Do you need to heal your relationship with food?
Something occurred to me the other day – I now find it more difficult to overeat. Even when I think I have eaten a lot, often, I will add up the calories I have eaten that day and they will amount to less than 2000. There was a time when I could (somehow) eat double that or more, through making poor food choices but mostly from deliberately over-eating, often due to stress and emotional issues.
Food is one of the cheapest and most easily accessible drugs; it doesn’t surprise me that there are so many people struggling with obesity now, particularly as we now know how destructive smoking is. People need vices and food has become a vice for many. It used to be a vice for me, now I mercifully don’t think about it too much.
How I healed my relationship with food
The change? It was mental, only. I had to heal my relationship with food. I cannot say that I am “cured” because I am human and what is not a problem for me today may become a problem for me tomorrow. That is not me being negative, that is me being realistic and there are studies that show that pessimists actually have a better grip on reality and a clearer and more realistic vision of the future. If you have a negative perception of your retirement, they say, you will be more likely to plan for it. People who have “positive thoughts” about things can often fail to plan.
I am no expert, and The Boyf would like me to point out here that I am not a health professional, even though I claim to know everything. These are simply my tips on how I began to heal my relationship with food.
“Think” like you are a thin person
I have heard this one before and it’s easy to mentally comprehend, but hard to practise. To really heal my relationship with food I had to imagine that I already had. After a while my mind caught up. Now I think naturally like a thin person. I no longer become afraid and anxious around food.
Eat all types of food – cut nothing out
I have written extensively on junk food and why I think it’s important to include some in my diet. Many people think this is crazy. By including calorie-controlled treats in my diet I don’t seek them out at inappropriate times. Think of what junk food actually is – often the stuff you get in the frozen aisle of the supermarket or the shelf of the local bakery is just as bad or worse. Don’t demonise junk food – don’t give it that power over you.
Give yourself long breaks between meals – feel comfortable with “no food” times
I really do not advocate eating 6 meals a day. I think 3 meals is adequate. If I am hungry between meals, I drink tea, miso soup or have coffee. If I am really hungry, I have a very small snack, such as a single piece of chocolate, a spoon of peanut butter or a piece of toast. The human body can go 20 days without food – you can last 3 hours. Practise.
Eat small portions, eat slowly
When I overate, I often ate quickly. I would also distract myself by reading or watching TV (or even driving!). Now when I eat, I do it consciously. I sit at a table, eat with cutlery when I can (or my favourite chopsticks) and I take my time. I like to eat with others too, as this slows me down and I have someone to talk to.
Reward yourself, but do it carefully
As with junk food, I always reward myself. If I deny myself anything, I only want it more. I am not good at being told “no” as it makes me rebel. Therefore, I make sure that I eat ALL My favourite foods, every week. I eat butter, white bread, olive oil, ice cream, chocolate, biscuits, cheese…I eat it all, in small, appropriate amounts. I only eat dessert a couple of times a week.
Work exercise naturally into your life
I have no car. I walk everywhere. I dash up stairs, I run across parks. I move quickly everywhere. The other week I cancelled my gym membership. When they asked me why, I was able to tell them, “because I have reached my fitness goals.” Since quitting the gym and doing natural exercise I am thinner than before. Gyms can be money pits. Exercise is free.
How is your relationship with food? Please let me know!
What do you think of these tips? How is your relationship with food? Have you healed like me? Please share your story!