Welcome to the Friendzone, Food

Dear Food,

We’ve been together a long time now, 31 years to be exact. During this time, we’ve had some great memories, and some terrible ones too. Through the good times, and the bad, you’ve always been there for me. However, I’ve done some thinking and have made the hardest decision of my life. We need to stop. This relationship as we know it cannot continue. It really is me, not you but I hope we can still be friends.

With the kindest of regards,

Britenay

It’s never easy breaking up, especially when it’s been such a one-sided relationship for so long. However, all good things must come to an end. With the end of one relationship, I can now start focusing on myself and finding a healthier relationship with myself and food.

Since I can remember, I’ve had a real love-hate relationship with food. I was the kid who snuck sweets. I’m the adult who cheats on diets. I’ve binged. I’ve thought of purging. I’ve tried all sorts of dieting ideas only to fall back on same old habits. And, as I do, I have begun asking myself the most difficult question, why!?

I had some thoughts as to why this might be. Considering I hide and lie about the foods I eat, I realised there’s a lot to do with shame as being the reason for this. Why else would I hide the stuff? No one else cares what I eat. I used to think this was because I don’t like to share but, my boyfriend doesn’t steal my treats. He’s not interested in eating my chocolate. So why do I still hide it from him? Because I feel guilty. I’m embarrassed and I shame myself for being so weak and eating what I know I shouldn’t.

So, shame is why I hide the foods but why do I need to eat them all the time? Why is it I have such self-control in some areas of my life but not in this? Why can’t I simply tell myself no?!

Then, timely as it is, I listened to this podcast this week. In fact, I’ve listened to it twice because it really struck out at me as the universe telling me something. Have a listen, I highly recommend. Especially if you’re like me and have a terrible relationship with food. It’s Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations – Geneen Roth: Conscious Eating.

In this podcast, Geneen Roth talks about her book Women Food and God. She talks about her own story and how she came to learn the things she writes about in this book. Including why we eat for comfort and how we can make changes to improve our relationships with food.

A lot of people talk about eating due to stress or because they’re upset. Some people eat because they are bored. I haven’t quite figured out my reason for eating poorly but knowing that there’s something I’m trying to compensate for, or comfort myself through, is reassuring in that I now can be honest with myself. When thinking about the times I’ve reached for the ice cream, I start to ask, what was I feeling in that moment?

So, you’re upset. That sucks. But what’s a better way to deal with it than stuffing your face with a tub of ice cream?

“Oh, shut up Britenay. Just let me eat ice cream!” – if that’s your response to this, then I wish you luck. In fact, I truly hope you enjoy each spoonful of that ice cream. When you’re ready to know there’s a better way of coping, and that you can control it, feel free to pop back here and continue reading.

Actually, I don’t have all the answers but I’m now really keen to learn more and find out what I can do to tame this relationship of mine and get in control of myself. Especially after listening to this podcast and listening to Oprah and Geneen discuss respecting your body and appreciating it for all it does. By showing your hard-working body respect and fuelling it with nutrients and goodness, you’ll be making positive changes already.

Geneen also talked about being more mindful. I think mindfulness and being fully aware really does play a huge part of most of our decisions and actions in life. If we are fully aware of our own bodies and take the time to listen to ourselves, we will stop eating when we are full because we’ve had enough. We won’t eat to finish the plate, or the entire pot because it tasted so good.

Being completely aware of what our body wants and doesn’t want helps as well. I’m already a slow eater but I find that taking my time to enjoy the food is great. My body fills up with the right amount of food and I get to enjoy every bite I take.

Now that I’ve made the decision and have written my break-up letter to food, next comes the hard part. Being honest with myself in moments of weakness and holding myself to this. It really is like a hard break up. Like those moments you want to text your ex for a quickie, but you know you need to me strong and move on. It’s for your own good. Remember, put yourself first. You and your body deserve better!

I’ll keep you updated with how I get on. Let me know what tips/tricks you currently use to help improve your relationship with food. I’m keen to hear and learn from you! Comment in the box below, or join in discussion on Facebook.

Thank you Brit Army x

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