This month we celebrate love and relationships for Valentines day. It’s important to recognize that each of us has a relationship with food. Bringing awareness to our feelings before and after we eat is an important part of cultivating a good relationship with food. Our relationship with food is often far from loving. Many of us restrict food, attempting to control our weight. We often abuse food, substituting it for emotional well-being. Others ignore food, swallowing it whole before we’ve even tasted it.
When we eat something that is not considered “healthy” according to nutrition standards, we often beat ourselves up. The negative self-talk before and after eating an unhealthy food has a negative affect on our health, potentially more negative than the food itself. If you think about it, eating an unhealthy food once is not going to make you gain weight or affect your health. However, eating unhealthy foods on a regular basis is going to have an undesirable impact.
Next time you eat something that is unhealthy, give yourself a little bit of slack. We need to be much kinder to ourselves in order to change the negative behavior. If we beat ourselves up over it, we are more likely to perform the act again. The opposite, more productive reaction, would be to acknowledge the choice we made and truly enjoy that moment. If we allow ourselves to enjoy the moment, then we won’t need as many of those moments to fulfill us.
What would your life be like if you treated food and your body with gentleness, playfulness, honesty, respect and love? The next time you eat your soul food, do so with awareness and without guilt, and enjoy all the healing and nourishment it brings you.