Declare Yourself Free

July 23, 2016

free

With full fanfare and flags waving, I signed a Declaration of Independence at a Weight Watchers’ meeting just over ten years ago.

This declaration was meant to set me free from my favorite grilled cheese sandwich, the homemade blueberry muffins heavy with fresh berries and the succulent Maine lobster with drawn butter that were, allegedly, causing my problems at the weekly weigh-ins. I was also there to declare my independence from “bad” eating habits, such as eating between meals, snacking while watching TV and eating cake for breakfast.

This just-say-no strategy didn’t work… I was not liberated. Actually, I felt more burdened than ever. All the rules to follow, the points to track and the real-life hungers to ignore felt oppressive and joyless to me.

Since then, I’ve learned that true eating freedom comes from identifying the oppressors (the diets, the diet mentalities and the anti-eating culture who make the food rules), and then declaring your independence from the lot of them. The first step:

Reject the Diet Mentality

The first principle of Intuitive Eating states:

“Throw out the diet books and magazine articles that offer you false hope of losing weight quickly, easily, and permanently. Get angry at the lies that have led you to feel as if you were a failure every time a new diet stopped working and you gained back all of the weight. If you allow even one small hope to linger that a new and better diet might be lurking around the corner, it will prevent you from being free to rediscover Intuitive Eating.”

Declaring true food freedom can be a big challenge if you have a long history as a chronic dieter and you have a whole squadron of Food Police in your head dictating your food choices with their endless lists of no-no foods that leave you in shackles.

But, you can break free from these food shackles. The move toward freedom is recognizing that what you tried in the past, all the rules and restrictions, didn’t work.

As for me, I embraced a new Declaration of Independence:

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one woman to dissolve the food rules which have connected her with unhappy living, and a decent self-respect, regardless of the opinions of the Diet Mentality, requires that she should declare it cause for separation from the pro-diet, anti-eating culture.

She holds these truths to be self-evident, that all food is created equal, that she is endowed by her Creator with certain unalienable rights: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Delicious, Real Food.

Are you ready to declare your independence? Can you taste the freedom?

Declare Your Independence

Fill in the blanks to reflect what food freedom means to you.

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for _____________________ to dissolve the food rules which have connected her with unhappy living, and a decent self-respect, regardless of the opinions of the Diet Mentality, requires that she should declare it cause for separation from the pro-diet, anti-eating culture.

___________________________ holds these truths to be self-evident, that all food is created equal, that she is endowed by her Creator with certain unalienable rights: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of __________________________.

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