There is a thin line between love and hate. And when that line is all that is standing between you and a chocolate fudge brownie, it’s almost invisible.
Our relationship with food has officially been put into the dreaded “It’s Complicated” category. You’d love to eat that brownie, but then you’d hate the guilt that comes with it. Most people, women especially, can admit to feeling guilty about eating something on the “naughty list” or over-cheating on cheat day. And sadly, this has become the norm.
But why? Where does this obligatory sense of guilt come from and why should we accept it? Food is our life source and our medicine. We cannot allow these negative feelings towards food—the food that we then put in our bodies—to continue.
This is simply torture and must be stopped!
In order to thrive, let’s end the self-punishment and give food, and ourselves, a second chance. These steps are designed to get you back on track to loving yourself and your food:
- Stop the Punishment and Guilt
Whether it is the media driving your idea of “the right way to diet” or just the pressure to lose a dress-size or two, all this negativity surrounding food does not do the body good. Like attracts like, and expressing negative energy towards your food attracts negativity to your body. When you feel guilt, or punish yourself in some way for stepping out of your “diet,” you are also creating unnecessary and unwanted stress. This stress can, in turn, affect your health and cause many other problems. Stop the cycle and respond with love.
- Set Realistic Goals and Meal Plans
“Meal Plan” is a very important keyword here. You’re not on a diet, you are creating your diet to live by. Don’t set yourself up to fail by adopting whatever fad diet is trending on Twitter. Listen to your body and customize a plan that gets you excited rather than fills you with dread and resistance right off the bat. Combine the foods that will nourish and energize along with some “cheat” food that will make you happy and feel satisfied. Set goals (in food or fitness) that gradually build so you can climb the mountain slowly and hit every mark along the way.
- Break up with The “Naughty” List
Letting go of the old will open space in your mind and your life for something new. This is true across the board and that includes food. Break up with the food that is your greatest love/hate and find a healthy alternative. Say goodbye to that unhealthy vice by energetically releasing it from your thoughts. Accept the “new normal” of the tasty healthy alternative and pretty soon you won’t even notice the difference. Make the conscious choice to let go. You have the power - believe it!
- Eat Mindfully and with Gratitude
When you have a delicious meal in front of you, take time to give thanks before you eat it. Just 30-seconds is all it takes to acknowledge the journey the food took to reach your plate and how it is going to nourish your body. Say, “thank you” and really mean it. And when you do eat, take your time, breathe and enjoy! Food is meant to be loved...why else would it taste so good?
- Forgive Yourself
In order to move past difficulties from the past in any relationship, both parties must be forgiven for any wrong doings. It serves no one to hold a grudge. Forgive yourself for your erratic eating habits, for those late-night fast food runs, the birthday cake seconds and thirds, and especially the guilt. This will create a clean slate to move forward in a positive direction. You can’t have a successful second chance if the new relationship is built on the rubble of the past. Practice self love and set yourself free.
In your new relationship with food, remember to go easy on yourself because mistakes will happen. Just do your best and consciously try to make this a different relationship than the one you just left behind. It takes a lot of energy and willpower to change but if you have patience and endurance, then you will surely succeed.
These steps will only work if you really commit to moving forward and stop the bad habits that will hold you back. Make a list of the things you don’t invite into your new relationship with food so that you see what needs to change the most. You are in control and you have the power to make this relationship a loving and nurturing one.
Every relationship takes work and dedication and your relationship with food is no different.