I Didn’t Think I’d Ever Share This: My Relationship with FoodMay 10, 2019
I didn’t think that I’d ever share this. But I’ve decided that today is the day.
I’m finally coming out about my difficult relationship with food.
You see, when it comes to trying to keep my weight under control, I think I’ve done it all!
- I’ve binged on sugar.
- I’ve taken laxatives.
- I’ve raided Nicole’s treat jar and left her with nothing for snack time at school.
- I’ve tried to make myself sick after eating ‘unhealthy foods’.
- I’ve signed up to a slimming club and had them tell me I had 101 lb. to lose (despite the fact I wasn’t overweight at all!)
I’m sure that if I sat down and asked one hundred women if they’ve tried any of the above, the numbers would be fairly high. Most of us have a story to tell about our unhealthy relationship with food and body image, although we don’t often share it.
That’s why today I’d like to come clean about my relationship with food and tell you how I stopped seeing food as the enemy, to understanding the positive influence it could have on my life.
Being a personal trainer didn’t help
You’d think that once I became a personal trainer, my relationship with food and my self-image would improve, but that wasn’t the case.
Instead of having an unhealthy relationship with food, I started to use exercise to keep my weight under control. (even though I never was overweight - it was all in my mind!)
While I did genuinely love exercising, I found myself running three times per week, taking eight exercise classes, teaching spin….you name it- I did it.
Even though I was a size 10 at the time, I think that perhaps I did this out of fear of gaining weight. Quite frankly, over-exercising is just as bad as having an unhealthy relationship with food.
But it wasn’t until I changed the way I thought about food that I freed myself from that difficult relationship I had with it and changed those unhealthy eating habits.
How I took back control over my eating habits
Don’t get me wrong- these changes didn’t happen overnight. It was a gradual process which started because my health took a turn for the worse and I became unwell with CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome).
I started to reassess everything in my life and do everything I could to help my body to heal naturally.
That’s when my relationship with food shifted. I stopped seeing it as the enemy and started seeing it as a dear friend instead.
It was no longer something I’d stuff into my body in an attempt to make me feel better but something I could use to nourish my body and soul and help me to feel at my best.
By embracing those nourishing foods, and paying attention to how they make me feel, instead of worrying how I would look or whether I’d fit into those jeans, I could relax.
I could help my body to heal.
I could feel better.
I could eat the foods that I loved without feeling guilty.
And yes, I could also maintain my personal ideal body shape without making too much of an effort.
I can honestly say that now I don't crave sugars at all and I finally have a healthy relationship with food and my body. I don't punish her. I don’t beat her up with iron bars or spin classes.
Instead, I use food (and exercise) for the reasons they exist; to nourish and support my body.
How to heal your relationship with food...
In my clinical practice, many women come and tell me they struggle with trying to lose weight especially over the age of 40.
They notice that it’s particularly hard to shift weight around the waistline and feel like they’re losing their youth, sex appeal and themselves.
Here are a few suggestions I share with them.
1. Use Craving Buster
Craving Buster is a tool which helps you develop a healthier relationship with food by switching your thought processes.
By linking the food you hate to the food you crave, your mind gets ‘mixed up’ and those cravings don’t feel quite so appealing anymore
2. Look at your gut health, your history of taking antibiotics and whether you take the pill
Each of these things can cause an imbalance in the levels of healthy bacteria in your gut.
They affect everything from how your body processes excess hormones, whether you can absorb nutrients from your food effectively and whether you crave certain foods.
3. Are you deficient?
Several nutrient deficiencies can also lead to food cravings and overeating, so it’s worth getting these checked out with your GP.
4. What are your stress levels like?
Excess levels of stress can cause us to reach for those ‘comfort foods’ more than we normally would. They also leave us feeling terrible, affect our body’s ability to work optimally and can potentially cause you to gain more weight.
I always recommend that my clients find healthy ways of managing their stress such as yoga, meditation, visualisation or listening to one of my relaxation recordings.
5. Are you feeling happy?
Suffering from depression, anxiety or a low mood can also cause you to reach for those unhealthy foods in an attempt to feel better. Sometimes your subconscious can try to ‘keep you safe’ by keeping you away from your ideal body shape.
We dig into this deeper in our coaching sessions.
I’m sharing this with you today because I want you to know that food isn’t the enemy. Your body is not your enemy.
You don’t have to achieve an ideal body shape to be beautiful or have value in this world, because you are already these things. It’s time to change your mind about your weight and your relationship with food and develop a healthier and happier you.