Have you ever thought about your relationship with food? You see, food choices go deeper than just grabbing something to stick in your mouth. They reflect your relationship with food.
Delving deeper into your relationship with food can be transformational for your life. This is particularly important to do before you fall pregnant or become a mother. Why? Because your relationship with food will be the relationship your children are exposed to – in utero and out.
To uncover your relationship with food, ask yourself these questions truthfully and without judgement:
- Do you view food as fuel?
- Do you use food to make yourself feel better?
- Do you punish your body by eating crap?
- Do you make excuses for your food choices?
- Do you understand food? – The different types? The importance?
- Do you deprive yourself?
- Do you skip meals?
- Do you start a new diet every week?
- Do you count calories?
- Do you lie about what you eat?
- Do you exercise so you can eat junk?
- Do you feel sluggish after eating?
- Do you hit the 3pm slump every afternoon?
Acknowledging your answers to these questions is the first step to understanding your relationship with food. Just like any relationship, if there are underlying issues, they need to be dealt with before the relationship can thrive.
In my clinical experience and personal life, I have found there to be 3 main contributing factors to an undesirable relationship with food:
- Lack of understanding.
A lot of poor food choices come from a lack of knowledge on different food types & their role in our body; what constitutes a healthy wholesome diet, and the physical & mental effects of junk food versus nutrient rich food. Our body is a vessel; it needs the right kind of fuel to function. If we fill it with processed food & junk, the net result will be a sluggish, unmotivated human with the potential to develop chronic disease. But when we fill our body with nutrient dense, anti-inflammatory wholefoods, our cells light up, facilitating physical & mental wellbeing.
- Lack of self-love.
This is a big one. I know from personal experience that a lack of self-love can be the cornerstone to a poor relationship with food. This can present in 2 different ways – depriving yourself or binge eating. Both can stem from disrespecting or disliking our body. Food can become an unhealthy obsession and interfere with our relationships and quality of life.
Many people stick their head in the sand when it comes to food choices. They know what is best for their health and their family’s health, but they choose to ignore this. Sometimes it feels easier for people to blame their food choices on a lack of time or money. But like everything in life, hiding from the truth, doesn’t allow for optimal health and evolution.
The best thing about these underlying factors is that they are malleable. You have the power to change them and therefore heal your relationship with food.
Follow these 5 principles to transform your relationship with food:
- Be curious.
Knowledge is power and ignorance is not bliss. Sticking our head in the sand is not a safe place to reside, it’s dark and you can’t breathe! So brush yourself off, and get curious about food – investigate the different types, what a healthy plate should look like, healthy food recipes, inflammatory foods to avoid and the major role nutrition plays during pregnancy & breastfeeding.
Dr Josh Axe (Dr of Natural Medicine) – Website
Further to this, one simple way you can make better food choices for you and your family is to read the ingredients. When you need a science degree to understand the ingredients, there is likely to be added nasties. Also keep an eye out for added sugar.
- Heal your relationship with YOURSELF.
Your relationship with food reflects your relationship with yourself. Improving this can change everything. I can gladly share with you that working on myself has been the best thing I ever did for my relationship with food. Diving deep into why we are the way we are is something many of us want to avoid, as it can be scary and uncomfortable. But at the core of this discovery, is the key to unlock the potential to every relationship we have.
- Read personal development books
- Listen to personal development podcasts
- Learn meditation
- Start yoga
- See a Psychologist or a Counsellor
- See a Kinesiologist or Energy worker
- Shift your mindset.
I am all about eating good wholesome food in ABUNDANCE. I don’t believe in deprivation. I believe in making conscious, intuitive choices and eating mindfully. I want you to believe in this too. One way you can is by shifting your mindset around food. Every one of us needs to know that ‘WE ARE WHAT WE EAT’. Our unborn baby is what we eat, our breastfeeding baby is what we eat and our toddler or child is what we give them to eat. Expanding your awareness to include the other lives to which your food choices influence, may assist in shifting your mindset.
- Listen to your body.
This is a common theme throughout my posts, and that’s because it’s so dang important! When we tap into how our body is feeling, we can access a bucket load of guidance. When you start filling your plate with good quality produce and wholefoods, your body will start to feel different. You will start to feel energised, your focus will improve, your sugar cravings will diminish, your mood will improve, your clothes will fit better and you will feel better about yourself. Use these changes as motivation to keep you going.
- Create good habits.
When we change something significant in our life, like our relationship with food and the food choices we make, this change needs to be sustainable & ongoing. By being disciplined with both your self-development and your food choices, you will create a positive habit in your life. When a behaviour or action becomes habit, you no longer have to consciously make the decision to do it each day, and instead you will naturally just do it. For example, eventually you will find yourself gravitating to the fruit & veggie section in the supermarket, and choosing a smoothie over a donut for afternoon tea. Since children model their parents, their food habits too will change.
I want you to take this information and dive deeper into your relationship with food. Because if you get on top of this now, it will not only change your life but it will influence your children’s life.
There is no doubt that our relationship with food is a journey. Just remember that our aim is progress, not perfection. It is about having the willingness, love and discipline to nourish our body and our soul.