This week in our coffee chat Lindsay and I were chatting about Your Relationship With Food.
This is an interesting relationship and one that is often difficult to change.
I find a lot of people in the bariatric community tend to have a challenging relationship with food. There have been many events throughout our lives that have shaped this relationship and more often than not, it is almost abusive in nature.
Our relationship with food makes us feel less worthy, frustrated, sad, stressed, ect…but then food “wraps” us up in love (in the form of calories) and temporarily we feel better…but before long, it’s tearing us down again….and then this continues on and on.
In order to truly fix this relationship with food, we first have to acknowledge it. So sit back and think to yourself, What is my relationship with food? Is it positive? Is it negative? Am I happy with it or do I want to change it?
The next step is taking back your power over food. Food does not NEED to control you. Food should not impact your mood. If you think about the true purpose of food, it is fuel. When you put gas in your car, it doesn’t make your car happy or sad, it simply makes it go. That is what food SHOULD do for us. So start to think about food in that way. It does not have the power to make us happy or sad…it simply is.
It is not the cupcakes fault if we eat it…it simply existed and we had the CHOICE to consume it or not…
It’s not broccoli’s fault that it didn’t make us feel better, it doesn’t possess that ability.
The only thing that food can do is fuel us. Period.
On the contrary, we have control over MANY aspects of our life. We cannot always control what happens externally, like stress…but we can control our thoughts (to some degree) and our actions 100%. However, when in the history of the world, has eating a pint of ice cream solved ANY of our stresses? For me? Never. It doesn’t mean I haven’t done it…but ultimately it didn’t fix my problems and really only brought me more.
I find in taking back my POWER over food, a helpful technique is pressing the pause button. Instead of immediately turning to food, as I have always done, I try to find a way to pause…this could be writing in a journal, calling a friend, listening to music, etc. But before you comfort yourself with food, use this activity FIRST. It doesn’t mean you can’t turn to the food after…but at least if you pause first, you are turning to food with more awareness of what you are doing…and thus taking back CONTROL and building new (hopefully healthier) patterns of coping.
As you work to improve your relationship with food and take back your control over it – know that perfection isn’t the name of the game. You are simply looking for progress. And when you slip up (because you will), know that it’s normal and totally ok, you are trying and that is what is important.
Good luck – you got this!!!!