"I Don't Have To, I Get To!" - Your New Nutritional Mantra

Picnic with friends 3Image: Pexels - Dziana Hasanbekava

Every day you GET TO wake up and CHOOSE energy and vitality with your food. This is not something you have to do, need to do, or should do, this is something that is a privilege, a joy, a right, an honor, and a gift! You GET to choose what you put into your body that will help you to feel and look amazing and that will be the blueprint for your health now and into the future. That is amazing! And it makes it feel exciting and desirable to eat “on path!”

Yet so many people make food decisions because they feel they “have to” eat a certain way, they “should eat” this vs that or they “need to” eat a specific way to lose weight or just to feel better. It comes from a place of lack, negativity, and resentment. When we eat from this place we lose the joy and pleasure of eating and eventually “off path” moments become more of the norm than an occasional deviation.

If you are somebody that has had to follow a therapeutic nutritional lifestyle for a specific health challenge, you may have felt that there is WAY more food you can’t eat than you can, and the long lists of “NO” foods are prohibitive and daunting. When we feel restricted, we end up “cheating” and the desire to stay in this healing or therapeutic phase of nutrition quickly ebbs. It feels too hard and unachievable. Certainly following a specific way of eating has its challenges, but it is how we approach the choice to do it that can make a world of difference. This is when it is so important to shift our mindset.

“I don’t have to, I get to!” These 7 words can be game-changers in the way in which you do food (and life!). You GET to eat healing foods that will make you feel so much better. You GET to eat foods that are safe for your body. You GET to eat foods that will turn down inflammation, heal your digestive system, improve your skin, balance your hormones, improve your moods, slow the progression of a condition and so much more. There is empowerment in this way of eating. Instead of saying, “there is nothing for me to eat,” how about replacing it with: “Wow, I get to eat food that will make me feel my best! I am grateful that there is a path for me to follow with specific foods that will help my body thrive.”

Picnic spread on a wooden board with friends

For those who are desiring to make better food choices remember WHY you are doing it. “I get to drink this nutrient-dense smoothie this morning and eat this vibrant colorful salad for lunch today because it will give me the energy, the mental focus, and the emotional poise I desire to do my best work, or be the best mother/father, or to accomplish all that is on my to-do list today.” It is much more empowering and appealing to make food choices from this purposeful and intentional place than just feeling like you need or have to because someone told you you should.

Our words are so powerful and they influence our relationship with food. “I get to” vs “I have to” has a very different energy and feel. The latter triggers a stress response that impacts how you digest, absorb, and assimilate your food. It makes food less desirable and triggers the calling for “off path” foods because you seek pleasure when you don’t feel your food is pleasurable. When you eat from choice, joy, desire, inspiration, and purpose, you receive your food in such a different way that ignites your digestive and metabolic power and overall health.

If you are someone who goes through life with the mindset of “I have to” vs “I get to,” notice if you feel that way about food too. How we do life is reflected in how we do food and vice versa. Work on changing your thoughts, words, and approach to life and eating. It will serve you immensely and perhaps even help you to have a more joyous and easier relationship with food.

Ultimately you want to eat to nourish because you get to not because you have to.

Amy Bondar is a leading Nutrition expert and Certified Eating Psychology Coach who is passionate about helping her clients achieve maximum health and vitality through personalized nutrition and lifestyle coaching.

Amy Bondar’s comprehensive skill-set, two decades of experience and compassionate approach have allowed hundreds of people to achieve the vitality we all desire, and deserve.

The days of generic meal plans, fad diets, yo-yo dieting and simple advice about calories and carbs are long gone. When you work with Amy you will have strategies and learn nutrition principles that are nourishing, doable, sustainable, personalized and that yield results.

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