• Marissa Aiuto

How To Access What You WANT By Removing Your "SHOULDS"

How often do you tell yourself you “should” do something?


Especially in the world of health, wellness, and nutrition - there’s a lot of things we’re told we should be doing more.


I should exercise more.


I should eat fewer snacks.


I should order the salad.


I should meditate everyday.


Believe me, I’ve totally found myself caught up in these "shoulds", and I’d push myself to do them.


So, I’d do the shoulds, I’d order the salad, but in the back of my mind I’d be obsessing about what I wanted instead.


Sometimes, the salad was delicious, nourishing, and satisfying and exactly what I wanted. But, other times, I was really in the mood for pizza, but I picked salad because it felt like the *better* *healthier* choice. The thing I should order. The thing society and diet culture and

the wellness influencers say I should eat. I’d eat the salad and then spend the rest of the day feeling unsatisfied and thinking about pizza even more.


It took me a long time to realize that I was missing a very important part of the equation. The want part. Did I really want the healthy things, or did I just feel like I should do them because some “expert”, advertisement, or diet plan told me to. If I did feel like I wanted something, why did I want it?


I started to experiment with myself and my actions. Every time a ‘should’ came up… I asked “should or want?”, then followed up with “why?”.


I started to ask myself more and more questions to see where the intention of my actions were coming from.


Asking myself these questions changed my perspective on what healthy means to me. I started to feel freer and more confident around food, especially dining out. Instead of obsessing over the *right* thing to order, scrolling through the restaurant menu on my phone all day before dinner, I know I can trust myself and order what is right for me in the moment, without pressure or guilt or regret.


If the salad sounds good, I order it - and feel good about it. If pizza is what I’m craving, I honor that, order it and feel good about that, too. That to me, is food freedom.


Once I felt good about questioning and deciphering between ‘shoulds’ and ‘wants’ and saw that I wasn’t feeling shame and guilt around making the *right* healthy decisions anymore, I brought this mindset into my coaching practice.


As I worked on this with clients, I started seeing them learn to trust themselves around food, around movement, and beyond. When clients became more aware of questioning their ‘why’, they were better able to choose what to eat and how to exercise, which eventually led to them feeling confident in their bodies.


Here’s an example: one of my clients felt like she should be exercising more. Something so many of us feel. She told me “I should workout more if I want to lose weight”. She felt like she should be moving more than just a 20 minute walk, more than 15 minutes of yoga, more than 2x per week, but she couldn’t find the motivation to do more than that.


Instead of pushing her to try a new exercise program, or to exercise more everyday, I asked if she truly wanted to move more. When she said ‘yes, of course’, I asked WHY she wanted to move more.


She paused and thought. It felt like a true moment of clarity.


Her why went so much deeper than all of the comparisons, societal expectations to be fit and lose weight. Her why was so much more than the "shoulds".


She said that when she was exercising regularly she felt so much more energized throughout the day, more motivated to do things she loved with the people she loved, more productive at work to progress in her career.


On the days she moved her mind was clearer, her anxiety lower, and her sleep was more sound. Exercising made her feel strong and confident, and gave her the strength and endurance to play with her kids, or go for a challenging hike with her husband.


Moving more meant feeling good, not just when she looked in the mirror, but in living her happiest and fullest life.


Her why was SO much more powerful than her should.


So the next time you feel like you should, I encourage you to ask if it’s actually what you want, and why you want it and watch how this dissolves those feelings of shame and guilt around food, movement, and your body.


Instead of: “I should exercise more” try, “I want to exercise more, because it makes me feel energized and confident”. This mindset shift will actually help you show up for yourself more and stick with the thing you want to do, so you finally get the benefits you’ve always wanted.


And when you feel like you “should eat the salad”, think about how the salad will make you feel: “I want to eat the salad because I love the way it tastes and it makes me feel good!”


I challenge you to escape the feelings of frustration and overwhelm from the shoulds. Your body knows what it needs. Your body will always guide you in the right direction if you take a minute to listen to it.


I know how hard it can be to tune out the ‘shoulds’ from diet culture, that’s exactly what I love supporting my clients with so they can break the thinking that has them feeling bad about their food, movement, and bodies, and instead they can finally access their food and body freedom.


I want to help YOU tune out the ‘shoulds’, too so you can finally make the healthy choices that feel good for you so you’ll actually be able to stick with them!


Join me for a FREE 30-minute Food & Body Freedom Assessment call where we can pinpoint how these ‘shoulds’ are keeping you from your food and body freedom!


Together we’ll set simple steps you can take to feel confident around food and amazing in your body once and for all! Space is limited, book your free call here!


Be Well,

Marissa