Our Relationship With Food Begins with Self-Image
For a while, I have been obese. I kept on thinking that if only I could lose some weight, I could look more attractive, feel better and less exhausted, and my health issues would disappear. I tried so many different diet plans and fed myself such nonsense: if I were to just stop eating so much or eat the good foods only that I would make the transformation.
In reality, my weight just stays the same. During the entire pandemic, it stayed the same. Why that happened is because of my relationship with food. I did not just eat when I was hungry, I ate when I was bored. I sometimes was too exhausted to make dinner so I’d skip it, having too few calories throughout the day, justifying it as the way I do not gain weight, forgetting that I do not lose weight either.
Finally, I am starting to realize, after talking with an intentional eating therapist, that I have to eat enough each day to maintain my overall health and bone health throughout my life and be at my best. It’s clear that starving myself may have caused insulin resistance, and that this error can be reversed in my body if I just satisfy my hunger when my body says I am hungry.
Listening to our bodies is not easy especially when we have some habits that are hard to break. We might not hear what our body says if we exert too much of our own willpower in the process. That’s why we must be patient, eat often, eat slowly, and really stop to check what is being communicated to us by our own bodies.
We are fed the false notion that big bodies are ugly when in fact big bodies are needed in order to be at our most effective strength-wise, to improve our ability to give birth to children and not die in the process, or even so we can have fat stores for harsher times. The body mass index comes from an antiquated notion that doesn’t apply to our environment today.
If I listen to my body, I can naturally level off at a weight that is both healthy, and sustainable and minimizes negative health effects. I had no idea that restricting my diet, undereating so that my caloric intake wasn’t enough, and thinking about food using morality was exactly what was causing me to be unhappy with my body and my self-image. This perpetuated a negative cycle that put pressure on me rather than lifted me up.
To be free from such constraints would enable me to focus on other lucrative aspects of my life, give my friends and family the time and attention they deserve, and really help me grow my career. I am grateful for nutrition counseling. The core of many of our issues is our relationship with food and that’s from where we can see results.
Aimee Sparrow is an author, applied philosopher, and mathematician who has been living with a mood disorder for more than a decade and advocates for happiness and inner peace. She is the author of Lunacy. Follow her website for more details.