Do you have a troubled relationship with food? Are you in a love/hate relationship with food? Is it time to finally make peace with food?
Is this you? You are in a coffee shop and you see that nice cake on the counter. The dialogue in your mind goes something like this – ooh I love that chocolate cake, I really want it, it looks so yummy, but I shouldn’t have it really, I’ve been good so far today and I will ruin it if I have it, but I’m hungry and I really want it, but if I do then I know I will feel bad and guilty for having it. No, I shouldn’t have it, I will ruin my diet. Then it’s your turn to order and the words – and a slice of the chocolate cake please slips out… arghhh you couldn’t stop yourself.
We find ourselves in a paradox, because we love the cake but on the other hand we hate it, because it will make us put on weight and we hate ourselves for having it.
This love/hate relationship with food starts to mirror how we feel about ourselves.
Making peace with food, is essentially making peace with ourselves. So how do you make peace with yourself?
Here are tips on how to make peace with food.
1. Stop denying yourself food
By denying ourselves food, we are denying ourselves. It is like a parent not allowing us to have something, which more often causes us to rebel. Allow yourself to have what you want, just have a smaller bit, or some in moderation.
2. Treat food as a friend
Start by imagining food is a person, write it a letter telling it how you really feel about it. Then read what that letter says, is it full of anger, frustration, withholding. If you had a friend who treated you in the same way, how would you feel? Get your feelings out and then look to how you would like to be treated and spoken to so you can start treating food in the same way.
3. Build the relationship to make peace with food
Talk to your food, touch it, smell it, notice which foods you like, what raw in its natural state foods do you like, thank it for the nourishment it can provide you. Notice your feelings around food. Cook with it more, instead of packet food where we are removed from it. Start adding in pieces of fruit each week and notice which ones you like.
4. Note what foods you forbid yourself
Take time to eat one of those foods. Note how you feel when eating that food. Now at the time, it could taste bloody delicious. But also then wait 20 minutes and up to an hour, then note how you feel. Do you feel lethargic, have energy, is it a false high as if you’ve just had sugar.
Then choose if you want to eat this food again, if so, how often, you might decide that it feels good to eat a bit every day or once every now and again.
5. Relax more
When we are relaxed within ourselves, we accept ourselves for who are. This spills over into our relationship with food. We become more relaxed around food. This lets go of the love/hate relationship and we start making peace with food and with ourselves. Start by doing guided meditations.
Who do you need to forgive? Can you forgive yourself for your old eating patterns? Can you make peace with yourself for your past? This is about letting go of past hurts and working on them to resolve them. When we hold in past hurts, this contributes to us feeling anger, frustration and upset. We release these feelings onto food. By forgiving ourselves we are making peace with ourselves and therefore making peace with food.