Health Magazine

Permission Princess

By Healthhungry @Healthhungry

I’m not sure when my critical gremlin showed up in life – but that little bugger has really been annoying me lately!  I remember feeling the freedom to choose as a young girl; I did things, said things, wore things, ate things, thought things – all without constantly second guessing myself.  Those days feel like a distant memory…

Lately, it seems –  every single choice I make is with someone else in mind.  I don’t even know who that someone is half the time, I just know that I’m not considering what I want first – or if I do what I want, the next thought is; but what will so and so think?  For example – I was getting dressed the other day and thought; does this match?  I thought it looked great, but I was worried that others may percieve it to be an odd combo.  Another example recently was when I wanted to color my hair and include some very bold pink highlights but I hesitated wondering; What if my boyfriend doesn’t like it, or what if my co-workers think I’m a freak?

I did what I wanted in both situations but it was a conscious decision to really push through and listen to myself rather than the critic sitting on my shoulder.

This idea of permission came up a couple of weeks ago at the HAES Master Class, and it has really stayed in my brain.  I am all about giving myself permission lately – and I need it.  I need to remind myself regularly that this is my life, I am an adult who can make all my own decisions – all of them.  If I want to eat candy for supper, dye my hair pink, and sleep all day in my p.j.’s – it’s my right to do it all.(If you just sucked in a little breath in horror, you should definitely keep reading.)

My birthday is this Sunday, and I have been feeling a little guilty for going into “Princess Mode” about it all.  I don’t expect lavish gifts or anything, but I do like positive attention, I do like to feel special, and I do like to celebrate!  The week of my birthday I usually find myself giving myself permission and it sounds a little something like this; ME: “I really need some new lotion”  CRITIC:  “But the kind I love is so expensive – I really should buy something more affordable.”  ME: “This is my birthday week, and I deserve to treat myself to what I love.”

See how that went?

I have had, and will likely have a number of conversations like that from now through my actual birthday.  I have moments when I think; People are going to think I am self-centered…” (Critic) and then I think; Eff that, it’s my birthday!!!  I have decided to connect the dots here.  What if I treated every day like it’s my birthday?  What if I told my inner critic to buzz off and butt out?  After all, this is my life – I AM able to make smart decisions, so why all the self-doubt?!

I know that I am not alone here.  Some of you reading this right now are thinking; why the hell am I depriving myself of what I love, or what I want most?  So I ask, why are you?  What do we gain from constant restriction?  I believe it goes hand in hand with food restriction.  If we avoid eating what we want most, and live in a state of deprivation (i.e. no meat, no grains, no sugar, no caffeine, etc.) then somehow we are being “good”. (says the bastard critic)  But is that really nurturing your best self?  Are you honoring what your body needs?  Are you even listening anymore?

Then we begin to apply the deprivation to other areas of our lives.  If I don’t buy that latte, if I don’t get those shoes, if I don’t buy that new outfit, if I don’t take that vacation, if I don’t take that nap, if I don’t say what I really want to say when I want to say it… then I’m being a good girl. (says the bastard critic)  But you are not being “good.”  You are denying who you are, and what you want.  You are choosing suppression of your spirit, and that is NOT good.  In fact, it’s likely causing some serious crazy-ass cycling such as; binge eating, or binge spending.  And all the while you are “being good” you are feeling crazy.

Permission Princess

You have permission!

Today is the day you stop this madness: flick that bastard critic off your left shoulder and let everyone know that you’ll be making your own decisions from now on.  If you need external permission, here it is.  You CAN do, eat, say, and think whatever you want – when you want.  I promise.  In the mean time, if you get stuck – here are some tips:

  • Notice when your critic is butting into your thoughts, and ask yourself whose voice it is.  Is it your parents?  A boss?  Societal Norms?  If it’s not coming from you, it’s not your voice – and it has no business making your decisions.
  • When you find yourself hesititating(this is especially helpful around eating) ask yourself why?  Stop and ask: Why do I want this?  Then ask why would you avoid it?  Whose voice is it?  If for one second your critic is telling you; “it’s bad, toxic, fattening, etc.”  Give yourself permission to EAT it!
  • Ask yourself, what is the worst that could happen?  Because seriously, what is?

*Please note: I reconginze that there are people who struggle with addictions and various realitites that can make this all a bit more tricky.  I have been there, I get it.  HOWEVER, this post is written for all of the people who are in a place in their life where they are tired of the mental battle going on inside.  I realize that there are always exceptions, and if that’s you – then take what you can, and leave the rest.

If you are anything like me, you have listened to the critics for too long.  The diet industry, peers, parental messages, societal norms, religious dogma, shaming, judgment-filled bullshit.  Just for this week won’t you join me in my birthday princess permission?

You deserve it, and I could use some guests at my permission party…

Permission Princess

You are the Princess in Charge of Your Life!


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