There was a long time where I believed that my inability to have (robotic) control over food was my biggest weakness. I filed it away as an indisputable fact that: Me + Food = Failure. It didn’t help that my mother also firmly believed this as well about me, and constantly implored me to overcome my addiction to food. For the sake of my health. And weight.
Worry over my “food weakness” and “addiction” then led to action: a continuous attempted (and sometimes successful) robot-like relationship with food. Until it backfired, of course. But, to my detriment, I was actually very “good” and robotic for months on end. I treated myself and food like a math equation, and reveled in the success of doing something ‘perfectly’. I was very good at eating the food in the “Allowed” column, and shunning, fearing and preaching against the food in the “Avoid” column.
Let’s not forget that this created the girl who eventually needed to give herself (a few) orthorexia interventions and eventually start a site devoted to helping people avoid and overcome orthorexia and diet mentality. Because, in the end, that life of feeling extremely in control with food, and then subsequently extremely out of control with food, was miserable. It wasn’t really living at all.
A recovery journey like this is a long one- and I couldn’t say that I am finished. And now the arguably harder journey has become accepting a body that doesn’t fit into my previous idea of “acceptable”. But as far as food goes, I know without a doubt that de-villainizing food is essential for a whole, nourishing existence.
Eating food is not a weakness. And you do not have a food addiction that needs to be conquered. That mentality will only push you further and further into a relationship that does not serve you.
If you feel like you ‘can’t get enough of food’ it is for the following reasons. You either:
1. Really aren’t getting enough food, still.
2. Never got enough food, and so now your body is going to make sure it does and-then-some, until it can trust that it will be fed
3. Or both.
Of course, there is Emotional Eating, which is very real. Yet still, when I was “dieting”, I often blamed my “addiction” to food on emotional eating. I was convinced my downfall was a combination of eating the wrong addictive foods (whatever that was at the time), and also my weakness for using food for anything other than virtuous, clean fuel (whatever that was at the time). For “eating emotionally” instead of like a robot.
I know that many people including myself eat for “the wrong reasons”: anxiety, boredom, sadness, and denial. But I truly believe, that once you take away the “denial” factor- conquering emotional eating is much, much easier.
Don’t you think it would be easier not to eat out of anxiety if you could actually count on being amply fed? With food you enjoy? Don’t you think it would bee easier to identify when you were eating out of sadness if you weren’t also starving on the “_________” diet? Or trying to cut down on ___________?
Once you feed yourself with trust and love for the purpose of nourishment and make a commitment to accept yourself during the process- the other reasons for emotional eating will be easier to identify with and cope with. Once you are living in a nourished body and can be counted on to feed yourself plentifully and wholesomely, the rest is a lot easier to bear.
If you have always felt like food is your weakness, believe me when I say it is not the food. It is your relationship with the food. The fear of it only perpetuates the dysfunction.
Food can end up being your strength. And it can be a nourishing cornerstone in your life and your emotional health.