I love looking at travel websites. Even if I’m not planning a vacay, I check them out to see where we could go. I can spend a ridiculous amount of time just browsing and daydreaming. 
I was doing this the other day and noticed something that all the travel sites had in common. I spotted it immediately because it’s one of the most widely used methods in marketing. 
The theory is that people prefer to either ‘move away’ from pain, or ‘move towards’ freedom. 
Every person has a preference. One is no better than the other. Essentially they are the same thing – whether you’re moving away from something, or moving towards something else, you are still moving. 
But these perspectives each carry a very different feel depending on whom you are.
For example, take the travel site I was on. One company advertised, “take a breather from work, stress and the daily grind”. This is moving away from pain. 
Another advertised, “Come lay on the sun-drenched beaches”. This is moving towards freedom.
Either way you look at it, you’re on the beach. But it’s being marketed in two very different ways. 
One is “moving away” from something unwanted (stress). The other is “moving towards” something very much wanted (beaches). 
Which one would sound better to you if you were booking a vacation?
Do you want to think about ‘getting away from the stress’? 
Or would you prefer to think about  ‘going to a sun-drenched beach’?
I bring this up not to give a marketing lesson (there are far better people for that). 
I bring it up because we actually think in these terms every day without realizing it. 
Especially when it comes to changing our food. 
Whether it’s a few things that we’re going to stop eating or a complete overhaul, we sell ourselves on the idea of a new diet. 
How hard or easy we think it will be
What foods we will or won’t eat.
How this new diet will work in the ‘real world’.
As we brainstorm about and implement these changes, we think about it in terms of either going ‘away from pain’ or ‘towards freedom’. 
When we think about our food, quite often we use an “away from pain” approach. 
“I’m sugar free”
“I’m gluten free”
“I don’t eat any complex carbs”
“I have eliminated all dairy from my diet”
“I stay away from meat”
These are all examples of the “away from pain” method.
It’s a long list of what you don’t want. Rules about what you stay away from. 
I thought the “away from pain” method worked for me. For a long time, I looked at food with qualifying thoughts in my head such as “That has sugar- I don’t eat sugar” “I don’t eat anything with gluten” “I try not to eat a lot of meat”. 
This was my rulebook for eating and I thought was a smart guide to use.

But I started to notice that it didn’t feel so good to keep these thoughts in my head. 
It felt restrictive, and even a little militant. 
And when I did eat sugar, or a big hamburger, I felt like I was breaking the rules. I was being ‘bad’ and ‘rebellious’. That made me feel guilty, and increased the chances that I would just continue to eat the sugar, or bread, or whatever else I told myself I should be staying away from.
In short, I realized that the ‘away from pain’ method actually didn’t work so well for me. It just constantly reminded me of the foods that I wanted to avoid.
So I switched methods. I adopted the “towards freedom” perspective when it came to my diet. 
Instead of saying “I don’t eat sugar or gluten or….” I say:
“I’m want to eat nutrients in every bite.”
“I’m looking for high vibration foods.”
“I eat vegetables whenever I can.”
“I eat foods that feel good in my body and fuel me.”
“I look for whole, natural foods”

I know that foods that nourish and fuel me don’t contain sugar or gluten. It becomes a given that I don’t need to think too much about. 
So in reality:
I rarely eat sugar, gluten, and processed foods. And if I do, it’s not such a big deal. 
The biggest difference is that I’m way more relaxed around food. 
I’m far less stringent with myself and don’t think too much about foods I don’t want to eat, because my focus isn’t on moving away from them. I’m actually not thinking much at all about what I don’t want to eat. Why should I waste time thinking about unwanted things?
I’m focusing on something entirely different. Something that is nourishing and good.
The ‘away from pain’ method is completely valid. It’s used all the time in marketing. Keep an eye out when you look at book titles, slogans and commercials. You will find it everywhere. And if that works for you, great. Don’t mess with a good thing.
But know you can also think about change as moving towards freedom. 
Take a moment and see how each one feels to you. 
Which perspective are you using now? 
Are you focusing on what you should stay away from or what you want to move towards?
Which perspective actually feels better to you?
It’s completely a personal preference, but when you use the right one, changes feel much better. 
Don’t just accept it when someone says you should be ‘gluten free’. Know there is another way of looking at it. A way that gets the same, if not better, results that may be much more in line with your preference. 
Give it a try and see which way you swing.
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