When I was in recovery, my relationship with food felt a lot like a really unhealthy romantic relationship. Among a slew of crappy emotions, food made me feel obsessed, ashamed, guilty and maybe even a little crazy sometimes. Not so coincidentally, my worst relationship ever also made me feel that way.
Have you ever been through a break up in which everything reminds you of your ex? Perhaps a song, a place, a movie, or a smell make you think of that person? Your heartbreak seems inescapable, because the memories keep happening and your heart keeps feeling.
The trouble is, just like those memories with your ex, FOOD is also everywhere. Heck, when your body is hungry you think of food, when you smell something cooking you're reminded of food, when you're out with friends you're surrounded by food. When you look in the mirror you're reminded of your weight. When you try on clothes you're reminded of your weight. When you see other people you're reminded of your weight. When you go on Instagram you're reminded of your weight and also food. It's constant. And those unhealthy thoughts continue to swirl around your brain, making that difficult super difficult.
But let's scale it back to the break up analogy.
For me, my game changing move when getting through a heartbreak is BLOCKING my exes on all forms of social media. Out of sight, out of mind, as they say. Once I have the courage to hit the block button, the true healing begins. Instead of having constant reminders of my ex, I suddenly stop wondering as much, and the reminders aren't so in-my-face. It's real, and it's powerful and I swear by this tactic. It's the best way to shut the door and start fresh.
So, if you haven't already, it's time to break up with your crappy relationship to food. There are so many better relationships out there! Ones that aren't so abusive and stressful, ones that leave you feeling loved, energized and fulfilled.
Like blocking your ex, there are environmental changes you can make that can potentially catalyze your recovery. These are simple environmental changes that will inevitably impact your thoughts and actions. I find taking action like this can revitalize your energy, bring a more positive outlook, and boost motivation to keep moving forward.
So, here they are:
1) Smash your scale- Think of this as the break up itself. Bring your scale outside and smash is to smithereens. Good bye weighing yourself. Good bye hating yourself for what the scale tells your. Buh-bye.
5) Ignore nutrition labels- Unless you have allergies or dietary restrictions, you really need to notice your tendency to look at nutrition labels and stop relying on them to make food decisions. If you're in recovery, nutrition labels are purely "negative vibes". Recovery is the time to notice your cravings, eat what you want, and re-learn your body's hunger signals. If you want Fruit Loops for breakfast, do it up! Intuitive eating comes with trusting your body and trusting the food you eat. Ignoring nutrition labels is a small way to let go of the militant control you might have over your diet right now.
3) Give your closet a makeover- It's time to throw out those clothes you no longer fit into and buy clothes that do. If you're saving a pair of "skinny" jeans from 2012, you gotta let that go. If you have items in your closet deigned to "cover" the body you're ashamed of, throw those out too. If you have a bra you can't fit it, that's gotta go. There are so many hot new clothes out there waiting for you! Letting those material items go will shift your energy and help you embrace the transformation (physical, mental and emotional) that you're going through.
4) Unfollow any any triggering social media accounts- ANY accounts that glorify dieting need to get the eff off your feed! Any "fitspo" or "fitstagram" accounts should also be deleted. Accounts of supermodels, celebrities, or anybody who remind you of your negative relationship with food (or body) need to be unfollowed and replaced with body positive accounts. Honestly, if you're really ready for change, delete your Instagram for a few weeks (or forever) and see how much lighter your life feels.