With all the new documentaries, studies, research, and those Facebook posts from that one person who swears they know the answer to everything (yes, you know who that is) it’s hard to feel like you’re doing anything “right” when it comes to eating. It seems as if you may be better off just drinking water for the rest of your life and praying that the fruit you just ate is actually organic. I know that figuring out what works for your body is difficult, however, the phases of life that your body goes through should not be approached in fear.
We should approach our meals and our choice of food with love and gratitude. The moment you start judging yourself (and others) for what you choose to eat is the moment your relationship with food is contaminated. That means that whatever you choose to eat, “healthy“, “organic“, “all-natural” or whatever, is not truly entering your body as a source of healing, nourishment, or satisfaction. You are so concerned or worried about what you’re going to eat that all of the negative thoughts surrounding your food is entering your body emotionally contaminated. You have not established a healthy relationship with food.
Confusing? Let me explain.
You are eating (or not eating) because you’re scared of something. You may be scared of weight gain, you may be scared of disease, you may be scared of biological warfare, or even environmental harms. You are eating (or not eating) because you believe that the food you labeled as “bad” really is bad for you–and now you judge yourself as a bad person when you eat it. You are eating (or not eating) because something deep inside is saying that you don’t deserve to feel good, but your choice of food makes up for it, so you go back to the cycle of good versus bad and judge yourself on that.
I have personally never had an eating disorder, but I did judge myself on the foods I ate or how often I ate or what others told me not to eat and I ended up eating anyway. I look back and think how poor my relationship to food was. I was a bit of an emotional eater, not really eating when I was hungry or over-eating at times. I worried about how I looked after I ate and sometimes I even passed on eating because of that. I have learned in the past few months, especially on my journey as a health coach, that one way of eating is not everyone’s way of eating. I constantly remind myself that I get to enjoy the food that I choose to put in my body.
Now, I’m also not going out and indulging on fried foods, desserts, and alcohol every day. But, I make conscious decisions to choose foods that are healthy and even enjoy foods that aren’t considered healthy (because who the hell doesn’t love french fries?!). I had to reshape and re-define what a healthy relationship with food looked like for me. And yes, I get cravings and I eat fast food sometimes. It happens! Either way, when I eat I take the time to appreciate what I have, enjoy the food in front of me, and I listen to my body’s and my mind’s response. I no longer judge my food or my choices. I choose what I believe is best, healthiest, and happiest for me.
If there is no easier way to find out what works and what does not work for your body, it is to experiment with the vast amount of food that we are so grateful to be afforded. I am not condemning the lifestyle choices people make nor am I endorsing that everyone go out and eat whatever “junk” they want. I want to make the point that one way of living isn’t the only way and one way of eating isn’t the only way either. So decide what is best for you and your body at the time. In the next 10 years when I’m pushing 40, I am certain that my body will go through some changes and I get to look at what I can change in my relationship with food and re-create it again.
With that being said, Food is bae and this new relationship is great. Forgive yourself for your choices, love yourself for your choices, and be kind to yourself.
If you have any comments or thoughts on this post share below! If this is something you have dealt with before leave some stories or words of encouragement for others! I would love to engage in this discussion and how it shows up in your life, especially in how it relates to your culture and food. Share this post with your friends and colleagues. Let’s create a community where healthy living, loving, and eating is supported and held high!