Disordered eating, and I don’t mean eating disorders (although those too), are rife! It breaks my heart to meet so many beautiful souls going through life with this ominous, ever-present darkness looming over their heads.
Having personally battled through a long and deeply destructive relationship with food and my body, I get it. I get how it can impact everything! From anxiety-inducing social occasions, to your intimate relationships and even your career.
It doesn’t have to be that way! I have healed and now have a totally different view of food. I now view food as nourishment, medicine, healing AND pleasure. Yes food is allowed to be enjoyable and pleasurable.
Today I share with you some of steps I took to change my relationship with food from one of sabotage to one of self-love, enjoyment and confidence.
1. Stop dieting.
This is a really important first step to relaxing around food.
2. Learn a bit about the biology of food and how your body works.
Education is empowerment. When you begin to understand how the body works and the role of nutrients in maintaining great health, you will want to provide for your body.
3. Remember food is abundant.
Let go of the fear that food will not be available to you. Food is everywhere and you CAN have it.
4. Change your mindset from restriction to abundance.
Instead of focusing on the foods that don’t serve you well, focus on the nutritious foods that do! Create and explore different variations of food combining. There are no hard rules when it comes to creating meals!
5. Give it a go!
I was never much of cook. In fact, not so long ago I declared “I do not cook.” Yep, just like that. A few years down the track, I’m confidently a wiz in the kitchen putting together all sorts of dishes ad hoc. I now eat better than I ever have and so does my family.
6. Look into mindful eating.
Mindful eating is a mindfulness-based practice that brings attention to the entire food experience from harvest to digestion. It is about non-judgement and curiosity.
7. Practice self-compassion.
Cultivating self-compassion will help you to find peace and love with food and your unique body.
8. Give yourself permission and enjoy!
It is okay to have a biscuit or some cake when out and about. Give yourself permission, non-judgmentally. I believe severe restriction of these foods can perpetuate the cycle of disordered eating.
9. Move your body in ways you enjoy.
Choose exercise activities that make you feel good about your body and encourage you to eat well. You don’t have to be any particular size to reap all the wonderful benefits of movement.
10. Remove yourself from toxic relationships.
If someone in your life is making you feel s**t about your body, eating choices and appears to be a trigger for disordered eating, this needs to be dealt with. I include this because it was a fundamental step in beginning my own healing journey. You need authentically supportive people around you.
I hope you find these tips helpful. If there are any additional approaches you find useful for building a strong, positive relationship with food and your body, please share in the comments section below.