This post is something very close to me. Why? For quite a long time, I struggled with my relationship with food. As I have shared already on Simply Martha, Orthorexia broke up the normal eating routine and turned it upside down with restriction, macro- counting and a constant obsession with food/numbers.
Lots has changed from back then to know, but its not been whats on my plate. In fact, I eat fairly similar (probably just a lot more of it!). But it is my mindset and attitude towards food that has significantly changed and improved. As I train almost everyday, I live a extremely active lifestyle, job and even down time, my relationship with food has changed accordingly.
A hard relationship at first to change with, but now food is my fuel source. Its the 'lets have an extra banana because I am training' or 'add a few more potatoes to that dish because I cycled back from university'. I eat not only because I enjoy it, but because it enables me to keep the lifestyle I want to live.
Often when talking about food, mostly it can get quite 'sciencey'. The digestive is system is the main attraction. It is constantly converting food we ingest and processing it whether we are physically active or sedentary. This post is not about the actual process of food. Rather the mindset we have towards it, and how we can change our thinking behaviours and outlook on food by converting the mind to look at food in a different way.
As I have talked about before on my blog. My behaviour and thoughts around food have changed both from a negative, detrimental to health to a sustainable healthy and enjoyable one. Throughout both experiences, food was always (and still) on my mind. It is something (I now) enjoy with a big passion. Therefore the way I think about food now is something both healthy for mind and body.
During my orthorexia, when seeing my councillor, she often referred to food as fuel. Which, only I can see this now, but is a perfectly reasonable and understandably way of thinking about food. Fuel is essential. Whether that be a car, a toy doll, a phone. Everything is fuel by an energy source. Ours is food.
My councillor said everything that a 'healthy mind' would understand about food, and why it shouldn't be seen as a negative or something to fear. However, my mindset wasn't ready to hear or fully appreciate this way of thinking. It wasn't until I had fully changed and found my own little mantras about food that I could then see why food is fuel.
If you find yourself feeling guilty or overthinking about food here are some little 'conversion' phrases that help me....
Negative // Postive
1. Monday morning I need to sweat out the weekend // Let the weekend fuel a great workout and achieve a PB session
2. I'll eat the whole thing or nothing at all // I really would enjoy this on 'X' when I can fully savour the moment
3. I need food // I need fuel
4. I've been so 'clean' this week // I haven't had enough to fuel my energy this week - therefore I need a boost
5. I can't have that // having every know and again won't make a significant difference
6. I can cut it out // I need to put something else back in to replace it
7. I dont deserve it I didn't work hard enough // I deserve it because I need food whether I worked hard or not!
8. I feel hungry but can carry on without // I'll perform better with food if I want to achieve my optimum performance
9. Move more, eat less // move more, eat to fuel it - feel fantastic because of it
10. This is good food, this is bad food // all food has a purpose, whether that be a nutrient, pleasure or energy
11. I'm happy without it // LIFE IS TOO SHORT NOT TO HAVE CAKE!
I hope you can see that by changing the way we view food, you can both enjoy it without fear or overeating, overanalysing or second - guessing and doubting your own feelings and triggers for food. With most things in life, easier said then done. But hopefully with some of these little prompt phrases that can help you changed for a negative - positive thinking it may start that process a bit sooner.
NASA would never send a rocket to complete a mission without enough fuel - you are no different.
Lots of love,
Simply Martha x
Disclaimer*- this post is aimed at people who STRUGGLE with food. Diagnosed or not, if you feel you fear food or analysis it that it is detrimental to your mental health please seek further support and guidance. But let this post be a positive reminder that you DESERVE fuel.
You're a rocket!