How to recognise if you have an unhealthy relationship with food
My first memory of any kind of activity or mention of weight was when I was eight years old. I went into my mum’s bedroom and found her asleep in a bin bag (a giant plastic bag), with just her head poking out the top. She told me it was to make her sweat throughout the night so she would lose weight. You can imagine how funny that sounded to an eight year-old!
As I grew up, my mum and her friends always appeared to be on some kind of diet program –Weight Watchers, Slimmer’s World, Slim Fast, Atkin’s, etc. However, despite all the books, weigh-ins, and cupboards full of ‘special’ food, the weight remained.
As far as I could see, not only were Mum and her friends obsessed with food and unhappy, but their diet programs didn’t even work. It also seemed as if they thought they could eat cream cakes, chocolate and doughnuts but, if they ate diet foods and drink it would all balance out. Even though I was a child, I knew that wasn’t how it worked.
As I grew up, I promised myself I would not live my life on and off these diets. And I thought I had stayed true to my promise because I never went on any of the typical diets. However, when I look back at my late teens and early twenties, I realise I followed the same pattern as my mum and her friends. I just used different diets.
Instead of Weight Watchers and Slimmer’s World, I tried eating to suit my Ayurvedic constitution. Or I followed the Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load food programs. Or I tried food combining and uncombining. Or I underwent allergy tests and removed specific items from my diet. Or I juice feasted and followed various detoxes.
I believed these kinds of eating and this kind of lifestyle were healthier than those of my mum and her friends. The diets I followed tended to be whatever was popular in the fields in which I was interested, namely personal development, spirituality, and alternative medicine. Because I believed the diets I followed were more “natural” compared to the traditional diets to which I had been exposed when I was growing up, I assumed they were better for me.
Throughout my life, I was relatively active and never particularly concerned with my weight. However, as I became a teenager, I loved reading magazines. I would happily try the weekend detoxes so often featured in the magazines. In my twenties, my clothes size fluctuated anywhere between a small size 10 to a very large size 14. Even though my weight yo-yo’d this way over the years, I certainly didn’t consider myself a dieter, much less a yo-yo dieter. I was never unhappy with my weight and actually felt less self conscious about my body when it was bigger. However, as I look back, I realise I had indeed been a yo-yo dieter. During a ten year period, my weight fluctuated up and down by over three stone (42 pounds)!
- As you look over the last 10 years how has your relationship with food been and how has your weight been?
- Do you have different size wardrobes?
Are you ready to create a better, a healthy and more fulfilling relationship with your food? Click here for guidance on how to start
What’s behind your cravings?
When you next have a craving ask yourself the following questions?
- Is this craving because I am hungry?
- Is this craving because I am lacking something?
- If I feel as if I’m lacking something, is this food or it it more emotional?
- Is food the answer?
If you are craving a particular food, ask yourself the following?
- What do I gain by eating this food?
- What do I miss out on when I eat this food?
I’m not saying that you should avoid cravings or that all cravings are bad, but what I do encourage you to do is to listen to your body, understand what it may be trying to tell you through the cravings and make your choices with awareness.
Give it a go - who knows what adventures it will take you on…