A simple tool to change your relationship with food
Think about someone you love and truly care about. Perhaps focus on someone that you could be responsible for taking care of - your son or daughter, your nephew or niece, or perhaps a parent. Now think about what food and lifestyle choices you would make for them, wanting the best for them...
- Encourage them to starve themselves (/fast) all day, only to notice that they get really hungry and end up overeating in the evening (which makes sense as they've barely eaten all day)?
- Tell them to spend several days/weeks just living off cabbage soup, or 800-calories, or avoiding all carbs?
- Keep telling them every time they look in the mirror about the parts of their body you don't like using very harsh and unkind words?
- Force them to slave away in the gym, just to burn off any little morsel of food they have eaten?
- Tell them that they have no time to eat because they are "too busy" with other things.
OR PERHAPS WOULD YOU...
- Want them to eat balanced and nourishing meals and to eat regularly throughout the day?
- Give them permission and flexibility to enjoy a meal out here and there or a dessert sometimes, because you know that this is good for their mental and emotional health too?
- Suggest that they prioritise taking time to eat because you know how important it is for them to have the right fuel to achieve things in their day?
- Want them to move their body in a way that feels good because you know that this is beneficial for their mental and physical wellbeing?
- Want them to add nutritious things to their meals because you know that this will allow them to feel good?
WOULD YOUR RELATIONSHIP WTIH FOOD AND LIFESTYLE BE DIFFERENT IF YOU TREATED YOURSELF LIKE YOU WOULD TREAT SOMEONE YOU TRULY LOVE AND CARE ABOUT WHEN IT COMES TO FOOD?
Many people that we work with at the clinic make lots of time to prepare meals for their kids, to take care of their parents and to rush around doing things for others. Yet, when it comes to their own health and wellbeing, this often falls to the bottom of the priority list. As a result, their relationship with food becomes a constant struggle and battle between phases of restriction/ starvation and phases of over-eating or feeling out of control.
A simple tool you can use to start changing your relationship with food today is to start trying to treat yourself like you would someone you were responsible for taking care of e.g. your child or your niece. When you think about how you would take care of someone you truly love and care about, you often realise that the choices you would make for them would be completely different to those choices you are making for yourself.
“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” — Maya Angelou