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I recently wrote about three foods that curb sugar cravings — one of which was an actual donut. Because most of us could probably loosen our grip and give ourselves permission to eat freely. Unfortunately, we live in a time where it seems like if you’re not on board with the latest nutrition program or challenge, you’re a nobody. Take the demonization of sugar, for instance. While blood glucose regulation is incredibly important, the problem with sugar isn’t that it’s toxic or addictive. It’s that we believe we can’t be trusted around it. …

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If I don’t keep cookies in the house, then I can’t eat them!

Ever said something like that? Me too.

And then when I finally did let myself eat the cookies, I’d go overboard.

In my mind, I’d hit a temporary jackpot and needed to fit in as many cookies as I could because who knows the next time I’d let myself do something like this again?

Even as someone who does my best to eat intuitively, I still find myself doing this from time to time. It really is a tough habit to break. But more recently, I’ve adopted a different approach. …

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Last year, I worked my tail off to earn my health coach certification. The curriculum was way more intense than I imagined, so I was beyond stressed for several months. This girl was a mess.

While I had spent the previous several months studying, I spent the week before my exam on overdrive. Not only that, but my husband happened to be on a trip out of state. Plus I had to meet a critical deadline for work; and then my toddler got sick. It felt like my life was utter chaos.

And all I wanted was some freaking ice cream.

So I had some. And then I had more. And then I had more after that. You can probably guess where I’m going with this.

In the course of seven days, I crushed four pints of Ben & Jerry’s. Sometimes I even added marshmallows straight into the pint. One time, in a daze, I drizzled peanut butter on top. I was stressed and so was my sweet tooth. Even as someone who promotes intuitive nutrition, I still sometimes struggle with emotional/stress eating.

And honestly, I really didn’t feel like sharing this little “ice cream escapade” at first. The irony of bingeing on food while studying for a health coach exam is definitely not lost on me. But I decided to share as soon as I realized one thing:

I don’t hate myself.

Sure, I was a little embarrassed. And frankly, a little bloated. It certainly wasn’t intuitive — or smart — for me to eat all that ice cream. But if I picture how the old me would have handled a hiccup like this? I would have spiraled right back into all my disordered eating habits — a bottomless vortex of starving, bingeing, and depression. I would have felt disgusted and ashamed, and not let myself have any grace.

But I know better now.

That whole ice cream thing? It doesn’t define me. Instead, I immediately looked for the lesson. And that’s why I do what I do. I examine myself and my habits so that I can show you how to do your very best to eat intuitively. And how to accept seasons of un-intuitive eating with grace. Because chances are, we might find ourselves there at some point.

So here’s what I want you to know. I’m fighting for my health and wholeness right alongside you. And I want to help you figure out how to take back your sanity when it comes to food. I wrote a free guide to intuitive eating. You can download that here. …

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So a few years ago, I was on a pretty strict nutrition plan and wasn’t really allowing myself any leeway. I had #GOALS and I was trying to reach them, full steam ahead. My old eating disorder habits and behavior were coming back under the guise of “health” and “clean eating.”

All I did was jump from meal plan to meal plan (or from one health guru to the other) just hoping that I’d stumble across the one that finally made me like myself.

Some of you need to read that sentence again.

I eventually reached a point where I got out of my own head and realized I was making a huge mistake. For too long, I operated under the assumption that health was all about eating the right foods and staying away from the wrong ones. It was my noble cause. And let me tell you, I felt pretty smug about it. …

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I remember when almond milk first came onto the healthy eating scene. It was so. . .intriguing. And then I took one sip and realized just how much of a letdown it was. But it seemed like everybody was drinking it. So then I kind of pretended to like it for a few years. I know some of you are thinking, me too! Every time I poured it into my coffee, it was basically like I added vanilla flavored water. I went along with something just because it was the healthy and trendy thing to do. And I did it for way too long. I didn’t actually like the way almond milk tasted, but I was supposed to like it, right? Some of you might be thinking, But I love almond milk! It’s the best! And to you, I say rock on with your almond milk loving self. …

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If I don’t keep cookies in the house, then I can’t eat them!

Ever said something like that? Me too.

And then when I finally did let myself eat the cookies, I’d go overboard.

In my mind, I’d hit a temporary jackpot and needed to fit in as many cookies as I could because who knows the next time I’d let myself do something like this again?

Even as someone who does my best to eat intuitively, I still find myself doing this from time to time. It really is a tough habit to break. But more recently, I’ve adopted a different approach. …

About

Vanessa Bradford

Wellness enthusiast. Kindred spirit. Certified health coach. I teach people how to eat with grace instead of guilt. Instagram: @vanessa.bradford

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