We need to talk. We’ve been together for so long, but…this just isn’t working. I love you so much that I need you. And I’ve become quite obsessed with you. That’s the problem. My love for you has made me blind to how controlling you’ve become. Our relationship isn’t healthy. We’re always playing games. One day we’re madly in love and I can’t get enough of you. The next, we’re not talking, waiting to see who will break the silence and text back first. I think we need a break.
This letter may sound a little ridiculous, but is it really that far off from reality? Let’s be honest here. I personally have had a TERRIBLE relationship with food since FOREVER. Let’s recap:
- Childhood: Candy lover, sneaking sodas without my parents knowing (sorry mom and dad), dessert = reward. Get sick, get a sucker at the doctor’s office. Tonsils out, eat popsicles. Nail that spelling bee? We’re going for Custard (it’s a Wisconsin thing).
- College: I’m fat. I’m going on a diet. I am only going to eat salads. Food is terrible. Maybe I can get away with just chewing gum all day. I’m going to spend two hours walking on the treadmill…incline 10. Hopefully Jersey Shore will be on TV. Two days later, I feel deprived, I binge eat a box of Kellogg’s® Frosted Mini-Wheats® (I shit you not) and eat a jar of peanut butter mixed with Nutella. Shit… I’m so fat.
- Adult: Today was awful. Adulting sucks. I deserve a glass of wine. An entire wine bottle later…where are the pretzels and cheese? I waaannnnnttttt pretzzels. And pizza! Two days later… the Bachelors on…OMG they are so cute. Why can’t I find someone to love me like that? Opens wine bottle….entire bottle later…. tears, tears, and more tears and raw cookie dough. I hate myself. I’m so fat. That’s why I can’t find someone like that to marry me.
I think you get the idea. This is called binging and emotional eating/drinking. There is NOTHING healthy about this. Whenever I was trying to lose weight, I could literally hear candy dishes and boxed pizza screaming my name. I’d restrict, muster up as much willpower as possible and eventually I would cave. Then, I would hate myself for it.
I’m proud to say, as of recently, I’ve finally broken up with this toxic relationship to food. It has taken a ton of self-reflection to actually start taking care of my body. Food is no longer about satisfaction or restriction. It’s about fueling my body and being ok with my decisions about food each day. I have stopped labeling food as good or bad. Now when I eat something less nutrient dense, I own it. I am aware and responsible for the choices that I make and stop torturing myself over my decision to eat it.
It began by asking myself a lot more questions, “Am I really hungry? Why do I want this food right now? Am I lonely? Am I stressed? How will I feel after I eat this food? Will this food solve my problems? Will eating this food make me feel like I have more problems?” Slowly, even those questions needed to be asked less. Why? Because I wasn’t thinking about food all the time anymore. I had officially gotten over my bad break up with food and it was time to move on.
Sure, every once in a while, those old nostalgic feelings will pop back up. But, nothing like they used to. I could even run into candy at a party and not feel sad or jealous that we weren’t together anymore. Like any healed broken heart, I became indifferent.
I recently found a resource online that summed up my relationship with food and our psychology connection to food. I’d highly recommended it if you can relate to this post. You can sign up to watch “Stop Fighting Foods’” free three video series. These videos may just be enough to get you to rethink your relationship with food. I have not done Isabel Foxen Duke’s Master Class, but if you choose to dive deeper, let us know what you think of the program!
I’ll close with a quote from my favorite author. “In order to move on, you must understand why you felt what you did and why you no longer need to feel it.” – Mitch Albom
Life is happening. Go for it.