My life used to be dominated by food rules. These rules acted as barriers to my happiness and my freedom.
When I think of these old food rules I visualise a princess.
She is dressed in white robes which rustle in the wind. The air is not cold nor warm but just right. The princess is facing the gates to her family’s castle. She looks up in wonderment at the Gothic architecture of the gates.
A soldier stands at the gates. This is not just any soldier. This soldier towers above the princess, over 7ft tall. His face is contorted in rage, his brow furrowed threateningly.
The princess, in her youthful ignorance, skips toward the gates totally unaware of the domineering figure guarding the gates. She feels his presence before she sees him. His anger radiates from his chain mail and hits her like the heat from a fire. He bears his broken and yellowing teeth and removes his sword. The princess stops dead in her tracks and feels a tightening of fear in her chest.
“You shall not pass,” the giant soldier growls.
The princess begins to feel tears sting her eyes and her freedom wavers. She turns away, away from the gates which hold her family, friends and happiness beyond. She turns away in silence to be alone.
The soldier, 7ft tall and intimidating, is the food rule. The soldier acts as the barrier to the princess’s happiness. He does not allow her to be with her family. He does not allow her to be with her friends. He is ugly and he is cruel.
I return to this narrative sometimes when I struggle to challenge my food rules. And let’s be honest, some days it is hard. It’s hard because you have become USED to these rules. You’ve become USED to accepting them without every challenging their existence.
This is why I often return to this narrative. I think about the princess. This soldier, being the manifestation of a food rule, does nothing but hurt the princess. The princess has every intention of being with her loved ones and the food rule stops her from doing this. The princess is left lonely and unsatisfied when she is prevented from entering the gates.
Food rules may provide you with temporary satisfaction and may alleviate feelings of discomfort short term but they are detrimental LONG term. Relinquishing your food rules opens up a world full of opportunities. You will find your social life will thrive, your body will thank you for it and you will be free.
Free to enjoy the company of others. Free to nourish your body with delicious nutrients. Free to engage in self-discovery and self-love. Free to be unapologetically yourself.
Whenever you feel your food rules or compulsions returning I urge you to think about the Princess. Will you turn the princess away and condemn her to loneliness and dissatisfaction? Or will you allow her to be amongst her loved ones, joyous, free and fulfilled?
I’m not saying it will be comfortable at first but by GOD it’s worth it.