Ok, this isn’t quite how we express it but it is very close to Beyond Chocolate principle, Eat What You Want.
This principle can cause some consternation amongst ex-dieters and new Beyond Chocolaters. After all, the whole basis of dieting is restriction – no matter what the diet is masquerading as, whether ‘lifestyle choice’ or ‘clean eating’ or whatever the latest buzz words are, it is in some way restricting what we are told we can eat. How, after all those years of being told that fat is bad, gluten is the work of the devil and carbs are never to be trusted, can we possibly throw all that to the four winds and eat whatever we want?! How can I lose weight if I eat what I want. I can’t trust myself!!
For other ex-dieters and new Beyond Chocolaters, Eat What You Want comes as a huge relief and with a sense of great excitement. Great! Cream cakes for breakfast! Chips with everything! Bring it on! All of it! Right now and don’t stop! Strap on a bib and stand well back!
Whichever camp you fall into, or even if your reaction to this principle was something else entirely, it is possible that you have very slightly misunderstood what this principle is intending to help us to do.
‘Eat What You Want’ isn’t a stand-alone principle. It is buttressed by the other nine Beyond Chocolate principles, so it looks something like this:
Tune In and…. Eat What You Want.
Eat What You Want…. and Stop When You Are Satisfied.
Be Your Own Guru and… Eat What You Want.
Eat What You Want and… Put It On A Plate, Sit Down and Focus
Eat What You Want and… Move!
And so on. Once paired with the other principles, it’s much clearer to see what this principle actually means. It is actually inviting us to cast aside all the unhelpful advice and exhortations we have been subjected to in the past, all the food rules, all the experts telling us to avoid this and eat that instead, all the substitutions, all the ‘cheat’ foods pretending to be what we really wanted.
What it means instead is that* we have a complete buffet of all foods to choose from; not just the ones allowed by our latest eating plan or diet or lifestyle choice or the clean eating brigade. It means we can eat chips with everything if that’s what our body wants. It means we can eat cream cakes for breakfast and weetabix at supper time, if we put it on a plate, sit down and focus and stop when we are satisfied. It means that we don’t exclude whole food groups* or label some foods as ‘healthy’ and some as ‘bad’.
It means having total food rights* – a universal franchise, Freedom to choose what’s right for us not what someone else thinks is right for us.
And so, for all Beyond Chocolaters out there, for everyone working with the the Beyond Chocolate approach, please accept this rosette and wear it with pride, because with the freedom we now embrace we can eat whatever the fuck we want!
*I know there are quite a lot of people who can’t eat certain foods or certain food groups because of dietary, religious, ethical or health reasons. Those people work with this principle in their own way, conscious of their necessary limitations but enjoying the freedom of choosing from all other foods available to them.