Lately I’ve noticed that A LOT of people I talk to have a poor relationship with food. We’ll go to lunch and they’ll stress over what to eat, worrying that the wrong food choice will make them ‘fat’. Or others, in passing comment, will describe food as being ‘bad’ or ‘evil’.
It wasn’t until I truly became aware of this kind of talk that I noticed it happening more and more AND MORE. People are obsessing over calories, feeling guilty whenever they eat, bingeing on food, constantly thinking about food, using food as a crutch to deal with emotional issues or stressing over eating ‘bad’ food or not eating ‘perfectly’.
Don’t get me wrong, I have also dealt with these issues in the past but I have improved my relationship with food to the point where these thoughts haven’t crossed my mind in years.
I only hope that each and every one of you get to this mindset. Life is too precious to have an internal war with food and your body. So, to help you get there, I’m going to be posting a series on how to heal your relationship with food, with each post tackling a different lesson!
The first lesson:
COME FROM A PLACE OF LOVE, NOT FEAR
First things first, a bad relationship with food has really very little to do with food and has EVERYTHING to do with your mindset. Start paying attention to what emotions food brings up – Guilt? Sadness? Frustration? Anger? You need to then dig deeper and understand why it is that you’re feeling this way.
For most people, a negative relationship with food stems from fear. Typically, fear of putting on weight. Is this true for you?
To heal this relationship, you need to come from a place of LOVE not fear. And yes, I know how corny that sounds, but when you love your body, you want to give it the best yeah?
From now on, when you look in the mirror, I want you to think of how lucky you are to even have your body in the first place. The fact that you are alive right now is a miracle in itself. So when you look at your legs, don’t criticise the size of them; think of how lucky you are to be able to walk. When you look at your stomach, think of how crazy it is that you have a whole lot of organs inside there keeping you alive. Our bodies do SO much for us every single day, but too often we take it for granted. Gratitude, gratitude, and more gratitude – I know I harp on about it but believe me it’s a life changer.
Once this sinks in, you’ll happily start eating well and exercising because you want to give your body the care it deserves. And guess what?! It’s A LOT easier to put in the effort to live a healthy lifestyle if you are doing it because you love it. Forcing yourself to eat healthy and exercise out of frustration, guilt and stress is tiring and unsustainable.
I want you to challenge every thought you have that’s coming from a place of fear, and swap it with one coming from a place of love.
It may be difficult at first, perhaps it will bring up unpleasant emotions or make you realise just how many negative thoughts you have about yourself. Simply recognise these for what they are – old limiting beliefs that no longer have any power over you.
Here are some positive thoughts you could consider swapping them with:
“My body deserves love and respect”
“Food is not the enemy and I thank the food I eat for nourishing me”
“I give my body healthy nourishing food and exercise because it deserves to be taken care of”
“Life is too short and too precious to waste time obsessing about my body. I am going to take care of it to the best of my ability and get out of my head and into the world”
Over time these positive thoughts will start to come naturally to you and you won’t believe some of the awful things you use to say to yourself!
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Stay tuned for another post on how to health your relationship with food – I’m thinking the next one will be on changing your perspective on food? Or maybe how stress actually prevents weight loss? x