Sometimes, when you feel you have a difficult, chaotic or 'out of control' relationship to food, it can be a struggle to believe that there a peaceful, healthful way even exists.
You might feel: After work, you grab the all snacks because you’re bored, stressed, sad, anxious and ‘deserve it’ and then feel bad about it for the rest of the night, swearing to “make up for it” the next day. It feels like a constant battle between your hunger and the food police.
Your inner critic is SO good at criticising you; in the mirror, after that piece of cake, when trying on clothes. You can't ever imagine loving your body the way it is, or not wanting to lose weight or go on a diet.
You hate your weight, hate your body, you're always trying to diet or if you aren't, thinking you really should be.
And ALL of this feels tied up in food.
Yep, this was me.
It is totally not a coincidence that I do a lot of work with clients around relationship to food. It is because I know what that relationship can feel like, and how much of a struggle it can be...
And how much of a difference it makes when it feels more peaceful.
There IS a more peaceful way.
Here are 3 lessons I've learnt along the way as I've done on my own on relationship to food (also, I am always doing my own work on this stuff, I am always in the process with you):
1. Nothing is more important
Not my body size, shape, fitness goals, career goals, health goals etc. Nothing is more important than cultivating my relationship to food. Because when that feels good, everrrrything else tends to fit better into place.
So much more head space is freed up, if I'm not stressing about food.
Imagine what we could use that head space for, who we could be, and what we could do, if we didn't have these internal struggles with food.
I often say to my clients that it's hardly ever the 'what' we eat that is the issue (although that can be confusing enough on its own, with all the info and science out there!). Often the 'what' of eating comes fairly easily because it's like the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle. Trying to make changes before your relationship with food feels more peaceful can often have parts of you (like the food police, or your hungry parts, or your inner critic) feel more chaotic and confused ('are we really doing this right?').
It is so, so, so, so worth it.
2. There are seasons with it
Often this is ongoing work, and therefore I tend to see it as a practice. AND that also comes in seasons (I wrote a whole blog post a couple of weeks ago on why we busy women need cyclical and regenerative living).
What I mean by that is: when it comes to your relationship to food, often there's a time to dive in deep. Get to know the parts of you, and heal them. That is the deepest work we do.
There is often a season of integration needed. Where you can hold the work you've already done, but not actively progress it.
You don't need to keep working on it and healing it until it's 'perfect'.
Do so much. Let that rest. Bring the focus there again. Let it drift away again. Dive in deep. Put it on the back burner.
This is normal.
3. It takes time
The reason the fad diets, quick fixes, 6 week programmes etc. are so popular is because they offer exactly that: a short term solution.
It totally makes sense, doesn't it, that these feel tempting? You want to solve the problem quickly, because it feels so awful to be feeling the way you do now.
I think I read a statistic one time, that said something like on average a woman has tried 33 diets across the span of her life.
So yes, usually doing the deeper work on your relationship to food takes a bit longer.
A client recently, after doing a season of work on her relationship to food, then lost 7 pounds - without this EVER being the goal or intention (the goal or intention was in fact to allow the outside of her feel more like the inside of her, which was feeling so radically better).
I'm NOT saying work on your relationship to food in order to lose weight (because that isn't the logical, guaranteed outcome at all), I AM saying that working on your relationship to food allows so much more to be possible.
It allows much deeper change to happen.
If you're curious about how to go about working on your relationship to food, then I have just the thing for you. This Tuesday (that is, TOMORROW), I'm hosting my final free workshop in the Summer Shake Up series.
Sign up here (and get the first three replays for free straight away!). See you there :)