Is food becoming the most common drug?
Yes – it’s socially acceptable, yet for some of us, it’s our default when it comes to coping with stress. It’s no different that an alcoholic using alcohol and a drug addict reaching for drugs. Now, we normally just talk lightly over the subject of using food as a coping mechanism, because ‘it’s just food’.
There is a large amount of shame and guilt attached to food issues and the stigmas of eating disorders, it’s a topic not openly talked about – despite how many lives it affects. It’s our go-to feel good escape when we are feeling like our world is collapsing around us. It’s safe, we know what it’s going to do – and it’s what we have always done, so why change now?
The struggle with food is real. We are faced with it daily – so when you suffer with the relationship you have with food, all that means is you are struggling with the relationship you have with yourself. Being preoccupied with an unhealthy obsession restricts our ability to live with vitality. The more we obsess over food, the more control it has over us.
A need to be skinny results in a need for love. We associate being skinny, with being loved – which means if we are overweight, we are unloveable.
I’ve been there – I was a constant yo-yo dieter. I thought I had an issue with ‘food’ I can recall myself saying ‘I just can’t trust myself around food’ or ‘food stresses me out’ when in fact, looking back on it, it had nothing to do with food and everything to do with the fact I was unhappy in my own skin. I was using food no different than an alcoholic uses wine. I was masking the feelings, I was distracting myself with something I knew made me temporarily happy. The link I was missing was that this all was because I was unhappy with my body, unhappy with my level of self love.
I had to ask myself ‘What am I actually hungry for?’
The answer was self-love.
My lack of self love was perpetuating my binge eating. Binge eating was perpetuating guilt and shame, guilt and shame perpetuated a vicious diet cycle…
That was the moment it all clicked, it all came together. It had nothing to do with food, and had everything to do with my lack of self love. That’s when I knew I had to get to work, in a big way.
My three year journey of self love and inner work can be summed up into 3 parts.
Language: The words we speak to ourselves are one the most important components of strengthening the relationship we have with ourselves. Begin to notice the comments, notice the negative talk that is taking up your headspace. I can assure you if you spoke to your friends the way you spoke to your yourself, you wouldn’t have any.
Recognize and Replace: We come home from a hard day, we are stressed out. We throw down the groceries give out a massive siiighhhhhh and immediately think – I need food. Are these physical cues or simply just emotional cues? You’ve had a rough day so you reach for your ‘go-to’ the one thing you know will bring you instant happiness, it’s temporary and after we binge on Ben and Jerry’s and 16 cookies, we feel an overwhelming amount of shame and guilt. What else makes you happy besides food? So many of us have no idea, I challenge you to really dig deep on this one and think what else you can do enter into a heightened state of prolonged happiness.
Self Compassion & Gratitude: The power in daily practices of self compassion and self love is so often overlooked when we are recovering from binge eating. So often when body image is a factor we look for what is missing rather than all that we have in our lives. Were you grateful you woke up this morning and were able to drink fresh water, make yourself a coffee and have a hot shower? If not, why not? Appreciating all the blessings in your life will train your subconscious to look for the beauty in life, as well as in yourself. It’s impossible to binge eat when you are in a complete state of love and acceptance.
I want to honour you for taking this journey into recovering from your struggle with food – if there is anything I can do to support you PLEASE reach out – I am here for you.
Massive love and huge hugs,
Ps – If you're ready to take the next step and finally end your battle with food, you're ready for the Society. Click here to apply.