How do you view food? Is it your friend or your worst enemy?

I hear often in my private practice client’s describing their relationship with food the same way I’ve heard people describe their lover.

They say I can’t live without it! I love it so much! Food completes me! Food is my friend.

When people binge it’s typically done in secret and alone. Often there’s a lot of planning and plotting that happens. This creates excitement for many women.  It’s similar to having an affair with a lover – it’s ‘wrong’, it’s naughty, it’s risky, there’s a lot of anticipation building and it’s a secret you might be carrying around.

Food is not your friend and it’s not your lover.  Food does not have power over you. Food is food.

Many see food as an emotion enhancer.  If you’re using food in this way it means that you aren’t feeling good in yourself and you’re using food to try to make yourself feel better.  I know that you know that it’s only temporary and then you feel even worse about yourself. Let’s not even talk about the shame and the guilt you feel afterwards  – which makes you want to eat again huh?

We need to take the power away from food.  Food is not going to make you feel better (at least not after the first bite!).  It serves to distract you from your internal discomfort and numbs your feelings.

Using food in this way is a band aid.  If you want to start to develop a new relationship with food and your body, you need to start labeling what’s going on for you (what are your thoughts, feelings and sensations) and be able to manage the discomfort (easier said than done I know – but it was easy you’d be doing it now right?). It doesn’t last forever and it’s so much healthier to have new coping strategies that no longer involve food.