Do you struggle with a love/hate relationship to food?
I struggled with my relationship with food for year. I think it’s fair to call it a love/hate relationship. I enjoyed the taste of food, but then felt guilt for eating. I had a list of “good” and “bad” foods. If I ever ate any of the forbidden foods, I’d beat myself up.
I used to think if the highly-processed, overly sweetened, extra salty foods didn’t exist we’d all be a whole lot healthier, skinnier, and happier, right?
I would use food as a way to numb my feelings, comfort me when I was sad, or as a way to punish myself by restricting it.
I’ve learned over the years that it’s okay to love food and it’s possible to have a healthy relationship with food.
I’ve learned that real peace and happiness actually comes when we decide to stop looking at food as simply a way to control our weight.
If you can really want to transform your relationship with food, it’s time you fall back in love with it.
5 Tips to Improve Your Relationship With Food
1. Redefine Food
In order to develop a better relationship with food we must redefine it. Instead of viewing food as bad or good, I want you to start thinking of it as Food = Fuel & Nourishment.
All food provides you with the energy to survive and thrive. Some food gives your more energy that lasts while others may give you a boost of energy that quickly fads away. Food is also a way to nourish your body and soul. A hot soup or stew may comfort you in the middle of winter. A nice crisp salad may refresh you and provide you with essential nutrients. A piece of cake may be just the thing to eat when your celebrating your child’s birthday.
When we look at all food as fuel and/or nourishment, we are able to always feel good about the choices we make when we eat.
2. Allow All Food
We must stop restricting and depriving our selves of food if we want to have a better relationship with it. I’m sure you have a list in your head of foods that are so-called “bad” or “off-limits”. But the thing is when we deprive ourselves of certain foods we can become obsess with it and eventually end up binge-eating it. By allowing all foods, we can simply eat what we want and move on.
3. Be curious
It’s time we start looking at our food choices from a place of curiosity rather than judgment. We can be so hard on ourselves and it’s time we take a step back and realize we are just human. When you eat something you used to consider “off-limits” ask yourself,
- “Why did I want to eat this?”
- “How did it make me feel?”
- “What emotions did I feel before, during, and after I ate it?”.
Looking at our choices with a new lens will allow you to learn so much more about yourself than if you simply judge and beat yourself up over it.
4. Eat mindfully
This one shouldn’t be much of a surprise. When we eat mindfully we can really be present & enjoy the food we are eating. Make sure to eat without distraction, engage your senses, honor your hunger and fullness, and practice gratitude for the amazing food that you have access to.
5. Give up dieting
Dieting is the main reason so many women struggle with their relationship to food. The dieting industry has taught us that there is such a thing as “good” or “bad” food. It has taught us to eat less, count calories, and obsess over what we put into our mouths. It has taught us that thinness is the only way to happiness. The reality is that none of this is true. Diets do not work and they definitely will not make you happy.
Are you ready to learn how to ditch dieting for good?