How often do you think about what you eat? I’m pleased as punch to see more people being health conscious, learning what’s really in their food, and learning to make healthier choices. Here’s the zinger though: how often do you analyze your relationship with food? Probably not enough.
We have to get the kids to school, clean the house, run errands, and in my case study for my nutrition certification (yay!), so we certainly have enough to preoccupy our minds. It’s important to take a step back and pick out any unhealthy thought patterns you may have. Who knows? Fixing this issue could be a huge help on your journey to weight loss. I think an unhealthy relationship with food is largely physical for many people, but for others it’s a psychological battle.
Recognizing Unhealthy Thoughts About Food
I was hanging out with some friends, eating some deliciously sinful food. One mentioned she was going to have to “run this food off” tomorrow and another agreed that she would need to hit the gym hard. Although that’s a statement I’ve made hundreds of times, it struck a different chord in me.
- Is that a healthy way to think about food?
- Are we punishing ourselves for indulging one night?
- How do we recognize if we have a reward/punishment relationship with food?
- Do we say those things around friends so they know we don’t normally eat like that, or to publicly recognize this food is unhealthy and I will do something about it later?
- What is the motive behind such statements or thoughts?
It made me step back and look at my relationship with food.
Recognizing Our Relationship with Food is a Journey
First of all, I LOVE to cook, try new recipes, and I love learning to eat healthy sans chemicals. I used to constantly be on an emotional roller coaster, so I’ve worked hard to be in control over my life (as much as one can control her own life, ha!). I do not like when things have control over me. In January, I did a 30-day sugar detox to break the control that chocolate and sweets had on me, and I feel worlds better (now, not during haha!). I was doing pretty well, but that night I realized I could still be using rationale that promoted an unhealthy mindset towards my relationship with food. Everything is a journey though, right? :)
I didn’t write this post to give you all the answers, but encourage examination of what you say and how you think about food and exercise. I’ve been analyzing my thoughts and am trying to determine the motives behind them. Some are innocent and others raise up flags. I’ve noticed sometimes I feel I have to prove I live a healthy lifestyle because I’m held to a high standard, and others are just habits I probably picked up watching too much of MTV’s The Real World when I was 13! (Side note: does anyone remember when Puck dipped his hand in the peanut butter jar??)
I’m thankful to be looking at these thoughts now so I can change them. I want to teach other women (and one day my daughter) how to have a wonderful relationship with food!
Replacing Unhealthy Thoughts with Positive Ones
Examples of unhealthy rationale might be punishing yourself at the gym for eating dessert, starving yourself because you skipped your workout that day, or exercising because you’re “fat.” Here are some “replacement” statements if you catch yourself thinking or saying something that sends up a flag:
- I will eat this food in moderation because food should be enjoyed.
- You only get one chance to live, so I will enjoy this food without guilt.
- I am going to exercise because I deserve to be healthy and fit.
- I am going to exercise because I am worth it.
- I believe I’m here on earth for a purpose, and I want to be as healthy and fit for my calling as I can be, so I will exercise and make good food choices.
- I will choose food based on the information it sends to my brain and body, or the fuel it will give me to do all I need to today.
- Food does not control me. I am in control, and I can enjoy this treat in moderation.
- I will not use food as my stress relief. I will find something more constructive to do, like journal or go for a walk.
- Being skinny will not solve all of my problems. I exercise and eat right to be healthy and fit, and to add to the quality of my life!
- I choose to be healthy and fit, and my food choices and exercise habits will reflect this goal.
What positive thoughts or statements would you add to this list? In the comments, share your reaction to this post, or some of the unhealthy thoughts you struggle with. Understand this is not permission to go nuts and eat whatever you want. It’s about tweaking your perspective to have the healthiest relationship with food possible. :)
Thanks for reading, friends! I’m honored to walk this journey to health and fitness with you!
I created The Fit Tutor to help women feel empowered, and to give them the tools they need to get a great at-home workout. Some may not like the gym or cannot afford a personal trainer. The Fit Tutor solves these problems! It’s is against my standards to put pictures of half-naked skinny or fit women anywhere on my site or social media as “motivation”, and I’m on a mission to help promote a healthy body image and healthy mindsets! Join me on this journey and start your two-week free-trial of The Fit Tutor today, and receive encouragement, accountability, and workouts designed by a personal trainer for every level of fitness- all for only $11.99 per month!