In our diet-obsessed, restriction-focused society it seems hard enough to have a healthy relationship with food, let alone a love affair with eating.
Many people worry that enjoying eating will lead to scary consequences. That they’ll eat everything in sight, and won’t be able to control themselves. And many are just so used to seeing food as the enemy, as the very thing that stands in the way of their weight-loss goals or flawless figures.
And the very idea that we can enjoy food is not just scary, but also strange. It seems novel given the cultural climate we’re in, where food is vilified and categorized into good and bad. Where people scorn their cravings and hunger signals.
That’s why I wanted to share Dr. May’s thoughts on eating here. She writes:
Just like a relationship with a partner, your thoughts and feelings about food reveal the state of your relationship. Would you say that your relationship with food reflects love, care, curiosity, anticipation, joy, and contentment? Or is it boring, predictable, taken for granted – or even abusive?
Since this is an important lifelong relationship, perhaps it’s time to reignite that spark by having a love affair with your food. I don’t mean the secretive, cheating kind of affair. I mean rediscovering the reason you fell in love in the first place.
Because there’s nothing wrong with enjoying eating or loving food. In fact, she says that “I believe that healing your relationship with food requires you to love food more, not less.”
As she explains, “When you really love someone, you spend time with them, give them your full attention, and respect them.” She suggests taking yourself out on a special dinner (or lunch) date.
I know that changing one’s relationship with food isn’t that simple. But this is a good first step in starting to enjoy food, getting curious about what you like and don’t like (not based on what some diet says) and learning to nourish yourself.
These are Dr. May’s excellent tips on how to do just that (taken verbatim from her newsletter with permission):
You can sign up for Dr. May’s newsletter here (at the top).
What do you think of these tips? What’s helped you heal your relationship with food and enjoy eating?
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Last reviewed: 25 Apr 2012