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  • Writer's pictureTalia Cooper

What it's like to eat without shame

Here's how it used to go: I would buy my favorite treat, promising myself I would eat just a little, while quietly knowing I was in fact about to eat the whole darn thing and then spend the rest of the night sinking in shame and calculating if I could fit in more exercise to compensate.

It wasn’t just about being thin (though it was definitely also about that)— it was about being good and healthy and right and righteous and I used to stare down my future and wonder…. Would it be this way forever? Would I ever just… eat food?

If I could go back in time I would reassure myself: IT WON’T BE THIS WAY FOREVER. It will be different.

Here's what it's really like to eat without shame:

  •  I can wake up in the morning and ask myself what I want to eat knowing that there’s no right or wrong answer

  • I can make food decisions and feel relaxed— I trust my body, and I don’t give food extra power (the thing that could save or kill me!).  I can quickly weigh my different desires— what do I want to taste vs how do I want to feel vs what do I actually have time for (this one took some time for me to get the hang of!)

  • I have food preferences not rules— I am more easily able to say what I like and don’t like without rigidity

  • I think about food soooo much less. I used to think about food all the time (which I now understand was a biological mechanism— my brain was trying to send a message). Now I think about food when I’m grocery shopping, cooking, or eating. Plus the quality of food thought has changed from heavy/intense/shame vibes to pleasure/enjoyment vibes

  • Sometimes I find half finished containers of cookies in my house that I'd completely forgotten about. This is because I taught my body how to live in abundance instead of scarcity mindset

  • Sometimes I don’t eat the store bought muffins at the party because I know I can have even more delicious homemade ones. (And sometimes I eat the store bought muffins because they're there and why not)

  • I don’t track the amount of food I eat, but sometimes I notice really hungry days and less hungry days. This no longer worries me

  •  People tell me I’m a more fun eating companion

  • I can get myself treats and just really enjoy. No shame spirals or trying to compensate. Just pleasure

Image: 3 donuts because why not?
Image: 3 donuts because why not?

I'm sharing this not to brag or to say that you should be like me. I'm saying this because I want you to know that these are all things you can learn.  Eating without shame and without fear is possible and takes less time than you think. This does not have to be a struggle forever.

I know many folks on my list have also embraced eating without shame. What's it like for you? Any examples?

We have a few more openings for the next cohort of I Have a Body! Apply by this Friday (May 3).

To be honest, I have no idea when I’ll do I Have a Body! again. I always think it's the last time, though I can never say for sure. If you’re even a maybe, consider applying. You can always change your mind (plus you can change your mind even through session 1 and not lose any money!).




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