When you are trying to recover from an eating disorder, your relationship with food can be quite difficult. After spending so much time fighting, controlling or avoiding food, how can you make amends? In reality, this journey looks very different for everyone. However, for most, compassion, trust and curiosity are an essential part of making peace with food.
Changing any behavior takes time. Recovering from what is often a very strenuous relationship with food usually has many ups and downs. Whenever things become difficult, it’s important to remember you are trying the best you can. In these moments, give yourself an immense dose of self-compassion.
When food has been the enemy for so long, it can be hard to imagine a time when food peace will come. However, trusting your journey is fundamental. Every challenging moment has something to teach us. When we encounter barriers, we come out stronger on the other side. At the end of the day, what matters most is how we feel every day while we are moving in the direction we want to go. Focus on feeling gratitude for how far you have come and trust the process.
Increasing understanding of our eating experience holds so much power. After all, the first step toward any change is awareness. Ask yourself:
- Are my thoughts helpful? Are they bringing me closer to where I want to go?
- What emotions am I feeling? What could be the cause of these emotions?
- Does this food or meal bring me pleasure?
Notice your experience without judgment. Try to view eating as an experiment instead of a task. When food and eating are approached with curiosity, you can start to recognize the unhelpful thoughts and food rules holding you back. It can also help you reconnect with food by being more aware of the pleasure and satisfaction it can bring into your life.
While making peace with food is often a windy road, it is a worthy journey. Let go of judgment, perfection and shame. While all emotions serve a purpose, these experiences very rarely lead to feelings of peace or happiness. Be patient, be kind, and be gentle.
Food peace will come.
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