I want to tell you something that I think you might need to hear:
There’s nothing wrong with you because you constantly think about food.
There’s nothing wrong with you because you’re overweight.
There’s nothing wrong with you because you overeat, undereat, or binge.
There’s nothing wrong with you because you can’t seem to figure all of this out, no matter how hard you try.
If you struggle with food, you probably believe that there is some deficiency that you have which keeps you from having a normal relationship with food and being at a natural, normal, healthy weight.
You may believe that when you’re good all day but then come home and raid the fridge that there’s something inherently wrong with you. You may believe that because you’re overweight that you’re not strong enough to stick to a “plan”. You may believe that because you’re constantly thinking about food to the point where it’s impacting your social life and career that there is clearly something wrong with how you function and that you have deep “issues”.
But I’m here to tell you that your preoccupation with food, or your reliance on food, does not mean that there is something wrong with you. You’re totally fine, you’re completely perfect, you’re a whole and capable individual.
Your preoccupation with food or your reliance on food is simply just a symptom of something else going on – of a need that isn’t being met. And whatever need it is that isn’t being met, you’re RIGHT for having that need. You’re a completely perfect human being who has real needs, and on a deep level, when those needs aren’t met, you’re going to try to meet them. For many women, that shows up in our relationship with food.
We turn to food to feel the way we want to feel – comforted, loved, excited, happy.
We turn to food to distract ourselves from something that we can’t bear to think about or to feel.
We obsess over food as a way to control our environment and our weight and to guarantee that we’ll feel happy and safe.
We start a new diet in order to feel like we belong and are part of a community.
There is always a reason why we have a funky relationship with food. But that reason is NOT because there’s something wrong with you.
That reason is that there is something else going on, and food or your preoccupation with food is trying to shine a light on it.
When I start working with clients, there is always a lot of self bashing at the beginning, most of the time without the person realizing it. This is because they look at their “food issues” as this horrible, shameful , embarrassing, f*cked up part of them.
In reality, your “food issues” are freaking brilliant. They’re telling you something incredibly important and serving you in massive, massive ways in your life. They’re protecting you and helping you meet your needs as a woman.
That deserves a heck of a lot of appreciation, right?
In my own life, my food issues served as major red flags for many many years. When I was happy, I didn’t care that much about food. But when I felt off, when I felt unsupported, when I felt bored and stuck in my career, when I felt unengaged socially, that’s when food stepped in and helped me. Controlling food and my diet helped me feel safe and feel like I could control my happiness. Food was always there for me when I was hurt, lonely, confused, or feeling bad about myself. To this day, when I find myself turning to food or thinking too much about food, I thank that part of me for such valuable knowledge and then use it to recalibrate.
When you start to look at your funky relationship with food NOT as a problem but as a symptom and a sign that there is something else going on underneath, that’s when you can truly start to heal your relationship with food.
In the comments below, I’d love to hear: How do you look at your “food issues”? Can you tell me one positive thing that your preoccupation with food has given you? What may it be trying to tell you about what you really need?
I can’t wait to hear what you have to say here!!