Food was always on my mind. I would go to bed at night planning what I was going to eat the next day, wake up ravenous and wanting to eat everything, and go through my day thinking about my next meal, snack, treat, or drink. Food was constantly on my mind, what felt like every waking moment.
If I wasn’t thinking about food, I was eating food, if I wasn’t eating food, I was planning when I was next going to eat, how many hours I would have to wait before it was “acceptable” to eat again. I would avoid situations, events, gatherings if I felt like I wasn’t going to be able to eat what I wanted when I wanted. Food controlled my every thought.
Somedays food is our friend, it comforts us when we need comfort, it eases pain, it reduces stress, it cheers us up. It can be like that perfect friend that never judges or questions or answers back. Other days food is our enemy, every time we put food on our plate, it makes us need to question who we are, what we are avoiding, not dealing with, ignoring, trying to dull out and that’s not a fun place to be either – sometimes we don’t want to face emotions going on. Sometimes we just want food to numb the pain and not make us question ourselves.
The challenge with having food on the mind all the time is that we can miss out on life. We can miss out on the small things and sometimes the big things. We are so busy thinking about what we can and can’t eat, whether this particular food is “good” for us or beating ourselves up for eating food that is “bad” for us, focusing on what we “should and shouldn’t” eat, that life skips by us without us realising. I’m not saying it’s not ok to think about food, what I am saying is when food becomes our obsession and the only thing we can think about and have to control, this is when we need to really look at ourselves and the symptoms our food challenges are trying to show us so we can show up in life, unburdened by the constant mental demands of food.
The journey to letting go of the hold food has over us starts with recognition. It starts with recognising and acknowledging the role food plays in our lives, for some it is a small role, the role of nourishment and fulfilment, for others it plays the lead role, dictating our mood, thoughts, emotions and overall happiness. Once we acknowledge what role food plays in our lives, the next step is connection. Connection is critical to growth. When we have connection, be it to ourselves or with others, we are allowing ourselves to focus on what is actually important in our lives to be the best version of ourselves. We need to create more connection, identify our true purpose and things that will connect us with our passion. When we are able to create these connections, it helps in our relationship with food by taking away the power food has over us. When we have connection, purpose and passion, it can take the emphasis off using food for comfort, it can minimize the fixation with food, the obsession with food and its power. This means we need to focus on rebuilding the connection with ourselves first.
So, take the first step and think about what connection means for you. What is your purpose? What makes you happy and want to get out of bed in the morning for? When you can identify this, eating doesn’t have to be a necessity to numb the pain or distract. Being honest and authentic with ourselves helps us to relax into our journey. It takes us out of isolation and into connection and connection is the opposite of addiction. Being connected helps us to heal. Take that first step – think about what connection means for you and start to focus on what it will take to rebuild connection in your life, moving the focus off food and onto passions that excite you and lift you up.
If you would like to know more about how to rebuild connections, break free of the obsessions and reduce the power food has in your life, if you need help in making this happen, please reach out to me by clicking on the 15 Min Free Consult button at the top of the page. I would love to help!