relationship with food

How a Plant-Based Diet Can Transform Your Relationship to Food

Have you ever felt like you love AND hate food?

Like, you love it so much that you hate it because you feel so out of control when it comes to what you are putting in your body?

You love sweets and salty foods, decadent and delicious foods, and it seems like no matter what you do you’re surrounded by temptation ALL of the time.

In today’s world it can be SO hard to eat healthy and actually enjoy it.

But let me tell you, it’s TOTALLY possible and can even be easy and fun.

You see, I’ve struggled with my relationship to food since I was a teenager.

I used it for comfort, numbing or a way to have some control.

When I felt stressed, anxious, or  overwhelmed I would eat chips, cookies, and fast food.

When I was feeling hurt, sad, or mad I would use food as a way to avoid dealing with my feelings or the current circumstances.

When I felt like my body was no longer it’s normal “slim and slender” self and it no longer matched the image society and media glamorize, I used food as a way to feel like I had control over my body. I’d restrict or deprive myself, and then binge and allow, and went on to repeat this cycle again and again.

I spent years living this way with very little awareness of it.

I tried diet after diet, cleanse after cleanse, and even tried a few diet pills.

The thing is, I was never overweight and I’m not really sure why I became so obsessed with losing weight, but I know this is a struggle that so many women continue to battle.

3 Mindset Shifts to Transform Your Relationship to Food & Your Body

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)

What To Do When You Have A Love-Hate Relationship With Food

You love & enjoy the taste of a warm fudgey brownie topped with creamy french vanilla ice cream.

Until the guilt and shame sets in after eating it. You feel stuffed and your stomach hurts. Once again you were weak and gave into your self-sabotaging ways.

You quickly decide that you're going to give up eating dessert & you must start a diet tomorrow.

In your mind, you curse that darn brownie and wish it wasn't so delicious. You wish you could just have some self-control and not give in to every craving you have.

Your love for food is quickly turned into detest and you contemplate giving food up completely... "maybe I should do a juice cleanse or just starve myself!?".

Does any of this sound familiar?

The struggle is real.

I love to cook & I love to eat. I think food is one of life's greatest pleasures. But for years, I hated that I loved food so much. 

I used to think if the highly-processed, overly sweetened, extra salty foods didn't exist we'd all be a whole lot healthier, skinnier, and happier, right?

I would use food as a way to numb my feelings, comfort me when I was sad, or as a way to punish myself by restricting it. 

I've learned over the years that it's okay to love food and it's possible to have a healthy relationship with food. 

I've learned that real peace and happiness actually comes when we decide to stop looking at food as simply a way to control our weight.

If you can really want to transform your relationship with food, it's time you fall back in love with it. 

 

5 Tips to Fall Back In Love With Food

1. Redefine Food - In order to develop a better relationship with food we must redefine it. Instead of viewing food as bad or good, I want you to start thinking of it as Food = Fuel & Nourishment. All food provides you with the energy to survive and thrive. Some food gives your more energy that lasts while others may give you a boost of energy that quickly fads away. Food is also a way to nourish your body and soul. A hot soup or stew may comfort you in the middle of winter. A nice crisp salad may refresh you and provide you with essential nutrients. A piece of cake may be just the thing to eat when your celebrating your child's birthday. When we look at all food as fuel and/or nourishment, we are able to always feel good about the choices we make when we eat.  

2. Allow All Food - We must stop restricting and depriving our selves of food if we want to have a better relationship with it. I'm sure you have a list in your head of foods that are so-called "bad" or "off-limits". But the thing is when we deprive ourselves of certain foods we can become obsess with it and eventually end up binge-eating it. By allowing all foods, we can simply eat what we want and move on.

3. Be curious - It's time we start looking at our food choices from a place of curiosity rather than judgment. We can be so hard on ourselves and it's time we take a step back and realize we are just human. When you eat something you used to consider "off-limits" ask yourself, "Why did I want to eat this?" "How did it make me feel?" "What emotions did I feel before, during, and after I ate it?". Looking at our choices with a new lens will allow you to learn so much more about yourself than if you simply judge and beat yourself up over it. 

4. Eat mindfully -This one shouldn't be much of a surprise. When we eat mindfully we can really be present & enjoy the food we are eating. Make sure to eat without distraction, engage your senses, honor your hunger and fullness, and practice gratitude for the amazing food that you have access to. Want to learn more about mindful eating? Sign up for my free course here!

5. Give up dieting - Dieting is the main reason so many women struggle with their relationship to food. The dieting industry has taught us that there is such a thing as "good" or "bad" food. It has taught us to eat less, count calories, and obsess over what we put into our mouthes. It has taught us that thinness is the only way to happiness. The reality is that none of this is true. Diets do not work and they definitely will not make you happy. Are you ready to learn how to ditch dieting for good?


Want to Learn How to Eat Mindfully & Transform Your Relationship With Food?

Sign up for this FREE 5-day Mindful Eating Course delivered straight to your inbox!


 

Do you struggle with a love/hate relationship to food? Let me know in the comments if you have any questions - I'd love to help you out!!