We all want to have a happy health relationship with food. But how do we know if we have an unhealthy one?
Lets discuss some signs that may lead to a toxic relationship with food
Feeling guilty or mad after eating certain foods. Have you ever gone out and been unable to avoid the chips and dip on the table? so much so that you may have gone a little overboard and are now feeling bloated and gross. Even after you've gotten home, drank a ton of water and are laying bed you are so mad at yourself for being so careless. How could you let this happen? can you relate..
Another sign to consider is being Nervous to go out because you don't know what food will be around. Have you ever said no to going out because you knew you wouldn't be able to say no? or you didn't know what food was going to be there so you'd rather play it safe and stay home. This is a hard pill to swallow but you should not be missing out on your life to avoid food.
My last sign to consider is if you are Constantly thinking about food. If you're thinking about your next meal when you haven't finished the one on your plate. or are planning vacations or getaways and your first thought is the food. Now, I'm not saying if you're a foodie that it's a red flag. But if there is an anxiousness paired with the thoughts of food. that could be a red flag.
Now after these signs if you relate to them am I diagnosing you with an eating disorder? No, but would I encourage you to be aware of them and watch those thoughts connected to actions? yes.
After years in a toxic relationship with food I can look back and see these were huge components to my disordered way of looking at food. It lead me to a horrible restrict and binge cycle.
What I needed to hear back then was:
Food didn't deserve this much power over me. When I look back and realize how much I let food rule my decisions. Because I was afraid of the effects of it. When that registered with me I realized how I did not want that life.
I could eat those things and STILL move the needle forward in my fitness journey. I lacked an understanding of what my body needed. I didn't know that I could eat "bad" carbs and not gain weight overnight. I didn't understand how my body needing protein was way more important than avoiding carbs. I didn't understand that my body actually needed carbs to get toned like i wanted.
Eating certain foods didn't make me any less fit or “healthy”. Do you ever feel judged for what you're eating or not eating? God forbid you took the mashed potatoes at dinner WITH gravy. And you claim to be a fit chick?! But reality is, you can eat those foods and be fit. You can actually eat those foods and have your broccoli and your sanity. The pound less isn't worth your joy and sometimes it doesn't even cost the pound.
Instead, learning to enjoy foods I had labeled as “bad” brought me to a greater freedom and HAPPINESS that I needed.
A good question to ask yourself is how did these labels or thoughts even start?
What made us think certain foods were bad? What made us feel like we could get fat from eating cake and fries? Why did we feel if we didn't lose weight we weren't good enough?
A lot of times it was said to us at a young age. That harsh comment by a relative or friend that has stuck with us for a long time. unfortunately we often let those words stick. we take them on and make them part of us.
Something I do with each of my 1:1 clients is we revisit that time. We open that wound and say to our younger selves what we needed to hear then. For example, if you were told "don't eat that or you'll get fat" you can respond with " it's okay to have some balance is a good thing." Or something of that nature that rids you of that bondage.
Does that mean you'll never have those thoughts again? No, but it is a starting point. face that scar and speak to it as often as you can. It won't just go away but the effort to remove that wound should be motivated with your desire to be free from it.
You can journal about it, talk about it with someone or talk to the person who made the comment. Don't brush these things under the rug because it may find its way out towards someone else in your life.
I hope this is a helpful tool for you all. Pursue freedom and don't let it go 🙂