Repair Your Relationship With Food
How to stop obsessing about food and develop a healthy relationship with food instead
So, you want to repair your relationship with food?! That’s amazing!
I am so happy that you are willing to take this step. It can be the most liberating experience!
If you are like many of my clients, you probably know that your current relationship with food, and often your body, is messy and complicated. You have a lot of knowledge about food and yet – food still feels so hard at times! This relationship is one you’ve developed over a lifetime. It’s also a relationship that can be healthier – and now is the time to start.
Examine Your Relationship with Food
Maybe you feel obsessive about which foods you can and can’t eat. Maybe you worry about having soulful or “treat” foods in your home like cookies, ice cream or potato chips. Maybe you feel stressed about going out to eat with friends. Maybe emotional eating or stress eating is getting in the way of your daily life. Maybe the idea of cooking every day for the rest of your life is daunting.
No matter what it is that is getting in the way of you having a healthy relationship with food, it can get better!
I bet you are also wondering what that could possibly look like…
It will, of course, be different for each of you. I wish I could tell you it will be easy, but it is going to take some work and some self-compassion. But I can promise, IT WILL BE WORTH IT.
Strategies to begin repairing your relationship with food:
STEP 1: Know your why
When I healed my relationship with food, I was just tired of thinking about it so much. Food isn’t actually that interesting. It did not deserve that much brain space from me… yes, even as a Dietitian.
STEP 2: Identify the issue(s)
What is it that is really getting in the way of you feeling good around food?
This might include old diet rules, food rules of what is “good” or “bad”, a history of not trusting yourself around food, or maybe a fear of bringing foods that used to bother your stomach back into your life.
STEP 3: Identify your strengths
What are the things that work for you?
Look at what you eat, how you eat, your eating frequency, your cooking skills, etc. What are the things that work well for you and you want to keep doing?
These are your baseline behaviors! You want to hold onto these.
STEP 4: Pace yourself
Start small! Now that you are ready to challenge yourself, tackle the foods or food behaviors or times of day that feel most do-able.
Your Registered Dietitian will offer suggestions and help guide you, but YOU drive the process. Many of my clients are relieved I don’t attempt to control the process but instead help them to determine the pace and direction of their personal challenges so they can manage and feel successful.
STEP 5: Dive into the Resistance
There will likely be areas of food and food behaviors that you either don’t want to explore or don’t think you need to.
There is a reason that you are being asked to explore those food behaviors. There is a reason you feel so strongly about them. That’s something we can explore together.
Again, you set the pace and a dietitian cannot make you do anything you don’t want to do, but you can explore that hesitation together.
Other Keys to Success when Trying to Repair Your Relationship with Food
Have a support person or persons who can support you outside of sessions with your Dietitian.
If you can, try to keep weight out of the goals. This is about your relationship with food and your foodbehaviorsfirst. Fear of the scale might make the process more intimidating than it needs to be.
It is difficult. It might be messy and confusing. You might feel like you are doing it all wrong.
Don’t quit! Remember why you started!
You want to feel comfortable around food, ALL food. You want to trust yourself around food. You want to spend less time thinking about it and worrying about it. You want to feel more confident in how you eat and take care of yourself with food.
Yes it can take some time. Yes there is some work involved. But repairing your relationship with food is absolutely worth it! I hope you take the next step.
Reach out to us if you need a helping hand with repairing your relationship with food. We specialize in complex relationships with food, emotional eating, eating disorders and a range of health concerns. For more information on our private Dietitian nutrition counseling services visit: Calgary Dietitian / Online Nutritionist services.
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Disordered Eating, Emotional Eating & Sports Nutrition
Fitness enthusiast and lover of all things food, Jana is passionate about helping her clients improve their relationship with food and their body. She is a strong, motivational leader. Jana also offers the balance of a warm, supportive coaching style to nudge her clients from their comfort zone while feeling safe and supported. She specializes in mental health, eating disorders, body image and sports nutrition.