create that life that you really want? Which things would you naturally be saying no to? Look for the places where it feels the best.
Say yes to self care that makes you feel happy. Maybe you spend time reading each day. Maybe you spend more time with your family each day. Maybe you get outside for a walk every day.
Say no to the foods that drag you down and make you feel bad, and say yes to the foods that taste good and make you feel good about yourself.
This concept applies to other areas of your life. Imagine saying no to attending an extra meeting that might cause you stress, and instead choose to go for a walk that will make you feel good and give yourself time for self care.
If you started saying yes to things in your life that you want, things that you really love, what would your life look like? Allow yourself to daydream about that for a little bit. Visualize it and imagine it – that can be very powerful in helping you start to make changes and make different decisions.
Check out the podcast episode below to learn more about how this fear of permissiveness is stopping your weight loss and how to change that.