NUTRITION: HOW IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH FOOD?
How is your relationship with food? Do you eat mindfully or intuitively? Do you struggle with restricting and binging? Do you count calories and weight yourself? Has food and the thought of it taken over your life? I feel that many people struggle with this on a daily, even hourly basis.
So many people who struggle with their body image or weight spend hours agonising about their food choices and beating themselves up over what they ate (or didn’t eat) at their last meal. But the truth is, for most of us, it’s actually not about the food at all. In fact, the foods we’re eating are completely secondary to the way we actually feel about ourselves.
Now don’t get me wrong: of course what you eat matters. Of course it’s important to get enough veggies and fill your plate with healthy choices. But to truly get to the root of your relationship with food, you can’t just look at what you’re eating; you’ve got to look at why you’re eating and how you’re treating yourself and your body.
This is the biggest thing that I focus on when it comes to my clients. Life, relationships, your career, home life, spiritual practice is all Primary good, and food is Secondary food. If we don't get to the Why's, we will never get the food stuff straight.
EVERYTHING OUTSIDE OF US IS A REFLECTION OF OUR INTERNAL STATE.
At first, some people might see this as being really depressing — You’re saying that it’s my fault I feel so crap? But in truth, it’s incredibly empowering. It means that if you can get your inner stuff sorted, then all the external stuff (for example, your ongoing food angst) will naturally and organically start to dissolve and sort itself out. I don't think this happens with the snap of your fingers, quite the opposite actually. This is what I love about this, and what I do. To really gain a better perspective
Before we dive into the making this inner change, I want you to think about your relationship with food for a moment and ask yourself these questions:
Did you reach for junk food, a sugar hit or a caffeine fix this past week?
Are you turning to processed, fast or ready to eat ‘foods’ because you’re ‘too busy’?
Did you skip a meal or ‘forget to eat’?
Do you tend to snack a lot or crave dessert after every meal?
Do you use food as a reward mechanism?
When you ate dinner last night, were you watching TV, sitting on Facebook or surfing the net?
Now ask yourself — what’s really going on here?
Most of these actions are unconscious. I know I can get into a habit of being in front of the computer when eating at times, or being too busy and not eating for many, many hours! Some of it is just habit. I'm human just like you. But it's important, vitally so if you're struggling with food or emotional distress. You must open up, take a look at what’s going on here, and be honest with yourself. To start with, notice any emotions or feelings that come bubbling to the surface. Note that internal mind chatter going on inside your head. Are you judging yourself harshly? Telling yourself you’ve failed? and feeling guilty or angry with yourself?
I want to remind you that that is just your inner 'mean girl/boy' doing their thing. Being harsh and fear based is its job, but it doesn’t mean it’s your truth. These are feelings you create, they are not real. How many times have you said something mean to yourself after you have eaten way too much, had five cookies in one sitting or had a couple nights of binge eating?
Now I want you to take a deep belly breath and let it all go. Then take another one. Consciously choose to turn the volume down on this chatter, get present, and have full acceptance of what is. Because right now — in this very moment — you can heal your relationship with food. It is a choice. Not an easy one, I know, but it's possible. It is very easy to get stuck in this cycle. I know some of you might not struggle with this, or maybe you do and are just unaware of it.
It's all about choosing LOVE over FEAR.
I've struggled with this for sure.
When I was healing I had to be calculative about everything that I was putting in my mouth. Everything. It was, and still is my medicine. I knew that each bite I took was either feeding the Lymes Disease, or killing it. Further I ate to numb some emotions and block out sadness, anger and frustration when I was feeling alone in the illness or simply wanted comfort. Albeit it was all healthy (heavy and dense raw food, too many avocados, nuts & seeds, nut butters, raw chocolate) it wasn't healthy, physically or mentally.
If you are eating out of fear, it’s time to stop. And if you’ve quit sugar or processed foods out of fear, again: please stop. Quit sugar because you love yourself and your body unconditionally, not because you are scared it will make you gain weight. Eat to nourish that beautiful temple of yours, to keep it healthy and strong. Our bodies put up with a lot; it’s time to give them back some love.
Make no mistake: this one simple shift will dramatically change everything in your life, but it will take time, work and self love. All those things that I used to do out of fear are a thing of that past. Once I adjusted my mindset, everything shifted. Healing my mind, as I continue to echo, has been the best and most potent healing tool. Your mind controls your body, period.
Don't underestimate the power of this one small change. It truly can transform everything.
How is your relationship with food? Do you need to give yourself some love? I know food is a sensitive topic and this might not apply to all of you. But I believe it's a good thing to talk about, as I'm quite certain that many of you are struggling in silence. I know I did. When I gained over thirty pounds I hid. I felt uncomfortable and ashamed for wanting to lose weight, or for not being able to control my desire to eat the way that I was eating.
I would love to hear from you guys! Are you struggling with this, or have you in the past? The more you speak about it in the open, the more you can heal.