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How your relationship with your body affects your food choices

“You can’t hate yourself happy. You can’t criticize yourself thin. You can’t shame yourself worthy. Real change begins with self-love and self-care.” —Jessica Ortner


The relationship that you have with food and your body are intimately connected. In fact, the food choices that we make are very often an expression of how we feel about our bodies.


IF YOU FEEL BAD OR DOWN ABOUT YOUR BODY YOU MAY

- Try and punish your body with restrictive diets and/or starve your body because you don't feel "good enough".

- Not put any time or effort into preparing and eating things (for example you may regularly skip meals or just graze on snacks) because "what's the point" in doing anything good for your body or dedicating time to take care of your body.

- Binge eat or over-eat regularly because you are ignoring your body's natural signals and hunger cues (you may be starving yourself through the day only to then binge eat at night).

- Make food choices that you would never advise someone you love and care about (e.g. your child) to make. For example, you may only eat ultra-processed "diet food", regularly skip meals, not make time to eat, survive on barely any food etc.

- Use external measures of what and how much you should be eating e.g. calorie counting, a meal plan etc. - because you don't trust your body to know how much or what to eat.

- Feel in this constant battle with food and your body, where you are trying to work against your body and change it through food deprivation.

- Want to eat "naughty" things because you feel that you can't or that you shouldn't.


WHEREAS IF YOU LOVE, VALUE AND APPRECIATE YOUR BODY YOU ARE MORE LIKELY TO

- Want to nourish your body with nutrient-dense foods because you want to take care of your body and give it what it needs to thrive and flourish.

- Listen to your body's natural signals and cues - eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are full.

- Trust your body on what it wants and how much it wants to eat. This is turn often means you feel much more in control around foods.

- Feel as though you are working together with your body (you are a team) and you are making food choices so that you can feel your best physically, mentally and emotionally.

- Take a flexible and balanced approach to your food choices, recognising that your mental and physical health are important.

- Know that you can eat anything that you want to eat, but often choose to eat the things that you know will make you feel your best mentally/physically/emotionally.


This is why, very often, changing your relationship with food, means changing how you feel about and think about your body. You can't really change your relationship with food very much if you are trying to do this from a place of hating your body.


Many people in the body positivity space think that body positivity/acceptance and wanting to change your body are not two compatible ideals. But actually the two can go hand in hand. In order to change your body, you must do so from a place of loving and valuing your body as it currently is. It is only when you love and value your body that you are then able to make food choices to honour and respect it and its needs. Body acceptance and body positivity actually very often results in someone making more helpful, balanced and nourishing choices for their body. This is not because they "have to" or are trying to "change their body" but instead because they want to make choices that will allow them to feel good physically, mentally and emotionally.


If you would like some help to shift your relationship with food and your body, get in touch with us at info@thefoodtherapyclinic.com to book in a free consultation.


"This is it: This body is home. This is where I live and hang my hat. This is where I settle into my hips and sit easy in myself, slung together with strong muscles and bones, made gentle and forging with flesh. This body is durable, has lasted for years, hunkered down through fierce storms and allows for the peaceful erosions of age. It is like a cottage on the shore: weathered and well made, a place where a person could comfortably live. I like it here. It is my own.” –Marya Hornbacher

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