There are lots of rules:
Use money to pay for stuff.
Shut up when the music is a quiet part at a gig.
Don’t walk on the grass.
Rules are there to help us all get along a little better.
Rules are supposed to make life easier for everyone, even if they can be a bit annoying sometimes.
But they are there to help us get along a bit more easily.
Sometimes though, we get quite strict with ourselves and start giving us rules for our eating.
Such as no carbs, no sugar, no wheat, no processed stuff etc etc.
And that’s all well and good, most of the time, if the rules suit you. But occasionally, sticking to a rule just because it’s a rule can make things really tricky. Sticking to a rule just because you have to can make you feel like such a martyr that at some point, the whole set of rules will come crashing down and you end up feeling fed up and something like a loser.
Which is why one of my very most common phrases when talking with clients is:
As a general rule…….
‘As a general rule’ gives you a great guideline for something which is going to be great for you, but it also gives you a stress-free get-out clause for the times when rule-obedience would suck.
As a general rule, try not to drink with your meal.
As a general rule, eat your food a good few hours before you go to bed.
As a general rule, don’t eat shite.
There is a really good reason for using the phrase ‘as a general rule’ as often as I do, and it’s really quite simple.
Sometimes you just can’t stick to the rule. Sometimes sticking to the rule means you either don’t eat. Or you feel rubbish when you do eat. Or it means missing out on some fun.
For example: you’ve come to me because your digestion is all over the place. You fart like a trooper, you get indigestion like an old fashioned indigestion sailer and you bloat 2 dress sizes every time you eat.
As part of our session, there’s a very big chance that I will say that, for you, it’s not a good idea to be drinking with your food. I’ll spend a good while explaining why and we’ll talk about ways to make sure you don’t need a pint of water with each meal. You’ll understand really well that for you, drinking at the same time as eating is just a bad idea.
Except, I know for a fact that you’ll be wondering if this counts for when you go out for a romantic meal with your sweetheart, or if it means you can never enjoy a cup of tea with a slice of cake ever again.
Which is why, I’m pretty much guaranteed to say ‘of course, as a general rule, you don’t want to be drinking with your meal, but there will always be exceptions, so don’t worry about them, and just make it a general rule for normal living’.
Doesn’t that feel much kinder, much more understanding than just outright banning you from ever drinking a glass of wine with your date-night meal? Isn’t it more sensible to realise that you will screw up your plans at some point, and so give you a get out clause to use as and when you need to?
I think so.
Which is why you’ll find that, as a general rule, I tend to say ‘as a general rule’ quite a lot.
My clients love finally being allowed to ‘fail’ and ‘mess up’ without having to feel guilty or crappy. Is it time for you to become a client? If you need some really deep one-on-one focus, check out my consultations. And if taking some really personalised first steps towards eating better is more your thing, check out my tailored service Start Right and Carry On.