Is food your friend or foe?
Food really is such a powerful thing. It can be something that heals from the inside out. It brings people together. It comforts, connects and nourishes. Food does not have to be the enemy. Food no matter it's nutritional value does not have to also carry a moral value with it.
Honestly, if you aren't ready to be friends with food yet, that's fine. But what if you just stopped being afraid of it? You might feel like that sounds extreme but just stop and think for a moment why you choose not to eat certain foods. Your initial answer might be just a basic, because it's unhealthy or bad for me. But when you strip down beyond it being "unhealthy" what is the root of why you won't eat it?
Just because a food is unhealthy does not mean it is automatically bad for you, going to make you gain 10 pounds or kill you (barring a serious reaction...).
Often, when people talk about weight loss they always say that food is the hardest part! And part of that is because we are pitting our bodies natural signals and cravings against what a diet plan tells us to do. We stop asking ourselves what we want and why and just start going through the motions. This means what when we "slip up" we feel guilty instead of asking ourselves why we are being so restrictive in the first place.
Any food in moderation is amazing. And guess what, moderation looks different for different people!! But fearing a food because of how it will affect how you look physically underestimates your bodies ability to process it and negates the question of do you actually like it or not?
You should not eat any food if you hate it...I don't care how good it is for you! There are so many wonderful and nutritious foods out there that if you don't like one of them, move on! There are also so many wonderful and less nutritious foods that if you love them, you should be able to enjoy them.
Eating is about so much more than just the calories and macronutrients that we are consuming. For many people, myself included, there were times I didn't get what I actually wanted because I was afraid of the calories, what people would think or what that would mean for what I could eat the rest of the day.
Now, I am not saying that we should now just eat less nutritious food all day long because I do believe in fueling our body in a way that serves us to live our best lives. But I do think that many people would rather be thin than enjoy food and that makes me sad. Food was not created to be your downfall. Food was not created to be your enemy. Food was created to help you THRIVE!
Are you thriving when it comes to your food? Do you love what you eat? Love how it makes you feel? Love trying new things and cooking new recipes to see what else you enjoy?
Or do you ignore your bodies hunger signals because you already ate? Do you worry about what you'll eat for dinner because you had a big lunch? Do you worry about making sure you don't eat too many carbs? Do you weigh your food to make sure you stay within certain calorie guidelines, even if that means eating less than you need or things you don't enjoy? Do you feel like you constantly think about food or your next meal in a way that doesn't make you happy? Do you only eat a certain way because of the physical results you get?
When you give food this moral compass and no longer listen to what your body needs you create a dynamic with food that was never intended to exist. When you eat a certain food that you've considered "bad" and then follow that with shame your body will process this food in a less helpful way!
When we are enjoying a food (healthy or less healthy) it lights up the hypothalamus part of the brain and this positive activation will connect with other organs to begin the digestion process in a helpful and happy way. However, if you eat this food and instead feel shame or guilt, then it will send signals from the hypothalamus that are negative and the body will not follow in processing and metabolizing the food as well.
This is amazing to think about because truly how we think about the food we eat matters! It's not always about what you eat but about how you FEEL about what you are eating. When you take away the fear and shame around foods, your body will process it like anything else and you will not only enjoy it more but your body will too.
I promise there is a life in which you can live without fearing food. Without fearing the calories or what it will do to your weight. But you first have to begin to trust yourself. To be kind to yourself. To ask yourself what you really like and dislike. This inner dialogue is so important as you begin to let go of restricted ways of eating.
So do you feel like food has been your friend or foe? Are you ready to start enjoying food again and THRIVING?