Amazingly, our relationship with food starts before we are even born. It is the most fundamental and innate requirement for our existence and yet at the moment of conception we are provided with a set of genes that will impact our future health, natural set weight and how our body metabolises our nutrients.
Factors affecting our relationship with food
Some of these factors can be influenced by;
- The nutrients we are supplied with during the pregnancy,
- how we are fed post birth,
- how we are weaned onto solid foods and then to a lesser degree our childhood and adult diet.
It is a complex entanglement of physical, mental, social and emotional influences on our life that determine our relationship with food.
For this reason, you can imagine how difficult it is to unravel all that and get to the bottom of why you may not have a healthy relationship with food, why you might turn to food when you are stressed, anxious, bored or lonely, why you feel that you have no willpower or why you feel that you
are on an endless journey of restrictive dieting in order to maintain a weight that you feel comfortable with. It can be exhausting and also have a huge impact on the rest of your day to day life.
If I was to tell you …hey look, food is just food, relax, listen to your body and enjoy your food you might say… oh yes, easy for you to say. If I do that I will just end up the size of a house, or, if I do that I will be putting my future health at risk, or, I don’t want to be fat, I am fed up with being fat, I feel
uncomfortable and it makes me feel like I have no control of over my life? It affects my relationships with family, friends, how I feel at work, on holiday, in any social environment? That is not OK.
What does a healthy relationship with food look like?
A healthy relationship with food looks something like this…
- I enjoy and find satisfaction in eating food
- I am able to eat comfortably with others
- I can plan and prepare meals without overthinking every detail of what I am about to eat
- I try new foods, meals and recipes
- I don’t calorie check foods all the time
- I choose foods based on what I enjoy, and I feel will nourish my body
- I don’t see foods as good or bad
- I don’t feel guilt or shame before, during or after eating
- I feel and react to my body’s feeling of hunger and fullness
- I only occasionally eat for emotional reasons
- I trust my body to know what it needs