Food for Thought: 5 Ways to Improve your Relationship with Food
If you’ve been following me, you know that I’ve lost 110 lbs (so far) through healthy eating and exercise. I sometimes make it sound easy, but it wasn’t. I had tons of previous fails - so many, that I can’t even count them. This time, however, I realized that weight loss wasn’t just about calories in and calories out. It was also about changing my relationship with food.
I’ve talked and blogged about it before, but what does it mean exactly? It means that we start thinking about food differently. It no longer becomes an emotional crutch or a ‘go to’ when we want to punish ourselves for whatever wrongdoing we think we committed. It means that we learn to respect ourselves and our bodies enough to use food to nourish ourselves. It means that we start thinking about what we put into our bodies and no obsess or restrict ourselves to the point where it becomes unhealthy.
Change begins with thinking about food differently, and learning how to use it for nourishment.
Here are 5 ways you can start developing a better relationship with food. Consider it “food for thought:”
Eat mindfully. Being mindful means paying attention. So, when you are eating mindfully, you are listening to your body cues; understanding when you are physically hungry vs. emotionally hungry. You are also aware of when you are full so you don’t over eat.
Change your perception of food. When we ‘diet’ we tend to put some foods into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ categories. However, when you change your lifestyle (rather than diet), nothing is off limits. There are no good or bad foods. You are allowed to eat everything you want to, in moderation.
Eat breakfast. A healthy breakfast gives you a boost of energy that stays with you most of the day. It helps improve your metabolism, burn more calories and stay full longer. A healthy, balanced breakfast is filled with proteins, fats and carbs – it’s not a bowl of captain crunch!
Don’t deny yourself, but make it more challenging. When you are trying to change your eating habits, it can be challenging when some of your favorite, unhealthy foods are in the house. If you feel that it will be more challenging to stay on track with these foods in the house, then don’t buy them or if you already have them in the house, throw them out. Ultimately, if you want to eat it, you can (never deny yourself) but getting to it will be much harder because you’ll have to leave your house and go to the store for it rather than going to the kitchen pantry.
Pay attention to the detail. When you eat, give your food the full attention it deserves. Slow down. Think about the speed in which you eat. Chew each bite 10 times before you swallow. Enjoy the flavor, texture and process of eating. Don’t eat and work. Don’t eat and watch TV. Be in the moment and enjoy it. You’ll find you’re more satisfied because you were in that moment rather than focused on something else.
Weight loss is a very personal journey and it is different for everyone. It’s filled with challenges and successes, highs and lows.
Sometimes you want to just throw in the towel and give up, but don’t.
There are times you will go off your plan and you’ll want to throw all of your progress away because you’ll think your excuses are valid – but they aren’t.
There will be times that you will want to eat the twinkie because you’ve had a bad day. Sometimes you’ll give in and eat it and when you do – stop at one - forgive yourself, leave the kitchen and get right back on track.
There will be times that you think that no one understands your struggle – but they do. Know that you are not alone. Tap into resources available a my website www.healthy-mommabee.com and via my facebook page: Healthy Momma Bee. Outreach to a friend or loved one and talk to them about how you’re feeling and if you need additional support, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bee healthy. Bee happy.