How do you view your relationship with food? Temperamental? Consistently… bad, good or indifferent? Perhaps you have ups and downs – like any relationship in your life?
The relationship between ourselves and the daily choices we make around food are considered the most intimate we encounter… Think about that last sentence again. How powerful is that!!
Would you describe your current or previous relationship with food as intimate, pleasurable, exciting, reconnecting? Or perhaps the words bored, confusion, anxiety or loathe enter the equation? It is interesting to mindfully note what creeps into your mind once you begin to assess whether food is uplifting or constantly dragging down a part of your life. By changing your mindset around food, feelings of enlightenment will follow with energy to devote to other areas of life.
Like any relationship, success is reliant on the effort that is put forth. The way we choose to nourish ourselves isn’t different to anything meaningful in our life. It affects the decisions we make, how we feel, how we respond to others and how we view ourselves.
I have evolved to where I am today through trial and error. Competing as an elite sportswoman brought with the it belief that I should view food obsessively and self regulate my intake through exercise. My nutritional mindset wasn’t balanced and I was viewing food and ‘good’ and ‘bad’. I wasn’t entirely happy with my relationship with food which was hopelessly thrown out some days due to massive sessions sending my appetite through the roof! These thought patterns and habits brought on restrictions, poor choices and not enough satiety. There was way too much rigidity.
These days I am much different, and wish I knew back then what I know about myself today.
Instead of sweeping feelings and thoughts under the carpet – I found it helps to explore and get to the bottom of why they exist. For example, I have seen examples of my clients using cheat meals. Do you allow yourself ‘cheat meals’? Why is this? Cheating forms the basis of denial, secrecy or a guilty love affair. This is perhaps setting yourself up for emotional distress down the track and a feeling of ‘naughtiness’ around food. Ultimately, you are cheating on yourself.
Rather, we should approach a food indulgence with full gusto, bringing all senses to the occasion to fully appreciate the meal, that’s when you feel alive. This is what a relationship with food should be based on. There is no such thing as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods just the choices you make around these foods.
Being smart about your food choices is the key here. I can hear you saying that we need to hold some restraint in our choices but once you let go of the thought process of trying to be perfect 24/7 or accepting that you can form better habits at home through forming strategies, then everything will become a lot clearer. I feel better steering away from gluten, dairy and sugar in my diet – which is why you’ll find a lot of recipes here based on this, but also have the flexibility to adapt to eating what’s the next best available at the time.
How to change your relationship with food
1/ Become mindful with your food choices. Tackle that mindless eating head on!
2/ Accept that no one is perfect and we have ups and downs. Catching yourself in the moment is the key.
3/ Like any relationship – know that effort is required. Perhaps this could be finding new recipes, substituting an old habit or letting go of something in your life
4/ Get help if need be. There are people out there to help and assist you.
5/ Let go of old beliefs and create new ones. These may have stemmed from our parents or experiences. This doesn’t mean they are true!
6/ Treat food with respect. Learn to discover where it came from, who grew it, what unique tastes it has, and how it delivers to your body. Become connected.
I have seen people living their lives dictated by what they have or haven’t eaten. Life is too short for this amount of thought each day. Forming healthier habits takes away the thought process and lessens the effort each day. Believe I know 😉
How would you describe your relationship with food? Have you any tips you can share?