From Fear to Freedom: Embracing Food as a Friend on My Journey to Self-Love

I started to fear food early in middle school, a time when I acutely felt that I wasn’t as skinny as the other girls, nor could I eat like them without consequences. For nearly three decades, food became my enemy and I lived in terror that food would lead to weight gain, a prospect that paralyzed me.

My battle with appetite mirrored this fear. I was convinced that yielding to hunger would lead to uncontrollable weight gain, leading me to ignore my body’s natural cues. In pursuit of “perfection,” I obsessively controlled everything I ate – the quality, the calories, the timing. My tools were diet pills, excessive caffeine, and often, starvation, all to maintain an illusion of control.

This cycle of control, perfectionism, and viewing food as an adversary persisted until my late 30s. Unbeknownst to me, I was depriving myself not just of food’s joy, but of a fuller life. My obsession with achieving the “perfect” body, which I thought was key to happiness and love, cost me dearly in intimacy, genuine connections, and true happiness. I spent decades chasing an elusive ideal, only to find that it didn’t bring the fulfillment I had imagined.

Discovering The Institute for The Psychology of Eating had a major impact on my life.  Here, I embarked on a transformative journey that reshaped my understanding of food and my body. Food, I realized, was not merely sustenance, but a source of nourishment and joy. The concept of embracing food as a friend, not an enemy, was revolutionary to me. I began to eat slowly, savoring each meal, allowing myself to enjoy foods I had once forbidden. This newfound appreciation for the pleasure in eating was about connecting with the experience, acknowledging the nourishment each bite provided, and finding joy in the act of eating.

As I began to view food as a source of nourishment rather than a threat, I noticed profound changes. I started tuning into my body’s hunger signals, eating when hungry and stopping when satisfied, reminding myself that I could always eat again when the need arose.  The rigid control I had exerted over my diet began to fade. This journey wasn’t just about food; it was about forging a loving relationship with my body, learning to listen and respond to it, and ending the punishing regime I had subjected it to.

This new relationship with my body and food required patience, acceptance, forgiveness, and attentive listening. It’s a continuous process, one I am still navigating. But today, I can genuinely say that I love food. The pleasure I find in eating, in being present and connected with each meal, is immense. More importantly, this journey has empowered me. I am now more connected to myself, living my life with purpose and helping others develop a healthy relationship with food and their bodies.


A transformative force in the world of well-being, Amber mended her profound relationship with both herself and food, following years of battling disordered eating. Her unwavering commitment to guiding others towards food freedom and self-love has become her life’s mission, fostering a path to joy and fulfillment.

Her devotion is channeled towards teens and women, where she nurtures the cultivation of harmonious connections with food and body. Her expertise includes weight loss, body image, self-confidence, energy and fatigue, binge-eating, overeating, restricting, and promoting mindful nourishment. Moreover, she seamlessly blends her culinary background of over 25 years with a holistic approach to crafting nutritious meal plans and imparting invaluable insights for optimum health.

Join Amber on this life-changing journey towards well-being and the vibrant, happy, and fulfilled life you deserve.

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