For years I thought that my “healthy” eating was a sign of what a great relationship I had with my food. I did not think to take in to account that I never allowed myself a slice of pizza, never enjoyed a piece of birthday cake or ate bread from a bread basket…at least not without a river of guilt and shame to drown in after. Having peace with your food is not about only eating vegetables and lean protein. It is about being able to enjoy whatever you want whenever you want and not feel victorious or like a failure either way.
Peace with food is being relaxed with food.
I eat whatever I want. I do this not because I have an amazing metabolism (I don’t) but because I have come to a place with myself where I know how to listen to my body instead of dictate to it what it needs. I trust my body enough to know that it intuitively knows what I need to thrive. I have peace with food because I have accepted that my mental health and love for my body is far more important for living my life with joy then being thin and crazy around food.
Think back to when you were a toddler. You did not know what a calorie was or macros. You had no point system helping you figure out what to eat. You ate when you were hungry and stopped when you were full. Sometimes you ate beyond being full but even then you did not give a darn. You didn’t berate yourself for days after. You just went on with your life. It did not matter one way or the other. It had ZERO meaning in how you felt about yourself or your role in the world.
Then, at some point, you became like Eve, taking a bite from the forbidden apple. Suddenly, your eyes were opened to diet culture. You suddenly felt shame around your body. Anxiety came in to play around your food. You lost your connection to yourself. You forgot how to eat with intuition, instead relying on outside sources to guide you. Food became confusing. Your body became something that needed to be “fixed” rather then honored. Now you were officially on the diet roller coaster. The never ending ride of hell.
95% Of diets fail! If you were planning on booking a flight on an airline that had a 95% crash rate, would you seriously get on that plane? If you had the choice to eat a food that had a 95% rate of causing food poisoning, would you still eat it?
In most weight loss studies, patients are followed for only up to around two to three years post weight loss. However, further studies have shown that many people gain back weight around the four to five year mark. Not only do they gain back what they lost but also pack on a few extra pounds. The diet industry only shows us the “success” rates. Think of this, with all the money Oprah has, why the heck can’t she keep the weight off? How about Marie Osmond or Roseanne Barr. These are women with plenty of money who we have watched continually battle their weight. It has nothing to do with a lack of will power and everything to do with not finding peace with their bodies.
As long as we refuse to accept our bodies as they are in the present moment, we can not hope to have a peaceful relationship with food. We will always be hoping to be that 5% that can lose weight and keep it off.
But at what cost? Never having that cupcake with out shame and guilt. Never enjoying Thanksgiving without skipping meals the following day to make up for it? Never being able to take our minds off our weight or our bodies or our food choices in a manner where thinking about these things is literally sucking up as much mental energy as a second job would?
Peace with your food begins with acceptance of your body today. Obsessing over how your body will look this summer or even tomorrow is pointless. You could get hit by a truck today. You may not even have a living, breathing body to be in tomorrow. Stay in the present with your body. Anything outside of that is anxiety causing and utterly pointless.
Just to be clear, acceptance of your body does not mean giving up on your health or throwing in the towel on your desire to eat healthier. It simply means being able to accept it today and tune in to what it needs. Peace with your body means building trust again around it.
As long as you label foods as “good” or “bad” “healthy” or “un-healthy” you are restricting yourself. You are, in essence, labeling your self-worth because you are putting your worth on what you eat. How insane is that? Since when did what we eat become a moral obligation to be a person of value? I am just as valuable eating ice cream with fudge as I am eating buckwheat and kale.
This box that you are putting yourself in is one where you naturally rebel out of. Hence the reason why we all “fall off the wagon” of diets. If there was no wagon to fall off, you would have no issues.
I am here to tell you, there is no wagon to fall off!
Were you on a wagon when you were a toddler?
Your body is just as capable now as it was then to inform you of what it needs. It is up to you to take the leap of starting to tune into it again. That does not start with trying to control it. It starts with trying to truly love the heck out of it. Once that begins, your choices for the right foods for you will become second nature.
( Self-love is a spiritual journey. We are designed for relationship with our God. If you believe in His grace and mercy and love for you, then you must ask Him to help you reflect that belief in how you treat your body. If God loves you and created you, how can you not love yourself?)
1 Corinthians 10:31
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.