Under my old blog I wrote a post called “Viewing Food as the Enemy” In it I talked about overcoming an eating disorder and developing a great relationship with food. Lets go over a few things. Did you overcame an eating disorder like I did? Do you just assume since you are working out, eating healthy, looking good, etc you have a great relationship with food? Sound familiar? Let me tell you, if this is true for you and you do feel you have a good relationship, GREAT. However, it is okay for you to admit you don’t. It took a TON TON TON of soul searching but I finally realized that I was lying to myself. While I certainly have made significant strides I hadn’t fixed my relationship with food completely.
So I don’t want to blog about JUST eating disorders, I do want to be a lifestyle blogger, but on top of doing that I do feel like it is my duty to talk about mental health every once in a while and blog my opinions about it. I say that because I am willing to talk about it and open up about it and people need that.
With that being said, this is not always going to be my blog content, but please read on.
Its not that simple:
This may sound ass backwards to those into fitness and it may be hard to understand but in order for one with an eating disorder to completely restore their relationship with food they cannot view ANY food as BAD. For me I see it as multi-step. Step 1, they truly must understand that food is not the enemy, things in moderation will not hurt you, you can eat what you crave, feeding your body is loving it, etc. Essentially, in this step you need to know that there is NO food that you must restrict yourself from. Once this is understood you really have repaired your relationship with food. Then you may choose to not only choose foods that nourish your body and that are good for you but ALSO indulge in things that may not be good for you. If that is what you truly desire.
I know people’s heart were in the right place when they said this but one thing I couldn’t STAND was “The craving will only last so long the guilt will last for a while”. Like thanks for the encouragement to stick to my plan but also you don’t understand how my brain works. Someone says that, it doesn’t matter who, and that food becomes the enemy. Those who have had EDS don’t have that logical thinking of “One thing won’t make me fat” we often think “This one thing WILL make me fat”. Those who currently are battling ED 100 percent do not have that logical thinking. I am not trying to contribute to an overly sensitized and offended world but God sayings like that push my buttons.
First off, you’re implying that we eat food not to enjoy the taste. Sorry, but food is MEANT TO BE TASTED. Period. Yes, it is meant to fuel our body. However, in this world we have endless options to eat things that are good for us and we ENJOY the taste of. Nobody should be forcing anything down their throats just to look good when they do not enjoy the taste. This line of “dedication to your goals” and “having a shit relationship with food” are constantly crossing. I hear people all the time who eat one food so much they become physically sick from it and they can’t eat it anymore. Hell, I have done this with many foods myself.
Second off, you’re promoting the harmful diet culture. I understand what a “diet” is but honestly that is NOT what we should be calling it. The best term is a lifestyle change or even “a temporary caloric deficit” would be better. You are not supposed to be in a caloric deficit for long periods of time and diet culture definitely does not address that. Diet culture is CONSTANTLY promoting a certain look, certain harmful diets, etc. We refer to it so often that even if we aren’t intending to play into it we definitely are. At the end of the day NO FOOD in this world is bad for us in MODERATION (In absence of allergies or health conditions). So stop telling people what they can and can’t eat and if you don’t agree with this philosophy then you and I were not made to connect in this world and that is okay. However, I refuse to tell someone something is bad for them and play into the fear of food.
Even preaching what I did I was darkly behind the scenes falling into diet culture:
“Eating this will completely ruin my results”, “Not doing this last bike sprint is going to hinder my progress”, “If I eat this much then I will look a certain way”. It is ALL bullshit but yet it is CONSTANTLY promoted. Naturally, I couldn’t even realize I was subtly falling a victim to it because it is so dang normalized. I didn’t still have my eating disorder but I also didn’t have the healthiest view on food. I think people now have a harder time coming to the fact that they have a disorder because diet culture now promotes disordered thinking as healthy. Coaches are out there giving barely any food to their clients. Young girls are having a harder and harder time getting over their eating disorders because they can’t even recognize what they are doing is disordered. A large part of this is due to the diet culture and the “lifestyle” a lot of us are promoting on social media. We need to take a step back and REALLY push more mental health self-care as well.
So where am I now with my relationship with food?
While my relationship with food CERTAINLY is not perfect, it is in the process of being healed. I don’t know how long it will be before I stop having any fears of food all together or before I NEVER have an irrational thought in regards to foods and calories, but they are occurring less and less.
Right now, I am working on being more forgiving, enjoying what I am doing, and not focusing so much on the food. After all the experience should be what its about not the food. For me, its more important to focus on the company I am with than whats going in my mouth. Does this mean I binge? Absolutely not. I am very sensible but it is a different mindset. It’s not consciously thinking of every little bit and piece that goes in my mouth and trying to add up how many calories in my head.
In taking this approach and being more forgiving I feel like it has opened my eyes to how ridiculous I was being before. I still have fitness goals, I still wanna eat healthy 80-90 percent of the time, but I am not letting it eat me alive. We can’t let ONE thing consume us so much. Think of it this way, say you are trying to grow a brand. In growing that brand you rely on another brand or industry solely to make YOUR brand succeed. Well what happens if that brand comes crashing down? You go with it because you didn’t focus on just you. You essentially were just a walking advertisement for them. YOU need to be the walking advertisement for your mental health. You can’t put ALL your health and sanity into JUST fitness because when that changes, you hit a wall, etc. you won’t know what to do with yourself because you have so deeply associated your health with that. The best thing you can do is learn how to develop and flourish your mental health and do what things make you mentally better. This may be fitness but it may also be OTHER things. For me, it may be reading, it may be having some wine with friends, writing these blogs, choosing what type of content I get to put out, and really all of that helps me to be a better me. NOT JUST FITNESS, while I do love fitness I am not relying on it solely for my mental clarity.
When all is said in done I did what I needed to do in order to have my healthy relationship with food and be happy with my life. I think one of the most important things in this world is a healthy relationship with food. Whether we like it or not our lives are going to be centered around food. Whether it be for energy, to get better, or in social situations. So if you don’t have a good relationship with food, and fitness or anything else you may be obsessing about isn’t fixing it, then you need to reevaluate your approach. I highly suggest doing what I did and taking a step back and being honest with yourself. It is not easy, it is not comfortable, but nothing worth it is.
That is my thought for the day, so if this spoke to you at all I am very glad and know you can always talk to me about it.
My Instagram, Youtube, and Facebook Page are below! I am usually most responsive on Instagram if you need to talk.
Happy Friday my people, its a wonderful life 🙂