If you had to describe your relationship with food in ONE word, what would it be?
That’s the question I asked in my private Facebook community the other day.
The word they chose would give me a pretty clear understanding where they are currently in their recovery journey (eating disorder, disordered eating, chronic dieting, etc..).
Here are some of the words they chose:
You can see by reading that list there’s a lot of pain, suffering, and angst there.
We as humans have to eat to live. So you can see how having a healthy and positive relationship with food is essential for a joyful life.
And if someone’s relationship with food is described as being the enemy or distrustful or anxiety provoking, you can see how fulfilling a joyful life is a bit tricky.
Having to be triggered by something on a daily basis in order to just survive creates a slew of obstacles.
That’s why I wanted to share my 3 Steps to a Health Relationship With Food:
1.Explore the why.
If you’ve been following me for awhile now you probably could have guessed this one. And that’s because this is a crucial step! Understanding the ‘why’ behind your relationship with food, disordered or messed up as it may be, is a fundamental step in healing and recovery. In order to make a change you must first be aware of what ‘needs’ to change about it. And that can only happen by getting a little intimate with your reasons. Now I often get this response from my clients, “I don’t know,” and I kindly say, “but you do know.” It’s just hidden deep beneath the false sense of comfort, security, and safety of whatever inner dialogue you have that’s keeping your relationship with food at the level of enemy, struggle, and complicated. Spend some time journaling and/or conversing around this first step and you will soon discover what’s been fueling this fire.
2. Create your dream food relationship.
You need to know what you’re working towards in order to make this change for the better. And to do that you must envision it. This means write it out, make a photo collage, paint it, draw it, or what have you, so you can see what your relationship with food will look like. Spend some quality time in this step. Be specific. Get excited about it. Because this is what YOU want it to be. This is your time to put your current relationship with food aside and bring some fun and excitement back into the mix. And once you have it written or drawn out, display it so you can be reminded of it every single day. So when those nasty thoughts start to creep it or you feel like things are getting too hard, you can be reminded of what you’re putting your heart and soul into. So you can continue making your dream a reality.
3. Take action.
This is often the most stressful step but also the step that is going to provide the most growth. When my clients start working with me, this is the step they are getting stuck on the most. They often have already explored the why and have envisioned what they want their relationship with food to look like, but for some reason they just continue to ride the struggle bus when it comes to taking action. And that is most in part because of 3 things. Fear, avoidance, and secrecy. The trifecta (as I like to call it) is what a negative relationship with food thrives on, especially when it comes to eating disorders or disordered eating. So if you want to act fearlessly: Choose to eat. Choose to rest. Eat the foods that scare the shit out of you. If you want to confront instead of avoid: Throw the damn scale away. Take actions that support a peaceful life. Have the nasty thoughts, but be kind anyways. And if you want your voice to be heard: Don’t stay silent. Share your story. Tell your ED to F off. Reach out for support. Because actions speak louder than thoughts.
Changing your relationship with food, especially if you’ve spent years fearing it, can seem like a daunting task.
And I won’t lie and say it’s easy. But I can honestly and whole heartedly tell you it’s 100% within your reach.
You will have to be willing to work through the fear, the discomfort, the anxiety, and worry to know there is a life full of joy, excitement, and freedom waiting for you on the other side.
If you are struggling with an eating disorder or disordered eating and feel lost and confused because you’ve tried the traditional treatment plan before but are finding yourself reverting back to old habits, I have something for you! My 3 part video series, Finding Freedom From Your Eating Disorder, will help take the confusion out of the mix and give you the confidence and know-how to keep going. Click here to watch now!
Or if you’re looking to gain some extra support while you are navigating your way through recovery, I’d love to have you join my private group- Eat Freely: Intuitive Eating & Body Positivity. Just click HERE to request to join now.
And as always don’t forget to like and follow my blog so you don’t miss out on my weekly posts!
Certified Holistic Health Coach
Eating Disorder Recovery Coach