I have a confession to make: I’ve been carrying around packets of fake sugar (Truvia/Stevia) with me for the past 5 years. Like there is always one in my purse, my car, or my jacket pocket. Not because I put it on everything (I only use it in coffee), but because it was one of the last little weird quirky things I did as a result of the diet culture that we live in. I gave up Splenda years ago but Splenda became Truvia/Stevia. Here’s the weird thing: I am not afraid of sugar nor do I stay away from it. I eat cookies, cakes, candy, chocolates, muffins, ice cream, yogurt with honey on top, cupcakes…basically all the things. Clearly, I eat sugar and I’m all good with having it apart of my life.
I thought all of my food rules were worked through and dismissed, however recently, I realized I had one more: “Don’t put real sugar in your coffee Cait. It’s not healthy for you and that’s not a good way to start the day.” <–I had no idea that I was carrying around this food rule still. Just when you think that the journey to finding body freedom is linear (HA, it’s not and never will be), life gives you the road bump you need to stay grounded in the journey itself. Thankfully.
So, how did this come about for me? Last week I was traveling and I stayed a night at my friend’s house in Brooklyn. The next morning we had coffee and they only had raw sugar (and I had no packet of Stevia to use). I put the raw sugar into my coffee and it tasted so much better than what I was used to. I then asked myself, “Why don’t I just use raw sugar every day?” I realized that this has been a habit for years and it probably started with my first diet way back at age 15 when I started drinking diet sodas and coffee with Splenda. So long story short, using fake sugar is as a result of the thin ideal, the pursuit of weight loss, in my experience that is.
Let me say this: I am no longer pursuing weight loss or changing how I appear physically. I no longer believe in the thin ideal. In fact, I talk shit about it, constantly, on my podcast. The fact that I was, up until last week, still replacing sugar in my coffee with fake sugar, was simply a habit and most likely a deeply ingrained thought/belief that sugar in my coffee=failing or something like that. SO, I shined some slight on the behavior and figured out the thoughts regarding the behavior are not true, and that it was time for a change. The new thought is: 1 packet/tsp/whatever ain’t gonna do my body any harm. End.Of.Story.
I’m not saying that putting actual sugar (my fave is raw cane sugar) into my coffee is revolutionary or groundbreaking news that I deserve some sort of special award for, BUT for me, the moment I asked myself why I was using 1 packet of fake sugar (Truvia/Stevia) in my coffee, I knew that it was a food rule I was still listening to that I wasn’t even aware of. Since my revelation, I’ve purchased raw cane sugar and am enjoying my morning coffee oh.so.much. Plus, it’s a little energy (sugar=energy) to fuel my workout since my body can’t handle food before my morning movement practice. It’s a Win Win for me!
Final Thoughts: This journey to finding body freedom is ever evolving, changing, and re-arranging. It’s not linear and there is no end, even when you think you’ve reached some sort of milestone for yourself. Like someone once said, “Just when you realize how great life is in this moment, there is something in the mail on it’s way to your doorstep” which to me means the following: Learning how to intellectually but also emotionally understand that this is a journey and just when you feel like “I’m all good” there is something on it’s way to you that will challenge your thoughts and perceptions regarding body freedom. The thing about the journey is that it’s here for us our entire lives if we are willing to take the path.
The best part? What I continue to find along my path is more and more freedom, and freedom is a damn good feeling.
And Lastly, I have a Question For You:
My Lovely, Kind Hearted, and Devoted Readers/Listeners:
What food rules are you living by? Where did they come from? Are you valid? Are they true? False? Or have an element of truth? Then, what do you want to do with them? Continue to believe, discontinue the belief, or change it into a new belief, grounded in the truth of body freedom for you. And if you come up with lots of food rules in this exercise and it feels overwhelming or you just don’t know what to do with the information it provides, connect with me and let’s work through them together.