Updated: Apr 23
The only thing that is with you from the time you're born until the time you die is your body.
The obvious thing about living in your body is that it needs sources of energy to function. "We all gotta eat!" is fitting to say since we are designed to put food in our bodies.
Your body can be thought of as a temple made of infrastructure like muscles to carry out different activities, fat to keep you warm, and so many organs with the ultimate job of keeping you alive! It's a gift that keeps on giving.
We may come to realize that food is also a gift. The all-time best-seller book in the world (the Bible) tells us that food is the fruit of our labor and a gift from God.
Comfort, nutrition, junk, cheat day, trash, health, good and bad. These are just some of the labels that we often put on food in our Western culture.
The truth is that food plays a central role in every culture; bringing people together in the holiday seasons, or as part of a family tradition.
It's painful when our relationship with food becomes toxic and when we habitually choose food that doesn't serve us. So let's uncover what makes our relationship with food important.
Loving Food and Food Loving Us
In every relationship, there is a game of give and take. Our relationship with food is no different. We take food into our bodies and we use it to give out our energy.
Continually choosing food that is kind to our bodies can unlock contentment. I know that feeling of eating colorful, wholesome foods; it's like my body is smiling back at me from the inside. Is that relatable to you?
Our bodies are made up of taste buds that need to be satisfied too so we also need to find foods that aren't dreadful to consume. There is an immense variety of recipes, cuisines, treats, and produce out there, so finding good food to love is an adventure!
A loving relationship with food can be found when we feel like doing a happy dance when we eat and the food is almost like medicine to us.
Balance and Mindfulness and Grace
When we have information on what's good for us, based on personal experience and facts, we have a responsibility to make better decisions.
But, we're imperfect creatures living in an imperfect world so mistakes are always part of the story.
If we had no taste buds, then we wouldn't need delightful treats to eat from time to time. The key is to practice balance by not falling into the all-or-nothing way of thinking and meeting ourselves with grace.
I used to feel immense guilt for overeating carbs. Because of my all-or-nothing thinking, I was eating beyond feeling satisfied and thinking "I already messed up, might as well keep doing it." This was not a healthy relationship with food; I was being abusive with it and it was not loving me in return. The root of the problem was that I would go to an extreme because of a situation that wasn't.
By just paying attention to why I'm eating what I'm eating, I found that I could give myself more grace. After all, grace becomes easier when we're mindful instead of judgmental.
For example, eating birthday cake is reframed from putting calories into my body to enjoying a sweet and special treat that was part of a family celebration.
The key to balance is to know that the majority of the time we have to choose what we need instead of what we want, but what we want should still be very much appreciated.
The Cherry on Top
We can choose to appreciate our bodies and food as gifts, as things we have to be good stewards of. It's possible to have a healthy relationship with food when we know that we can love food and it can love us back.
What do you think of this take on a healthy relationship with food?
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Wishing you the best in your journey of discovery,