Have you ever stayed home from a party because you needed to work out, or because the food there wouldn’t fit into your diet plan? Have you ever attended a social event and been preoccupied the whole time with thoughts about your body’s shape and size, or the food you did or didn’t eat?
These examples illustrate how a disordered relationship with food and our bodies can get in the way of us participating in life in a more meaningful way. Friends and family are far more important than what we eat, or how our bodies look.
Another way that food can get in the way of our relationships is when we are chronically undereating to the point that it affects our moods. Some call it being “hangry” but it doesn’t have to be irritability. Not feeding ourselves properly can cause us to feel depressed, anxious and distracted.
Have you ever ordered a salad when you really wanted a burger, and spent the whole meal feeling unsatisfied (and jealous of the burger at the table next to you?) This might sound like a minor thing, but when this is the norm (or even if it’s not) it still negative affects your life in a significant way. As Kylie Mitchell wrote, “constantly depriving your cravings is a mild form of self harm.” What’s more, is such feelings of deprivation can set you up for a binge later, which is a whole other battle to conquer.
Think about it for yourself: how does your relationship with food affect your life? Is it energizing and empowering, or distracting and draining?
If you fall into the latter category, I highly encourage you to seek out help from a therapist, dietitian, or other trained profession in the field of intuitive eating. I can tell you from personal experience, sacrificing your livelihood for a smaller pant size just isn’t worth it.