Eating healthy is most often seen as a means to an end.
As women, we’re not taught from childhood to focus on our relationship with food.
We’re taught to focus on what food can do for us.
Whether that’s eating unhealthy foods to cover up the stress of a bad day.
Or eating healthier foods to shed pounds so we feel better.
There’s no denying that the way we view food as become shallow and results-based in our current society.
So, I’d like to encourage you to think deeper.
And to examine what relationship with food you want in the future.
Keep in mind this isn’t a fluffy practice to make you feel better about food.
This is crucial in getting the results you want with your body long-term.
Whether that includes weight loss, ditching the dieting, or simply feeling your healthiest.
Most resources on healthy eating will tell you to focus on the actions.
The actions being what to eat, when to eat it, and how much of it to eat.
Which is what most of us want in the beginning.
We want the simple step-by-step actions to take in order to get the results we want.
As many of you likely already know, this never seems to work out.
You’ll get the “right” food actions, and then somehow don’t stick to them long-term.
You might think, “What gives? Why is this so hard for me?”.
The reason why this doesn’t work, is because you haven’t changed your thoughts about food.
If you try and take actions with the same thoughts you’ve always had about food & your body, you won’t succeed.
You will self-sabotage and re-create the same results every time.
This is because of the self-coaching model.
It’s the way your brain (and the world) works:
For more on this, be sure to read this blog post.
The main point of this model, is that your thoughts lead to your actions, which then determine your results.
You must change your thoughts about food first to take action differently with it.
And your thoughts about food represent your relationship with food.
To have a clear picture of your current relationship with food, you need to understand your thoughts about food.
To help yourself do this, you can ask yourself one simple question:
If food could talk, what would it say about your relationship to it?
Would it say that you take it for granted?
Or that you ask too much of it?
Or that you only love it when it does something for you in return?
Or that you don’t check in on your relationship enough?
Or maybe it feels neglected because you two don’t have much of a relationship at all…
Take this exercise seriously and do it for yourself.
Get out a pen and paper. Write down what comes up for you.
This practice will reveal so much.
After you write down the current state of your relationship with food, take a moment to think:
How has your relationship with food led to your results with it?
Think back on your history with food.
And how the way you treated food in the past has led to the results you have today.
Has your relationship with food caused overeating patterns?
Has your relationship caused undereating patterns?
How has your relationship led to yo-yo dieting tendencies?
Your journey with food will be completely unique to you.
And so will the results that you currently have with it.
Don’t rush the process of answering these questions for yourself.
It’s so worth it and will shed so much light for you.
It’s important that you have compassion and curiosity for your current relationship with food.
You’ll need to remove the drama and focus on the facts.
And the facts are your current thoughts about food and what led you to those thoughts.
Once you’re aware of those things, you can focus on creating the relationship you want with food.
When you create a relationship with food you want, you are more easily able to gain the results you want with your body.
So, this practice is non-negotiable if you want to eat healthier long-term and lose weight sustainably.
The first step you can take towards this is through visualization.
You need to visualize the type of relationship with food you want.
This sounds woo-woo, but it’s very simple.
You simply need to take time to visualize the future version of yourself.
And then observe what type of relationship with food she has.
Does she stress about food all the time?
Or does she not worry about what she’ll eat?
Does she cook for herself at home?
Or does she eat out a lot?
What types of food does she enjoy eating?
What types of food doesn’t she enjoy?
Think about your future self’s relationship with food on every level.
This will reveal the type of relationship with food that you really want.
You’ll then need to ask yourself what thoughts she’s having about food.
Remember, your thoughts about food define the relationship you have with it.
And your thoughts lead to your results with food as well.
So, what thoughts is this future version of yourself thinking about food?
Once again, this exercise will look different from everyone.
Give yourself permission to embrace this exercise and write whatever comes to mind.
What you come up with may surprise you!
Now it’s your turn to do these exercises for yourself.
Answer these questions to bring awareness to your current relationship with food, and the future relationship you want:
As always, I can’t wait to see what you come up with.
Do this exercise over and over again. Get curious. It’s so powerful.
This is the first and most crucial step to healing your relationship with food and getting the results you want with your body.
You won’t be sorry.
Hey there! I'm Kat Rentas. I’m a certified eating psychology coach for women who believes that eating healthy should feel simple and sustainable. I teach hundreds of high-performing women to change their eating habits without the overwhelm. Want to change your eating habits in a way that is aligned with your needs, preferences, and goals? You’re in the right place. You can read my full story here.