Confession: I have a destructive relationship with food. I have spoken about food addiction a couple of years ago and it is amazing how certain themes in life keeps repeating themselves. I suppose this is was happens when you haven’t sorted out the underlying issues properly the first time around.
I’m finding myself at a place where I want to change my lifestyle, by improving what I put in my body and how I look after it. I wish it was as easy as I just made it sound and yet I know it is exactly that easy.
What I have also come to realise is that my relationship with food is hindering my attempts at changing my lifestyle. Food has become my friend, a type of comforter, something I turn to when I am bored – it’s atrocious that it’s been given such an important role in my life!
Weightloss attempts in the past
Three years ago when I started my banting journey, I did pretty well. I lost 17 kilos in just over six months. Not too bad, all things considered. What I have come to realise is, that I was in a really good space in my life at that time. Things were good between K and I, I was happy at work, my kids were settled – all around, things were settled. This gave me the space to focus on eating healthy and exercise.
Even then, the key was exercise. I would do bootcamp Pilates three times a week at 5:30 in the mornings. One to two strength training sessions a week and multiple 5-10km shuffles.
*Bootcamp? Sounds like an oxymoron – it’s really not! It is Pilates on steroids, the instructor is a machine and if I could get to the classes today, I would!
I joined Weight-Watchers a couple of months before I started banting, sound insignificant now, but looking back I realised Weight-Watchers was a game changer for me! I was forced to change my thoughts about food. My relationship with food was a lot less destructive than it is at the moment. Not only did it change the way I think about food, Weight-Watchers gave me the support I needed to achieve my weight-loss goals.
Root of of the problem / Addictions
So, if I know all the things that worked in the past, why I can’t I simply replicate the actions to achieve the same success? That is what I have been trying to do for the past couple of years without any success! My life has changed, my circumstances have changed – I can’t be at the gym at 5:30 in the mornings anymore. I wish I could, because I hate morning traffic. BUT I no longer have a partner that can drop the kids off at school. And in the beginning, I thought that kind of sucked. Becaus of circumstances, my priorities have changed and I’m okay with that.
The implication is, that I am out of strategies and now need to deal with the problem – food addiction and underlying roots – instead of hiding away from it.
Dealing with my destructive relationship with food
Even while writing the words, I found myself holding my breath and thinking – how the hell do I do that? And I honestly don’t know. What I do know is, it’s going to be a process, it going to take time and I need to be intentional about it. Here’s what I am going to focus on for now:
1. Acceptance and forgiveness
I need to accept where I am right now and forgive myself for it. I need to embrace my current stance for what it is and look at a workable solution to carry me into the future.
2. Intentional and Mindful Eating
The aim here is to put food in my body that nourishes and heals and to be present while eating.
3. Dealing with instead of Numbing
I am an emotional eater. I eat when I am angry, when I am bored and frustrated. I need to find a why to deal with the issue rather than eating. I am considering writing and stretching.
4. Naming the Emotion
Dealing with the stressor and naming the emotion goes hand in hand. By changing my thoughts about the situation, I can proactively change the outcomes: ‘I’m angry, let’s have a chocolate’ to ‘I’m angry because…. and here’s how I am going to deal with it…‘
5. Writing it down
I wasn’t great at food journaling, but perhaps incorporating it into my bullet journal will make it easier? Alternatively, it is time to open a new instagram account, dedicated to food and wellness. Has instragram found a way to toggle between accounts yet?
6. Food without Exercise
I need to find a way to deal with my food addiction without creating a new fitness addiction. I need to exercise and that’s a topic for another post. I need to eat right without feeling the intense need to exercise as well.
Moderation instead of everything in excess
7. Addictions as a whole
I used to be a smoker, I am addicted to coffee and I am prone to obsessing over things. In other words, I need to try and prevent myself from forming addictive behaviour patterns at all times. How one goes about that is still a mystery and somthing to think about.
8. A holistic approach
I believe in a holistic approach to life. Perhaps that is also why I need to give myself a bit of a break, the past two years have been a roller-coaster and thing are settling, eventually. Now it simply the time to implement some changes in order to achieve balance.
- lasting lifestyle changes
- quality time with the kids,
- being outdoors and actively living life
- finding a hobby over weekends when the kids are with their dad
I don’t have all the answers but I am open to suggestions to end this very destructive relationship with food.