So you've realised that you have an unhealthy relationship with food, now what? Here are some steps you can take to fix your relationship with food.
1. Identify the problem(s)
The first step to fixing an unhealthy relationship is identifying the specific problem(s).
This will allow you to figure out how to solve them.
If you haven't done so already take some time out to think about what your issues are.
Write them down too as this can help to strengthen the fact that there are issues that need to be addressed.
2. Ask for help
The most important thing to do in this situation is to ask for help from friends, family and professionals.
You're only making it more difficult for yourself if you try to do it alone so confide in a someone you trust and know will be able to offer you good advice and support.
The best way to properly deal with these issues is to get help from a medical professional such as a therapist that specialises in food-related issues.
A good therapist will help you get to the root of the problem and give you the tools to deal with them going forward.
3. Don't diet or cut out food groups unless it's necessary
Unless you're allergic or intolerant to certain foods you shouldn't cut any food groups out of your diet.
Any form of dietary restriction will hold you back from fixing your relationship with food.
Go back to basics and focus on eating, standard, balanced meals.
4. Start challenging your shame and negative thoughts
This is easier said than done and guidance from a therapist is incredibly beneficial when trying to do this.
Rather than immediately giving into negative thoughts without question, start to question them.
Repeat the bad thought in your mind and think of at least two reasons why it's not valid or true.
Over time it will get easier to do this and when it becomes second nature you'll know that you're doing well.
5. Make eating your meals an enjoyable experience
If you associate eating meals with stress, anxiety or other unpleasant feelings then, of course, eating any meal becomes a problem.
Creating a calm, positive environment for yourself when you're eating can help disassociate it with a negative experience.
You could watch your favourite TV show or YouTuber, listen to a podcast or some music while eating and of course, make sure you're in a space where you feel comfortable.
6. Focus on intuitive eating
Intuitive eating is simply the concept of eating when you're hungry and stopping when full.
The basic idea is that nothing is off-limits and you focus on having a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
It's about knowing the difference between physical hunger and emotional hunger which is hunger driven by emotional needs.
Visit BodyWhys.ie for more information or if you need to talk with someone.