I’ve spent most of my life struggling with my relationship to food and my body.
For years, I used food for comfort and to deal with stressful situations. It was a way to avoid my overwhelming feelings of not being good enough.
I always had a strong desire to lose weight and a belief that life would be so much better if I could reach my “ideal weight”.
In all honesty, I had never been overweight and was actually quite thin as a child, but I think I always had a distorted view of how my body looked compared to howI believed it should look.
I spent years trying all of the diets but I was never really able to stick with them long term which only fed my constant feelings of not being good enough.
How could I be good enough (or ever reach my lofty goals) if I couldn’t even manage to stick to a diet for more than just a few days and I couldn’t even lose an easy 10 pounds?
Looking back now, I can see how my mindset was completely off and my lack of confidence only got worse with each diet fail.
I’ve come to learn that there were many reasons outside of my control for why I had these beliefs and behaviors in the first place. I had definitely picked up on some thoughts and behaviors from many adult women in my life along with the intense pressure from the media and society to be thin and look a certain way.
So if you relate at all to struggling with your relationship to food or your body, please know it is not your fault. Also, please know that you can evolve and it all begins with changing your mindset.
So here are the three biggest mindset shifts I had to make in order to change my relationship to food and my body (and ultimately, to live a much healthier and happier life)
3 Mindset Shifts to Transform Your Relationship to Food & Your Body
1. Let go of your obsession with weight loss & focus on how you want to feel instead
In order to change the way we eat and think about our body we need to let go of the idea that weight loss should be the ultimate goal. Focusing on weight loss usually leads to dieting, restricting and deprivation which then turns into the inevitable binge later.
2. Eat more, not less (eat more of what you love, more nourishing foods, more vegetables and fruit... stop restriction)
Instead of focusing on restricting certain foods and depriving ourselves of foods that we love, it’s important to shift our focus to eating more nourishing foods. When we focus on what we can eat more of (such as more vegetables, fruits, and grains) it’s a lot more empowering than obsessively thinking about what we can’t or shouldn’t eat.
The more we restrict foods the more we obsess over them and then ultimately we feel like we have no control of our desire to want to eat everything in sight. Start asking yourself, “What can I eat that will be nourishing to my body and give me energy?” or “How will this food make me feel after I eat it?” When we take notice of how foods make us feel instead of focusing on whether or not they will make us gain weight it is much easier to make healthful decisions.
3. Accept your body NOW, today, in this very moment
This can actually be quite a difficult one. In today’s society, being thin and losing weight is glamorized which can make it difficult to truly appreciate your body as it is today. Although it may be difficult, this mindset shift is crucial in changing your relationship to food and your body. Once you can notice and realize how amazing your body is the better you will want to treat it with nourishing foods and movement.