Addressing the Current State of Your Relationship with Food so that You Can Find Food Freedom Forever

Ep 208 - WordPress

Today’s podcast episode is a recording from day one of the 3-Days to Finding Food Freecom Forever training I hosted in early August 2022. 

During this live training, we discussed the importance of getting incredibly clear on the current state of your relationship with food, why it is the way it is, and how it got to this point.

We defined what food freedom is (and is not) and discussed the two key aspects of food freedom: freedom “from” and freedom “to.”

Below, you’ll find a list of the journal prompts and action steps I shared throughout this training. 

To get where we’re going, we need to understand where we are:

  1. If you could describe your current emotional relationship with food in three adjectives or less, which words would you use and why?
  2. What is your relationship to food like? Describe it like you would a relationship with an actual person.
  3. When did you first notice your relationship with food take a negative turn? Be specific and describe it in as much detail as possible.
  4. Describe a situation in which food anxiety is at its highest. Be specific.
  5. How is your current relationship with food affecting other areas of your life, such as your romantic and social relationships, self-esteem, career, familial relationships, etc.?

Where do you want to go / how do you wish to feel?

  1. If you could describe your dream emotional relationship with food in three adjectives or less, which words would you use and why?
  2. Think back to the anxiety-provoking situation you described previously…in your dream scenario, how do you feel and navigate such a situation?
  3. How do you want your relationship with food to affect other areas of your life?

If you enjoy this episode and wish to gain lifetime access to the entire 3-Days to Finding Foor Freedom Training, including 2.5 hours of video training, journal prompts, resources, and an opportunity to schedule a 30-minute Food Freedom Strategy Call with me (to help you implement what you’ve learned), click here to do so for the investment of $147. 

By the end of the three-part training, you will…

  • Gain clarity on the written and unspoken food rules dominating your thoughts, actions, and feelings.
  • Discover how to begin unlearning these BS food rules and rewriting your own.
  • Understand how toxic your current self-talk and food talk are and the impact they have on your relationship with food (plus, develop an action plan to reprogram your word choice).
  • Understand exactly what your personal definition of food freedom is and develop a set of action steps to bring this vision to reality.
  • Realize the simple, yet, invaluable role structure plays in creating more food freedom in your life

Rebuild your relationship with food and find Food Freedom Forever today!

How I Can Help You:

  1. Hire me to build you an Individualized Nutrition Blueprint (Plan) – Learn More.
  2. Discover how high-achieving women in their 30s and 40s (and 50s) are developing massive amounts of confidence, self-love, and self-worth…  while simultaneously losing 20+ pounds and keeping it off FOR GOOD with my 5% Inside-Out Formula for Sustainable Weight Loss – Learn More.
  3. Hire A Registered Dietitian and Results-Driven Coach to Help You Develop Massive Amounts of Self-Confidence and Self-Love While Dropping 20+ Pounds for Good so That You Can Feel, Look, and Be the Best You – Learn More.
  4. Find Food Freedom Forever: Free yourself from BS food rules and the accompanying guilt, anxiety, and regret that comes with them so that you can feel excited, calm, and in control of food again – Learn More.
  5. Connect with Paul on Instagram – Say hi!


Paul Salter:

If you feel like, you know exactly what to do to lose the weight and keep it off, but are struggling to do so, you are in the right place. Welcome to The 5% Way Podcast, where myself, a registered dietician, Paul Salter, and my co-host, sustainable weight loss specialist, Micheala Barsotti, have an impactful conversation focused on helping you uncover the root cause of the self sabotaging behaviors, holding you back from achieving sustainable weight loss. Your transformation begins from the inside out. And our purpose is to accelerate that progress by sharing practical strategies and need to know information to help you reclaim your control and inner calm so that you can feel, look and be your best.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to another episode of The 5% Way Podcast with myself, Paul Salter and the wonderful Micheala Barsotti. We are incredibly grateful that you have chosen to spend another day and another episode with us learning all that it truly takes to cultivate a strong sense of self-confidence, self-esteem, self-worth and self trust. Which inevitably will help you to lose weight, keep it all for good, but most importantly, feel your best, look your best and be your best. Today’s episode is a special treat. I went ahead and shared with you in today’s episode, day one of a three day live training that was dedicated to helping you Find Food Freedom. And ultimately, rebuild your relationship with food so that you can free yourself from the BS rules that diet culture has ingrained in your mind and ultimately learn how to intentionally indulge in your favorite foods, apply just the right amount of structure to your life. So that every time you eat, you are free of guilt, anxiety, frustration, and regret.

And this, is a three part training that episode today will focus on day one that is all around auditing the current state of your relationship with food, how it is having a negative, widespread impact on your life. And ultimately, getting very clear on what your dream relationship with food is, so that you can appropriately align the most effective action steps to making that a reality. And I am just incredibly excited to share this episode with you because the feedback was phenomenal. This episode, or this training proved to be the most impactful and what a wonderful day to spend the next 45 minutes or so, learning how to rebuild your relationship with food. And if you’d like to get the other two trainings, all of the journal prompts, resources included in this three day training, I’ll include some information in the show notes for you to do just that. But without further ado, let’s go ahead and dive right in.

Hey, everybody. Welcome to day one of three days to finding food freedom forever. I am incredibly new to Facebook Live. So welcome, really excited to learning this platform with you and having you here for day one of three days to Finding Food Freedom. And now, we’re about 20 seconds into this thing actually going live. So I’ll give everybody a moment to get on here, for those of you who are joining. I know we have some people who will just purely be watching the replay because kudos to them. They don’t even have a Facebook active so that’s, phenomenal. So I’m thinking of Jess in particular. I think that’s so cool, kudos to you. Some of you can’t make this smack dab in the middle of the daytime, whereas some of you are all the way across the pond, as they say in Europe. And this is a beautiful way to spend your evening around dinner, learning about how to drastically improve your relationship with food, Find Food Freedom so that we can confidently with the big smile on our face, wave goodbye to any bit of food anxiety, stress, regret, guilt, frustration.

When it comes to navigating our food choices and nutrition, whether what we are at home or whether we are attending a social occasion. And I’m going to go ahead and begin today by sharing kind of an overview of what these next three days will look like, share some housekeeping, some reminders. And then we will focus on… I’m looking at my notes here, accomplishing four objectives on day one of our three day training. And the reason I decided to break this up into three days is because, you’re going to absorb a lot of information. And to be frank, it would’ve been foolish to attempt to cram that all into what would initially be maybe labeled as a 60-ish minute session that would inevitably go on for hours, two hours or more. Once back in, I believe it was March or April hosted a, ‘how to build your own sustainable nutrition plan webinar’ that I said, would be at about 60-ish minutes. and it went on for about two and a half minutes.

I’m a talker, but luckily for you, I’m not going to just talk at you for 30, 40, 60 minutes today, tomorrow or Thursday. There’s going to be education and conversation. But most importantly, I am going to empower you and guide you through a series of prompts, questions, and action steps so that you can begin to A, feel empowered and B, take ownership over a rebuilding your relationship with food and cultivating that feeling of food freedom. So the first thing I want to make very clear if you haven’t gotten the grasp of it already is simply, this is incredibly casual. Some of you will chime in live here, others of you won’t make it. I will happily talk about this all day by myself and trust that you will watch the replay. But I have hosted many webinars, live events, trainings, and workshops over the years.

And I have worked tirelessly, meticulously to plan every single detail to script out every single word and this, to be very honest with you, it’s a brand new approach. It’s three days, not 1, 60, 90, a 120 minute session, it’s much more casual. It is very well planned, but is not meticulously scripted. I want to really just see based on feedback, any engagement we get by, or from those of you who are here to attend it live, what that looks like. Because although I have six major bullet points I want to hit throughout these next three days, it’s incredibly fluid and flexible and most importantly, geared to serve and support you. And I think that is a good segue to also share this, at no time during these next three days, am I going to try to pitch you. Am I going to try to sell you anything. I’m not here for that.

I am here for you. I recognize that there is such a widespread problem of feeling controlled by food rather than, feeling in control of your food. And I am here to support and serve. And at times, probably more than once, I will reference what we do in the 5% community. I will reference what I do with one-on-one clients or have done in the past. That will just be natural, it’s my way of talking about my work and what I do. But at no time will I pitch you and spend the last 30 minutes of day three, talking about how you can do this to work with me, join this. Those options exist, I’m happy to share them with you if you are finding our time together here valuable and you want to learn more. But my priority is to serve you.

And with that said, let’s get a little reminder of why it is we’re here. So I’m just going to move in some things around here. Bear with me as I get familiar with Facebook Live here. If you are here, I’d love to see something in the comment box. Again, I am 100% getting on board with Facebook Live. I wanted to try something new, I wanted to see what it’s like rather than using Zoom. So again, you are here welcome to day one of three days to Find Food Freedom Forever, where you will leave confidently able to say that you can free yourself from the BS food rules and the accompanying guilt, anxiety and regret that comes with them so that you can feel excited, calm and in control of food once again. And there are five major objectives that we are going to accomplish over the next three days. We are going to gain immense clarity on the written and unspoken food rules, dominating your thoughts, actions, and feelings.

We’re going to discover how to begin unlearning these BS food rules and how to begin rewriting your own. We’re going to understand how your current negative toxic self talk and food talk exist. Why they exist and ultimately, how they impact the current state of your relationship with food. And we’re also going to talk about an action plan to begin making positive changes. We are going to understand exactly what your unique individualized definition of food freedom is and develop a set of action steps to bring that to reality. And we’re going to realize the simple, yet, invaluable role that structure plays in creating more food freedom in your life. And without further ado, who the hell am I to talk about food freedom? And I know many of you have followed me or engaged with me on social media for some time. So thank you so much for that.

Again, my name is Paul Salter. I’m a registered dietician. I have been fortunate enough since 2013 to work personally, one-on-one with more than 1,500 men and women helping them to collectively lose tens of thousands of pounds of body fat and keep it all for good. But far more important to me than those quite incredible fun numerically based stats is that, I have been able to play a small and sometimes significant role empowering the individuals I’ve worked with, with the confidence, the self-worth, self-esteem and slew of mental behavioral and emotional tools to truly make positive lasting changes in their life to feel, look, and be their best. And two of my priorities with every single person I work with are to A, help them rebuild their foundational eating habits and B, rebuild their relationship with food, which is what we are focusing on today. And this is something that is near and dear to me, because for the longest time I was married to my fitness pal.

I logged every single bite of food and sip of water or whatever I was drinking into an app for roughly six years. I missed countless social occasions. I felt an incalculable amount of anxiety and frustration and fear when it came to eating certain foods and navigating social occasions and an overwhelming crippling amount of guilt, if I did decide to indulge in my favorite food or break away from my plan. And that crippled me emotionally, mentally, it impacted my romantic relationship at the time, my familial relationships, my friendships, made me question my career path. I mean, this all started when I was studying to become a dietician and just overall had an incredibly negative impact on my life. I know how devastating and frustrating it can be to feel like food is in control of you and you are not in control of food. And everything I’m going to share with you over the next three days is linked to what I personally did to drastically transform my relationship with food, cultivate and find this place of what I call food freedom and what I abuse to help members of the 5% community.

And one-on-one clients do the exact thing so that now I can, they can, and soon you will be able to confidently navigate social occasions, weekends, eating at home or out and feeling the utmost confidence and trust in yourself to navigate with ease, to intentionally indulge in your favorite foods. To trust you’ll get back on track, absolutely free of guilt, anxiety, frustration, or regret. And that is going to be an invaluable skill that will serve you a lifetime. Now, a couple more housekeeping notes before we dive in. First and foremost, again, I’m not going to just sit here and lecture for 20, 30, 40, whatever minutes, whatever it may be. There are going to be notes, prep prompts, questions, and depending who’s live. Hey, I will absolutely engage with you. Say hi if you’re there, again, I’m checking in on the comments and if you’re here, say hi, drop your name.

Let me see who is here. I’ll gladly call on you, but otherwise there will be a series of prompts and you’re going to have some homework. I think it’s wonderful to sit here and listen through this one time to absorb the information, but your second follow up step needs to be to take action, like awareness is phenomenal. Knowledge they say is power, that’s a bullshit. Knowledge is great, but knowledge is nothing without action. You need to take the action, answering these prompts and I highly recommend you find a quiet space, copious amounts of coffee, put some headphones in for some light music or for some silence and do the work answering these prompts, going deep in here to get really clear. And I’ll be here, every step of the way to guide you of course. The replay will simply live in our private Facebook group, but I’ll send them out via email as well at the end of each day, so you have that forever.

And the email address you can expect to receive an email from is paul@the5%way, double, triple check your spam promotional folder. It is a business email, and email is weird sometimes that shit is sent and you never see it again. Sometimes it’s in your primary inbox, sometimes it’s where it’s not supposed to be in spam, but promotions. So double check, if you can’t find it, reach out to me. Secondly, I’m here every step of the way for you, ask questions, drop them in the private community. I am here to answer your questions. I’m here to support and encourage you to share your answers to some of the follow up prompts with me, so we can further discuss. Remember you’re going to get what you put into this out of it. The more you show up for yourself, do the deep work to answer the prompts and share the more you are going to give me an opportunity to help you, the more you will reap from this.

Triple checking here eventually too, whether it’s Thursday, Friday, or early next week, I’ll have a written summary of all the notes, key topics and prompts that I share throughout the next three days with you. So you’ll have that forever as well. And then on day three, at the conclusion of these three days, I will share a link with you to schedule a 30 minute strategy call again. Again, that call is primarily focused on you and helping you actually take what you have learned and absorbed in these sessions and apply it to your life. So you can find food freedom. It’s best to schedule that call at a time in which you’ve actually already consumed all the content. So you can come prepared with questions, etc. Again, I’m not going to just try to pitch you to sell or buy anything from me, whatsoever.

I’m there as a resource to offer support in any which way I can provide. But the goal of that call, excuse me, is for you to walk away, feeling confident, knowing your areas of priority, to focus on. So you can have your own path working toward achieving food freedom. And lastly, this is a 1000% a safe space for conversation and questions. Yes, it may seem that I’m incredibly conversational and casual, and that’s because I am. But I care deeply about your results, your outcomes, and I’m here to support you every step of the way. So I think that is all my housekeeping here. I’m looking at my notes, I believe it is. So we’re going to kick off with a quick question and then dive in. And that question, and this is one I’m going to say to myself obviously, but ultimately, April, Mandy, what’s up? Good morning, Mandy.

I’m just seeing some questions come through now. Morgan, you’re the sweetest. Thank you so much for that. I’m getting a hang of the Facebook Live, like I mentioned. So excuse me here for being a bit naive. But I want to kick things off with this question, why are you here today? Or better yet, why did you sign up for this training? Yes, I might have whispered sweet nothings that hit a pain point related to your relationship with food or how you feel navigating social occasions or Monday morning after you ate like an asswhole over the weekend. But why aren’t you here? And if you are live, feel free, drop that in a comment section below. If you’re listening to the replay or listening later, I want you to write down this answer. You need to know why you are here. The universal theme behind or underneath everything we desire is having a really important why, when we are clear on why we want something and we can emotionally charge that sucker up, we’re fucken unstoppable.

So why are you here? Getting clear on that why is going to really set you up to be as much as possible out of these next three days. And again, I’ll be just checking in on the comments here and there. I see I have a refresh button, that’s awesome. April, I think is still here, Mandy as well. So I’m going to keep chatting, I’ll keep periodically touching base with the comments section. But again, I want to know why you are here. And for day one, oh, okay, I see this. This is really good. April’s coming in here, “because emotional eating is necessary to my journey of healing.” Yes, this is fantastic April, and you have already done so much healing and really accumulated such a dramatic transformation since our paths have crossed, and I’m very proud of you.

Today’s focus, now that you know why you’re here. We are going to specifically get clear on why you’re here, like I mentioned. But most importantly for today, we’re going to lay a foundation to identify and get really clear on the current state of your relationship with food and why it is the way it is. From there, we’ll move into actually defining what food freedom is and what food freedom is not. And discuss two key aspects of freedom and that, to be honest were incredibly new to me until I started doing a lot of research to put together a module all about rebuilding our relationship with food for the 5% community. So I’m excited to share that new information with you as well. And Mandy, I see your answer coming in. I’m just moving my screen here, “even though I’ve been in great shape and controlled my diet before I have gained it back. Now I’m overwhelmed and need information to empower myself and to gain knowledge of how to make a lifestyle change. I’m super busy. I need a direction.”

Mandy, boom, your awareness, your clarity is fantastic. And I especially love your use of the word empower, because we’re going to talk about empowerment ownership quite a bit the next few days. So kudos to you, you are absolutely in the right place. So continuing on, to get where you want to be and ideally to achieve a place in which you are in love with how you feel, you need to understand where you are now. One of the biggest mistakes people make when they get clear on a goal, they understand where they want to be, where they want to go. How they want to feel is, they don’t spend adequate time assessing exactly where they are now. Let me share a brief example with you to illustrate why this is so valuable.

Let’s say that you and I, completely arbitrary example, please keep that in mind. You and I both made a goal and a commitment to ourselves and we shared this with one another three years ago, our goal was to lose 50 pounds. And here we are, three years later, I’m still 49 pounds away from my goal. And you are 5 pounds away from your goal. Understanding exactly where we are right now in relation to that goal dictates the areas of priority that we need to focus on. For me, clearly, my first few action steps are going to look a hell of a lot different than yours because you’re only a few pounds away from the goal and I barely have made any progress, whatsoever. So that is why it’s so important to understand where you are now. So we can better understand where to go and how to get there by organizing and prioritizing the most impactful, efficient, and effective action steps.

So we’re going to go through five questions to help you better understand and clarify where you are now and what the current state of your relationship with food is. And as I read the questions to you, I’m going to read them aloud, likely repeat them. But I’m going to share my personal answers from once upon a time as well, to help give you some additional complimentary support about how to think about these prompts. So the first question, if you could describe your current emotional relationship with food in three adjectives or less, which words would you use and why?

Again, if you could describe your current emotional relationship with food in three adjectives or less, which words would you use and why? Now, some common answers because I’ve heard because I’ve asked this question many times before include, my relationship with food could be described as consuming, overwhelming, frustrating, downright terrible, exhausting, a pain in the ass. So take some time to think about how you would describe your current emotional relationship with food and what specific adjectives you would use. And once you have those adjectives, I encourage you to specifically get clear on why you chose them. For example, if the adjective I want to focus on is, my relationship with food is exhausting. Well, I feel this way because, so you see how I’m giving you a framework to write your answer. My current emotional relationship with food can be described as blank, put one adjective there.

I feel this way because blank, insert your example, your why. So I choose the example of exhausting because it feels exhausting, mentally, emotionally, and physically that I feel that in order to maintain or lose my weight, I believe I must measure every single bite of food I eat. I must portion every bite of food I eat and to me, that is exhausting. Or another one, I feel my emotional relationship with food is terrible. I feel this way because I hate the way I eat. I feel shitty about myself when I eat something I enjoy. And then I feel like crap, even though I eat something that doesn’t taste that good, but is supposedly good for me. I don’t know what to do. I feel lost, overwhelmed, it’s just terrible. And that one probably has a lot of general applications. You see a couple additional adjectives snuck in there, but you want to get really clear on three adjectives you would use to describe your current relationship with food.

Number two, I want you to pretend right now, imagine that you and I are talking face to face, we’re on a Zoom call, just you and me, super casual, super conversational. And I ask you to describe what your relationship with food is like, how would you describe your relationship with food to me? So we’re building off of question one here by actually putting in into conversational sentences or statements. We’re going from two to three key buzzwords to now, we’re further expanding upon how we would describe our relationship with food. And I might say, Mandy, April, my relationship with food, it sucks. It’s incredibly frustrating. I feel overwhelmed. I feel lost. I feel like one day I’m supposed to eat like this to feel good and lose weight. The next day, I can’t touch carbohydrates ever. And then a week later, my friend has eaten 300 grams of carbs every day for a month and she’s lost 30 pounds.

I feel confused. I feel lost and I don’t ever feel good when I do eat the foods I enjoy, I feel guilty. You see how I just let it go there? I didn’t have any structure, I just word vomited all over you. That’s what I want you to do. I want it to be organic, emotionally charged. How would you describe your relationship with food right now? Again, all this traces back to the reason of, we want clarity. We need to know exactly where you are right now in your journey. So take the time to word vomit. One of my favorite things to do, thought vomit, brain vomit. Just get whatever is up here or in here off of your plate and onto a piece of paper or onto a Word Doc, Google Doc, whatever it is, you may have that you’re taking notes on.

All right, this third prompt I have for you, when did you first notice your relationship with food become a negative or take a negative turn? When did you first notice your relationship with food become a negative? And I want you to be as specific and detailed as possible here, really making an effort to reflect. So look back in the past because from the ages of 0 to 7, about 90 to 95% of our belief system is formed, which means, and as you know, we are absolutely sponges during our youngest years. And a lot of what we absorb that forms the foundation of our beliefs is due to observation of our environment, our surroundings, our parents, friends, family, whoever we are spending the most time with. What was your mom’s eating habits? What were your dad’s eating habits like? Your siblings, your other family, close friends, those of you spent time with. Where did this negative relationship with food or these negative accompanying emotions related to food first come into play in your life?

And this is important because later down the road, we’ll talk about your current belief system a little bit more. This will come on day three, and we’ll talk about how it’s important to have a good clear image of when this first started taking a turn for the worst. So we can go back in time and begin rewriting those thoughts, set of self talk and beliefs. And if necessary, practice forgiveness too. Let’s say, parent or guardian or familial member that we inevitably consciously or unconsciously began to model that way of thinking about and feeling about food from a young age. Something else to think about is, it could be from a traumatic experience. It could be stepping on the scale to doctor’s office and saying like, “holy shit, I’ve never seen a weight this high before. I didn’t know I weighed this much.” It could be any form of a micro or a macro traumatic experience in your life that all of a sudden, drastically altered the way you talk to yourself about food and how food influences how you feel about yourself.

Number four. And again, first time through, just absorb these, make some brief notes and you’ll go through after the fact to actually really do the deep work. Point four, describe a situation in which food anxiety is at its highest in your life and be specific. Describe a situation in which food anxiety is at its highest. When I was really caught up with a lot of food anxiety, married to my fitness pal, this came in college for me, believe it or not. So when I first got introduced to natural body building and when I first entered into that love-hate relationship with my fitness pal. The weekends gave me an incredible amount of anxiety. On one hand, massive FOMO, regret, guilt, indecision, uncertainty about my decision not to go out and drink and hang out and eat shit food with my friends, which, that’s what college is for in some regards.

And on the other hand, there was massive amount of guilt when I did go partake in that. And I felt like there was just no happy medium. It was go eat like an ass whole and drink my face off or stay in by myself and be completely isolated. So the weekends used to give me a ton of anxiety and I would start thinking about the weekend plans on fucken Tuesday or Wednesday. And it would just ruin my days, it would consume my thought and it was not a happy place to be, to say the least. And the fifth prompt, to help you gain clarity as to where you are now in your relationship with food is as follows. How is your current relationship with food affecting other areas of your life, such as your romantic relationship, date nights, your social relationships and friendships, your familial relationships, your self-esteem, your career.

How is your current relationship with food affecting other areas of your life? If I go through that list from my own perspective, at that time in my life, date nights are out of the question unless I could control every single thing I ate or I would just go get a grilled chicken salad at the restaurant, not fun. I could make a better grilled chicken salad at my house most of the time and digress. My friendships, I just mentioned, I wasn’t going out. I wasn’t spending as much time with my friends, that carried even well into life after college for a while as well. It limited my ability to go deep and build deeper connections with friends and have new social location experiences, which is very important in everybody’s life, regardless of your age. Like I said, it impacted my romantic relationship negatively with my girlfriend at the time. Terrible self-esteem made me question my career a lot.

At this point I was on my way to becoming, or just become a dietician. And I was just still so consumed with food, and I was tasked with trying to help people get the out of their own way. It made me have a lot of self doubt, a lot of imposter syndrome, like who am I to help others if I can’t even get out of my own way? And then going home, I didn’t live at home at this time. So when I would go home, what does a parent want to do for their oldest son who’s just graduated in college? I want to take them out, have food, enjoy drink, everything that’s so food centric or I would go home for only the holidays, incredibly food centric occasion. So, it had such a negative impact when I made the decision to partake and felt like shit after, emotionally, mentally, and physically, or decided to abstain all together. And I would just sit around the holiday table, watching everyone else eat, not a fun position to be in. I don’t recommend it, whatsoever.

So those are your five prompts to really gain clarity as to where you are now. And again, this is going to serve as the foundation that we’re going to build off of here moving forward. And there’s three points that I want to share that are important for you to know, related to the origin of your food anxiety and uncertainty. There’s actually four, I digress. So let me add that on my own notes. So the first one is, your food anxiety, uncertainty, your relationship with food is heavily influenced by your upbringing, your environment, like that’s a given. We can’t control a lot of that. But here’s two, you might not have thought of, your food anxiety, uncertainty, your negative relationship, food stem from a lack of ownership and action on your end. That can be tough to swallow, but it’s incredibly true. Your food anxiety, your food uncertainty, your negative relationship with food are a result of the lack of love that you have for yourself.

Self love is such a crucial component of our relationship with food. Because our relationship with food, our relationship with our relationship with ourselves, excuse me, is a direct influence on our relationship with every other person in our life and our relationship with food. And if we don’t feel good about ourselves, we’re constantly looking for quick fixes and distractions, “oh, Hey, there’s cookies, there’s ice cream, there’s chocolate, there’s wine, there’s whatever it may be.” And of course, probably the most obvious culprit for your current relationship with food is the shitty amount of internet misinformation. And what is otherwise, known as, bullshit rules in a diet culture and the weight loss industry and all of tomorrow is focused on identifying the current bullshit rules in place that are holding you back. The written and the unspoken ones and working to begin unlearning and changing those. Now that we know where you are, the four big reasons you likely are where you are.

Let’s take this some time to get really clear on how you want to feel, where you want to go. And ultimately, what you want your relationship with food to both look like and feel like. And again, just checking in, I know some of you are popping in and out, so glad that you’re here. Any questions, anything that’s unclear, you’re more than welcome to drop them below at any time while I’m live or otherwise after the fact. So moving on to question number one, if you could describe your dream relationship with food in three adjectives, which words would you use and why? I can tell you mine. My relationship with food can be characterized or described as confident as fuck, in control and positive, confident control positive. I feel confident intentionally indulging in my favorite foods, because I feel confident in myself to get right back on track with the structure I have in place.

It’s that structure that actually affords me and offers me more food freedom, and we’ll talk about that on day three. I feel in control of my decisions. I can happily say no to somebody who offers me a drink to dessert, whatever it may be. I can happily say, yes, I’ll have another as well, that’s positive. Food is fuel, yes, physically, but emotionally, mentally, I’ve fallen in love with eating to feel good and you don’t know how good you can feel until you do. And when you utilize food or fuel positively and reframe your relationship with it. So food is helping you to feel your best physically, mentally, and emotionally, fucken game changer. And I can’t wait to help you get to that place. So if you could describe your dream emotional relationship with food in three adjectives, which words would you use and why? Where do you want to go? Get really clear on where you want to go.

Number two, I want you to think back to question number four from earlier, the anxiety provoking situation you described previously. How do you wish to feel with this new dream positive relationship with food navigating that social occasion or event in the future? Again, for me, my weekends were my nemesis and I got to a point where I realized I wanted control. I didn’t want food to control me, I wanted to feel in control of the weekends. I wanted to feel detached and I wanted to feel an unmatchable amount of self trust. I wanted to trust myself to proactively plan ahead when needed, feel like I had a plan in place to navigate the social occasion, feel like my plan was rooted in the utmost flexibility. So if there was a once in a life opportunity to try a new drink or a new dessert or a new entree, I was fucken going to try it without any guilt or regret and trust in myself to simply get back on track with my plan, not even the next day, the next opportunity.

Meaning, if I went to enjoy a wonderful brunch, I wasn’t going to just say, fuck it, eat like an ass whole the entire day, the next meal. And I was going to get right back on track to my portions, my structure and that was that. How do you want to feel next time you encounter that anxiety provoking situation? And number three, how do you want your relationship with food to affect those aforementioned areas of your life? For me, I didn’t want them to have any impact. Like I wanted to be so confident, so cool, calm, collected with my relationship with food. It didn’t stress me out, getting the last minute invite to go out with my friends or family members. Date night with delicious food and drink didn’t bother me whatsoever. I was all for it. Bring it on, let’s get another. I wanted it to have zero impact.

But if anything, if I had to choose the word, neutral, positive, indifferent, because I’m the one in control and I get to make the decisions. Food is not in control of me. You see, you’re picking up what I’m putting down here. You have so much control. This is definitely a ‘we’ problem. It’s a sense of ownership and empowerment that we’re going to cultivate these next two and a half days together. And ultimately, as I was putting together my notes for today, this theme kind of jumped out of my mind onto my Google Doc here, I’m going to read it to you. And I wrote down and I even bolded it, italicized it, made it extra big font, so I didn’t forget it. Your relationship with food needs to be rooted in confidence, self trust, control, and not giving a fuck about what other people think, period. That is it. That is what I wish for you, and that is what we are going to work to make happen.

Again, questions, comments, feel free to drop them at any time here. And I can see a little bit on my end, people floating in and out. But again, still navigating this Facebook Live, but I’m having fun time. I hope you’re enjoying yourself as well, whether you’re here now or watching the replay. And the last section that we need to discuss on this fine Tuesday afternoon is defining what food freedom is and what it is. So that, we can then pave the path for you to begin writing your own description definition that will guide you in all of your action steps, moving forward. What is food freedom? Food freedom can mean a different things to every single person. If you ask 10 people, you might get 10, slightly different answers, but in general, food freedom means that you have unconditional permission to eat all of the foods and are able to do so in a way that feels good, mentally, emotionally, and physically.

You are absolutely free of guilt, of anxiety, of regret or frustration around or about the food choices you make. It means that you have taken back the power, ownership from food and diet culture, no longer allowing food rules to determine what you do and do not eat. Food freedom is embracing the freedom to eat foods that make you feel good that are enjoyable and satisfying and to do so without unnecessary restriction. I mean, I get a big hell yeah in the comment section for that. It also means eating in a way that enhances your life, which is helpful to enhance your mindset, your physical body, your emotions, your spirit, and give you an opportunity to connect with your loved ones. Because we do live in such a food centric and dominant society. It’s freedom, and that is so incredibly important. And also, important is to quickly mention what food freedom is not.

Food freedom is not having zero structure or form of portion control in your life. In fact, as I alluded to on day three, we’re going to talk about how some semblance of unique, simple, flexible structure in your life related to your food decisions actually affords and offers more freedom in your life. Food freedom is not focusing only on Uber healthy food items and never intentionally indulging in your favorite, most delicious treats, no. I mean, I’ve got to have my ice cream, I’ve got to have my sweet baked goods. I’ve got a massive sweet tooth, like maple syrup, you remember the scene in Elf where he’s putting all sorts of concoctions together and he’s just drizzling maple syrup over everything. I want to be that, I want to do that. I might have already tried that multiple times in the past. And there’s room for you to indulge in your favorite food, salty or sweet as well, free of guilt or regret.

And lastly, food freedom is not trying to become this perfect eater who has an individualized nutrition blueprint created or tailored to you and trying to follow it with 110% consistency and perfection. No, perfection is never the goal, that’s a form of food imprisonment. We want freedom, we want flexibility. 85 to 90% adherence there is absolutely enough to help you breed strong consistency to generate the significant sustainable results that you desire. Now, there are two aspects or two branches, might be a better word of freedom, of the word freedom in particular, within food freedom for our context. And I’d like to elaborate on, and there is an element of both positive freedom and an element of negative freedom. And I want to just briefly clarify and illustrate the difference between two of these to help you understand that ultimately, we are seeking food freedom from and food freedom to. And I’ll clarify that in just a second after I hydrate.

Let’s start with negative freedom. And in that case, I’m talking about having freedom from something. So negative freedom is when you have freedom from an external source or an external force. And in our case, what that can allude to is having freedom from diet guidelines, from a restrictive food list, from an app, from a template, from a diet coach. Freedom from an external force that prevents you from eating what you want, when you want and how you want. And these restrictions are usually placed on you by, again, diet plans, templates, apps, coaches, programs, whatever it may be. It’s the food rules and diet culture governing your food decisions and helping to decide how you do or do not feel about food. And the more negative freedom or freedom from you have in your life, the fewer obstacles that exist between you and doing whatever it is you desire.

Meaning, you are able to free yourself from those food rules, from those obstacles. And the way diet culture has taught you to feel about certain foods or certain nutrients such as maybe your unhealthy relationship with carbohydrates, this fear based relationship. So we do want to cultivate a sense of what’s labeled negative freedom. I know that seems a little bit misleading, but we want to cultivate a sense of freedom from. We want to have freedom from all of these bullshit diet rules and take ownership, and take back the power to start writing those rules ourselves. And that’s what we’re going to do tomorrow. Second to that is freedom to, or also known as positive freedom. So positive freedom is the freedom to control and direct your own nutrition decisions. Determining how often you’ll eat, when you’ll eat, what you’ll eat. This concept is extreme ownership at its finest and positive freedom allows you to consciously make your own choices and to shape your own nutritional foundation.

You get to act instead of being acted on. You determine when you’ll eat in the guidelines that are put into place to direct your eating habits. And this, I kid you not, has been one of the biggest differentiating factors for all members of our 5% community, as well as all of my one-on-one clients is because within our onboarding process, in my incredibly and April, can attest to this. And any of you, 5% of us listening to the replay in my onboarding nutrition questionnaire. First, it’s probably the most thorough questionnaire you’ve ever seen in your life for a good reason. But there is a strong element of helping you take ownership and decide how many times per day do I want to eat? How do I want to build or rebuild my foundational eating habits? There’s such a sense of you taking ownership. What that does is it gives you and I an opportunity to instill ownership and empowerment into this new foundation of eating habits that we’ve cultivated.

And what that does with that sense of ownership is it exponentially increases your level of commitment because you feel a sense of ownership and you’re empowered, because you’ve been included in building this tangible product that is literally a part of who you are. I like to joke that know the nutrition plans that we create are tattooed with your DNA because you played such a strong helping hand and role in creating them. So food freedom too, is the freedom to make those decisions yourself. So when we’re cultivating food freedom, we want to free ourselves from the bullshit diet rules and guidelines and recommendations of diet culture, take ownership and write our own rules. Having the freedom to do what we want, when we want and how we want, so long as it is an alignment with helping us to feel, look, and be our best. And is unique to ourselves is simple and flexible because that is the recipe to make sure it is sustainable.

And that ladies, it’s the conclusion of day one, three days to find food freedom forever. I’m going to do a quick recap here. If you are live, feel free to drop a question while you have me live, but I want to share with you what I’m going to be sending out. So at the end of this call, sometime today, I’m going to send you out a food relationship, audit exercise. I believe if memory serves me correct, it’s 27 questions or prompts about the current state of your relationship with food. So much more detail than the five, I shared. Something I highly recommend you take the time to rather you make the time to complete, to better understand where you are now and where you want to be. And then, tomorrow we are going to be talking about all of the current rules, verbal written, and unspoken that are dominating your life related to your food decisions.

We’re going to talk about how we can unlearn them. Talk about the difference between rules and guidelines and help you begin rewriting your own food rules. And today, what we discussed was gaining clarity on why you are here, literally attending this training, why you signed up for it, you paid money for it. We discussed five different prompts that you absolutely need to answer about where you are now, to gain immense clarity on where you are now. And we did the same thing about gaining immense clarity as to where you want to be. Because ultimately, when we know where we are and where we want to be, we can then most effectively and appropriately align those action steps that will bring about that reality we desire. We talked about what food freedom is, what food freedom is not and how we want to achieve a state of food freedom in which we are free from the bullshit rules that have dominated our lives up to this point and free to do what feels best and works best for us.

And we’ll further explore those food rules on tomorrow’s call, which again will be live right here in Facebook, 12:00 PM Eastern time, would love to see you there. And if you have any questions, do not hesitate to drop them in the comment section or in the private community at any time. Make sure you tag me so I can follow up, because I will be notified. So great job, I’m proud of you for being here. You’re listening to the replay. Come drop a comment after the fact and drop #replay. Let me know you’ve listened and drop any questions you have, but have a fantastic rest of your day, and I will see you for day two. Hey. Paul, again, thank you so much for listening to today’s episode. If you’ve found it valuable, reach out to me, let me know what your biggest takeaway was.

And as I mentioned in the beginning of this episode, there is more information in the show notes below for you to purchase the other two days of training and get lifetime access to not only roughly two and a half hours of video content, but all of the journal prompts, exercises, cheat sheets and notes that I included during this three day live training. And let me be honest, most people struggle with their relationship with food, falling victim to food rules that do not serve them. So if you know somebody just like that, pass this episode along, it will change their life and I would greatly appreciate it. And of course, if you haven’t done so already, 30 seconds to leave a genuine, honest rating and review on Apple Podcast or wherever you listen to your podcast. Really goes a long way in supporting, helping both the show, myself and of course, Micheala. So thank you so much for doing that. And thank you for being here today. Have a wonderful rest of your day, and we’ll catch you next week in another episode.

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Paul Salter

Paul Salter is a Registered Dietitian and Founder of The 5% Way. Since 2013, Paul has worked one-on-one with nearly 1,500 men and women, helping them to collectively lose tens of thousands of pounds of body fat and keep it off for good. He’s also published nearly 1,000 articles, two books, and 175 podcast episodes (and counting) on all things related to our five core elements of sustainable weight loss.



Micheala is a Transformation and Community Success Coach. She specializes in bringing out the absolute best in you and helping you see that you already have everything you need to achieve the transformational results you desire. Micheala will be an incredible asset for you on your journey since she went through the process herself and has seen long lasting results.

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