As I heal my relationship with food and my body, I am always on the search for the answer to this ever most-complicated question- why do women all over the world have such a complicated relationship with food and with themselves? What is it about certain societies that seem to destroy our relationship with something so simple and essential to our survival?
Food is such a simple thing- it’s there to nourish us and to help us survive. So why do so many of us make food our enemy? Why do we overthink our food choices so much and let them rule our lives?
It wasn’t until this last trip I went on that I finally realized how far I’ve come with healing my food insecurities and how I’m pretty sure I have completely healed my relationship with food. Just typing that out FREAKS me out, since four years ago I didn’t know how to identify myself without the words “food and body obsessed”. Saying this out loud is a huge deal, since I once thought I had a great and normal relationship with food, later to realize that it wasn’t quite normal at all, and I know many people are in the same boat; but seriously, after being on the quest to find a normal relationship with food for years I can finally say that I’ve found it.
Having a normal and healthy relationship with food simply means not thinking about food in any other way but this- a means in which to nourish and to feed your body. THAT’S IT. What isn’t normal is constantly worrying about what your last meal was, what you’re going to eat in the future, or what is currently on your plate. It’s not normal to count calories, always be on the lookout for a new diet, or exclude a ton of foods from your diet because of “health” reasons (unless you are allergic to them). It’s not healthy to label your diet, eat a certain way just because it’s going to make you “thin”, or deny yourself of certain foods forever because they are “unhealthy” or “bad”. It’s completely unhealthy to think of food as either your friend or your enemy or as good or bad. Food is just food, and thinking of it as anything but will make you sad, stressed, overweight or underweight and/or just plain miserable.
What I noticed about people in Europe and in Israel after my latest trip is how most people view food as something enjoyable. They have such a different way of viewing food then we do here in the US, and their viewpoint is something we’re really lacking. Food is something they actually cherish, and they nourish their bodies with whole foods every single day in such a gentle manner. You barely see people eating fast food because it’s not a big part of their culture as it is here; instead, they enjoy REAL homemade food. Each one of their meals is a time to sit down with friends and/or family, spend quality time together, laugh, and enjoy life; their meals aren’t rushed and eaten on-the-go like they are here. They live a much more relaxed lifestyle and it definitely shows. People in Europe and in Israel are way healthier than over here in the US, yet they don’t have this obsession with fitness, diet foods, and “health” as is so prevalent here in many cities, most specifically in LA. You don’t see as many “buff” guys and as many unnaturally thin waisted, big booty girls because the majority of people just embrace what’s been given to them and rock their natural bodies. They truly know how to enjoy their life and the food they eat without placing too much emphasis on their looks, instead focusing on living a happy, wholesome life.
Eating should be enjoyable. It is a way to reward our bodies and our cells for all of the hard work they do all day long to keep us alive. We should want to eat healthy to feel our absolute best and live our life to the fullest, but we also shouldn’t obsess over every little thing we eat. We should take our time at every meal and really cherish every bite. We should smile when we think about eating a meal out with our family or friends and not dread it because it’s not “healthy enough”. We should be happy with the way our bodies look when we take the best care of it we can- when we feed it with healthy foods while still enjoying some beers with our friends. Eating should be so enjoyable and so simple – we shouldn’t make it so damn hard.
Are you wondering if you have a healthy relationship with food? Here are some ways to tell:
1) You don’t have a list of foods that fall under the category of “never eat under any circumstance”
2) You don’t count calories, ever.
3) You only eat when you’re hungry and know how to stop when you’re full
4) You look forward to your next meal instead of dreading it
5) You eat and then move on with the rest of the day; you don’t obsess over what you just ate and know how to stop any negative thoughts that arise when thinking about what or how much you just ate
6) You eat healthy most of the time because you tune into your body and know that it needs healthy and nourishing foods to feel it’s best ; you love your body and treat it accordingly
7) You don’t deprive yourself from eating junk once in a while and therefore, you hardly ever crave it!
8) You don’t place your worth in how much you eat or how skinny you look
9) You make the healthiest choices when you can, but if you’re somewhere foreign or with a group of people, you don’t freak out over the fact that you don’t have the healthiest choices available to you and you eat what you can
10) When you go on vacation to somewhere foreign, you aren’t scared to let go of your usual workout and food routine and just go with the flow
11) One bad meal doesn’t ruin your mood or change your whole day
12) You don’t ever ever label your diet
These are just some examples of what a healthy relationship with food should look like – if any of these examples seem like the opposite of you, then you might really have to rethink your relationship with food
Wishing you all the healthiest relationships with food and with yourself always, and if you ever have questions never hesitate to ask!