With this blog, I really want to put myself out there, be bold, and be transparent. So I can only speak for myself when I say that my relationship with food is one of the hardest relationships I’ve ever been in, personally. Why is it the hardest might you ask? Well lets see… I am a person who has always had a lot body issues and food is directly related to what my body physically looks like. Its hard to manage food intake sometimes, being that we eat all day, everyday, right? When trying to manage body weight, of course health and fitness enthusiasts will tell you that getting your body moving is important. But, they will also tell you that what and how much you put into your mouth will account for 80% of the results you experience. Crazy right?
So, for me, food has always given me a feeling of comfort. I’m being so real with you guys right now because I know that there is a woman reading this right now that feels she cannot shake her unhealthy relationship with food. Girl, you ARE NOT alone! I am still struggling to get this relationship back on track. Or maybe I should say just on track because I’m not sure it ever was on track to begin with… Whatevs.
Anyway, I don’t care what anyone says. Food is freakin’ comforting. It feels good after a hard, stressful or traumatic day or week to go into your kitchen and devour everything in sight. Trust me, I’ve been there way too many times. And even when it is not these extreme binging moments, it might feel good to bite into a doughnut bursting with jelly rather than crunch into a piece of celery topped with peanut butter. Either way, eating is often and can be easily used as a coping device or a comfort activity. And no. This is not good. At. All.
I’ve compiled a short list of signs that may indicate that your relationship with food may be unhealthy.
Please note that I am not a trained professional, licensed dietitian, food specialist or anything like that. I am just a normal woman who has issues and wants to pass what has helped me to other women who may be experiencing something similar. Here we go…
- Reaching for food when you are sad, frustrated, feel defeated, depressed, or even to celebrate.
- Feeling like your day is off or messed up if you miss a meal (for my meal preppers)
- Feeling defeated if you have a “cheat meal” or “day.” Then continuing to eat unhealthy. (Turning your minor, almost unnoticeable stumble into an epic dramatic fall down the stairs. Been there.)
- Feeling guilty for eating something you really enjoy
- Binging on food when you feel down or depressed
- Hiding food as a personal stash so others will not see you eat
- Forcing yourself to stop or continue eating with no regards towards actual fullness.
All of these factors are things that I have some experience with. I won’t say to what extent just yet, but lets just say, it has been a struggle. Anyone can have an unhealthy relationship with food. ANYONE. Overweight, underweight, healthy weight, tall, short, fitness trainers, fitness trainees, dietitians, runners, athletes. You name it, someone has it. This is a normal issue that a lot of people deal with and it is an issue that needs more attention because it involves one of the most common human activities: Eating. NOTHING should have control over us like that but God. I’m just saying.
I’ve come a long way from where my relationship with food was this time last year. Some things that helped me to regulate my eating and become a “normal eater” (if there is a such thing) was…
- Not limiting myself!!!!-Diets, certain meal plans, starvation days. All of these things created limits for me. And sometimes, when you limit yourself from something, it makes you want it even more. So once you get your hands on it…. you lose all sense of sanity. No bueno.
- Drinking tons, and tons of water!-Water is beyond healthy for your entire body. And that stuff makes you feel full. It regulates your natural cues for hunger and fullness. So drink up. I can’t even remember the last time I had anything besides water or tea…
- Trying my best NOT to be so hard on myself!-It is not the end of the world. Period.
- Dedicating more time to hobbies and activities. – One thing that I believe fed my unhealthy relationship with food was the fact that I had nothing else to do. Point blank. Idol time is the devil’s workshop. Fill up that time with something you love (like writing a blog, ijs lol), and I promise you won’t think about food so much. You might even have to remind yourself that it’s meal time.
Lastly, I want to acknowledge the fact that our relationship with food can be passed down!!! Our unhealthy treatment of food and the way we react to it is being watched by our children, if you have them. And let me tell you, this is not the behavior we want to transfer to our daughters. These behaviors clearly go hand and hand with having low self-esteem and negative body image. We know first hand how bad that feels and how self-destructive it can be. We don’t want our little ladies, or gents, to develop these issues. If we can help it, we ought to try. This may be one of the best reasons to attempt gaining control. Now.
It isn’t easy, but it will be worth it.