Updated: Jan 13, 2020
Recently I was asked by a client how they themselves can foster a healthy relationship with food. It really got me thinking about what is the underpinning concept / action / change they can make to start on the journey themselves. Here was my response....
"Developing a healthy relationship with food absolutely is all about mindset. But mindset is so incredibly hard to change! And it's not as simple as me telling you what changed everything for me, but I hope it at least helps.
Me getting to the place I am now was a pretty long journey. It was all about unlearning all the things I'd taken on about food, nutrition, and the pressure I had felt to look a certain way to fit into society's 'ideal'. And a lot of it was subconscious things that I didn't even realise had affected me the way they had - a well meaning comment from my mum here, or something my dance teacher had said about my body as a teen there - it had all added up to make me feel a certain way about myself.
Add into that the way I was brought up eating - which overall was mainly healthy, but also there were a lot of things we ate I just wouldn't even think of buying now I know better! It just ended up being a lot of things I needed to re-learn and change to get to a good place.
After having an eating disorder in my teens, I spent most of my 20's yo-yo dieting. I was always looking for the next miracle diet that would have me looking like Elle Macpherson (ha!) until I realised that no matter what I did, my body compostition might change a bit, and my weight might go up or down by a few kilos, but the starvation and obsession with food & exercise wasn't worth the happiness they were robbing me of, or the end result! I honestly spent far too much time of my day thinking about what I could eat that day and still be in a calorie deficit, or how much exercise I would have to do to work off whatever I'd binged on because I was feeling so deprived.
It was at that time I decided I wanted to study nutrition - mainly to get to the bottom of all the BS and conflicting information out there. And yes, at the time, to find the best way to lose a few kgs.
But..... as I started to learn more about nutrition and the body, my whole perspective changed.
I started to understand what different foods could do for me, what's in a lot of the things we eat (that I wouldn't actually classify as 'food' now), and how looking a certain way doesn't actually equate to health.
But honestly, the biggest change came around the one thing I think is the cornerstone of EVERY relationship (whether that be with food, yourself, a romantic partner, friends or even your boss!).
I felt my eyes were opened and I finally had a true RESPECT for my body (for the first time, ever) - because the human body is just amazing! I was learning to RESPECT food and all the things that the nutrients in good food can do for my body.
And I in turn started to RESPECT myself as a person a lot more (getting a little deep on you now, sorry!).
It was only at that point I felt my relationship with food change.
I don't stress about food any more- instead I make sure I have loads of healthy foods in my fridge and just a little of the treats I love (dark chocolate is my thing - love a square with a cuppa in the afternoon or night!).
So - how can you heal your own relationship with food?
Again, it comes down to one key thing above all else.
Respect for yourself. Respect for your body. Respect for food.
Your triggers to get to this point will likely be different. Your journey will likely be different. Your overall understanding of all of these things may well be different too.
But I promise you - when you start to respect these three things, and have a mentality of gratitude & appreciation, that's when the pieces will come together.
That's when you can start to create lifelong, sustainable healthy habits that don't reek of starvation or deprivation (because the key to health is actually about balance!).
Can you see that shift in perspective? And how this could change your (& your loved ones) lives?
Get in touch to book your consultation so we can create a lifelong, sustainable way of eating that has you feeling great!