As humans, we are asked to eat to stay alive and healthy. An unhealthy relationship with food can cause poor health, being overweight, or various eating disorders. Use the tips below to analyze your eating style and improve your emotional connection to food.
Another night I lay in bed watching the 20th day of the Oprah DVD Collection-a gift given to me by my best friend. The story after the story of an extraordinary person who touched and changed Oprah’s life caused my tears of inspiration to flow. One particular person I am very identified with – Rudine’s story. Rudine experienced severe disorders of anorexia nervosa. He wanted so badly to fight and win this condition, but his emotional connection to food and himself was so broken.
Resolving Emotional Attachments to Food
You see, I can identify with this woman because at the age of 13, I came face to face with anorexia nervosa. This was followed by two very painful events in my life. Looking back, now I understand that I cannot overcome all the emotions that I encounter. The anger and resentment I felt – because I could not outwardly express it – had turned inward. I began to hate my body and food became an enemy. I exercise like crazy and end up eating only 1 snack per day. After finally breaking the cycle, I swung to the other extreme and started a dinner party late at night. Another thing replaced food until, at age 21, I was serious about facing and healing my emotions.
I share with you because I think it’s important to understand the devastating effects our relationship with food can have on our health. Maybe you have never suffered from anorexia nervosa, bulimia or obesity, but your emotional connection to food is still worth checking. In an ideal relationship with food, you eat when you are hungry, and you eat healthy foods that your body needs. Your weight is healthy and you are not experimenting with the latest diet. Healthy eating is your way of life, and your physical well-being reflects that – not only your body, but your energy level, mood and internal health as well. So come on this journey with me and let’s explore some common emotions or situations that can trigger unhealthy eating. Take note whether one of these strike houses is for you. If so, try replacing some of the alternatives I recommend so you can begin to heal your emotional connection to food.
Emotional Eating to Emotional Connection
Angry eaters: when you are very angry with yourself or others, do you turn to food? Maybe you are angry because you made a mistake and so you beat yourself with food. Try to deal with and express your anger in a healthy way, and then forgive and let it go.
Eater Comfort: You don’t have the time or don’t feel like making something healthy to eat, so you take whatever is convenient – fast food or take-away, chips, donuts, etc. Keep healthy and comfortable food around the house and in the office-fruit, granola bars, lean dishes, string cheese, and yogurt.
Tired eaters: morning comes around or afternoon energy runs out and you need a kick of sugar to get you going. You load on cakes, cakes or other sugar snacks and you go and walk until you crash. Try getting 8 hours of sleep at night, exercising regularly, taking vitamins or taking a short cat napping.
No waste eaters: Were you taught to never waste food? Are you reminded of all the poor children who don’t eat? Now you can’t bring yourself to leave anything on your plate or throw away food. Put a smaller portion on your plate. Give yourself permission to stop eating when you are full. Work in a homeless shelter serving food or giving food to the poor so you don’t feel guilty.
Self-disgust Eater: You see yourself and hate what you see; You eat or distance yourself from food to cover up the feelings you have, and begin the cycle of abuse. Work on loving yourself in every which wayYou can Pamper yourself, repeat positive affirmations, stick to yourself. Invest in getting confidence and self-esteem.
Boredom Eater: this is me. I don’t feel like doing laundry or cleaning the house. I’m tired of working, playing car or watching TV. It was cold outside and so I opened the food cupboard. Hmmm. I want to know what I can eat. Get creative and find something fun and different to do. Switch projects and start something new. Make a phone call to a friend.