I interact with & converse with so many of you on a daily basis & a lot of you have opened up to me about the fact that you aren’t in a good place when it comes to your relationships with food. When you guys talk to me about this, it breaks my heart because I literally see myself in you guys. I’ve been there. And there’s nothing I want more in the world than to help you guys GET OUT of that place & find yourselves, heal your relationship with food & in turn, heal your relationship with your mind & body.
I seriously cannot wait until the day that I am certified as a holistic nutritionist & health coach so that I can literally live & breathe helping you guys on a daily basis to achieve these goals & to get your life EXACTLY where you want to be, a.k.a. to help you live your best life possible!
Today, I stand proud because I am finally in a place where I healed my relationship with my body. I’m in a place where I love it on both the good body image & the bad body image days. I love it because I can’t live without it.
But in order to get here, I had to start by healing my relationship with food.
I think that nowadays, many of us struggle with finding the happy medium & balance between the two extremes of starvation & binging (& no, I am not saying that everyone has an eating disorder; what I believe is that societal norms do not reinforce a positive relationship with food & because of that, many of us struggle with it; we are taught to believe that certain foods will make us “fat”, that certain foods are outrightly “bad” for us).
In order to heal my relationship with food, I had to change my perspective & let go of the mentality that food had to be compensated for & that it was my worst enemy.
There are many ways that you can go about finding that balance & moderation & what worked for me might not work for you (& vice versa). But this is simply a little insight into the main thing that worked to help me get heal my relationship with food & in turn, with my body.
Getting there isn’t easy. I will not sugar coat it. I obviously had a very unhealthy relationship with food during my eating disorder (& in the beginning of recovery). I had a list of maybe 10 or 12 “safe” foods that I allowed myself (They were my safety net & my security blanket) to eat & I hardly ever diverted from them. And when I did, I was depressed, sad, angry & frustrated. I hated myself. And, even when I first started recovery, it was hard to incorporate foods that weren’t “safe” foods because my mind wasn’t healed overnight. I still had this belief that every time i ate something that fell out of my comfort zone, I was going to get “fat”, or the weight wouldn’t distribute or it was going to go straight to my arms or legs.
It’s one thing to accept to embark on the journey to start recovery & to follow a meal plan but it’s another to have a mindset that goes in the same vein. You can have a meal plan, but the real question is: are you ready to incorporate the foods & follow it? That’s a whole other ball game. Deciding to recover doesn’t mean the meal plan will be adopted with 100% ease & that you’ll be 100% okay with re-feeding & that’s what I really struggled with at first.
For me, my eating disorder was really about compensation: I found any & all ways to keep myself moving ALL DAY LONG, despite my small frame & low energy levels. I found ways to do everything from laundry to cleaning closets to sweeping to literally walking up & down the stairs if I had nothing else to do & all chores were done. And subconsciously, these behaviours were my way of burning calories that were literally eating away at me & making me feel like a failure. So, I was basically overcompensating for calories that I was hardly eating.
So how did I know I had accomplished this healthy relationship with food?
When I stopped questioning whether every bite of food I put into my mouth was “worth it” or “worthwhile”.
When I stopped asking myself I would be able to get rid of the calories I was consuming, either by working out or constantly being on-the-go.
When I shifted my mindset & began to view food as medicine & fuel.
When I moved away from numbers, calories, fat content & stereotypes & focused on how I felt & the benefits I was getting from the food.
When I began eating for benefits.
When I stopped letting guilt creep up on me.
When I stopped being preoccupied with how long I was awake for to maximize my movement & calorie burning. (To read more about this, click here: The Underlying Reason Why I Was A “4:45AM” Riser: Successful & Productive or A Slave To ED?)
When I started doing research about food & i learned about the benefits of the new foods I was incorporating into my life & began understanding why I was eating them & what benefits they were providing me.
When I stopped viewing the question as to whether or not I would eat something as a life-changing decision.
When I stopped over-compensating for calories I was hardly even eating.
When I stopped labeling foods as good, fattening, bad or safe & started to focus on what was in the food that was nourishing me & that was helping me heal & get my health back.
When I learned that I deserved to enjoy food just like everyone else.
When I stopped letting society dictate what was appropriate for me to eat.
When I realized that my body didn’t need to be punished if I indulged.
When I stopped waking up in the morning feeling like eating was a task.
When I realized that viewing or labelling certain foods as “bad” was detrimental to my health.
When I stopped worrying about how my weight would distribute & whether it would be proportional.
When I started listening to my body & feeding it what it was craving (in moderation, of course). Subconsciously, your body will start to crave these nutrient-dense healthy foods because that’s what you’ll fuel it with & you’ll feel so good that it will become your lifestyle.
When I realized that knowing the underlying reasons why certain foods were providing me with specific benefits made me happy about food & let me let myself enjoy it!
When I began to reap all the benefits from the foods I was consuming, saw that food was curing me & that I felt better than ever (I felt more focused, energized, the fatigue went way, the heart palpitations went away, the fainting spells no longer happened).
That’s when I knew I had fixed my relationship with food.
In fixing my relationship with food, I healed mentally, physically & emotionally.
I became whole & healthy.
And I found comfort & love in my body, even in all its imperfections.