For as long as I can remember, my life has been built around what foods I “should” or “shouldn’t” eat. This would flow into so many daily decisions and often looking back, it would ruin my enjoyment of many moments. Dinners out with friends staring at the menu and deciding if I would be “good” that night or if I would choose to indulge and then likely spend the rest of the dinner feeling guilty for my decision and silently beat myself up. This is just one example of so many where my preoccupation and discomfort around food would impact what could otherwise be meaningful and enjoyable interactions. And it would feed into my body image as well where feeling yucky about how I looked or felt in certain clothes would put me in a bad mood and negatively impact vacations, social situations, family gatherings, and endless other connections. And let’s not even discuss the power that the number on the scale has held for me in the past.
I have spent years and years trying to peel back the layers and heal my relationship with food and adapt a more positive body image or at least a more neutral one. I would be lying if I said none of the examples above ever come up anymore but I am constantly trying to adapt my motto to JUST BE. To simply enjoy the foods that nourish me both physically and emotionally. To stop labelling foods as good or bad or categorizing my behaviour in the same way depending on what I choose to eat in a given day. I have learned that most of my struggles around food have little to do with food itself and are very tied to bypassing tuning into my feelings and being well connected to my body.
Watching others around me spend so much time and energy focused on what they are eating, to the point that it is taking away from showing up in other areas of their lives truly saddens me. My best advice is that we all need to stop looking outwards when it comes to healing our relationship with food. No diet, no cleanse and no workout program is going to change these behaviours, and rather implementing restriction will only perpetuate this cycle. We need to go inward and learn to tune into our emotions and feelings and develop self-care strategies for tending to those. We need to recognize that food can be pleasurable and that it shouldn’t be something we fear. We need tools to get back into our bodies because so many of us have spent years disembodied, due to trauma or other reasons and as a result, are living in our heads. And most importantly, we need to honour our other amazing qualities and contributions to the world that have nothing to do with what we eat in a day or what the number on the scale says. We need to shine our light and JUST BE.
I am an Occupational Therapist and a Certified Mind Body Eating Coach. As someone who has struggled for so many years with my relationship with food and poor body image, I am passionate about helping other women with similar struggles. Through one on one coaching, I aim to help women peel back the layers around issues such as chronic dieting, overeating, and emotional and binge eating to gain a deeper understanding of the message behind these struggles. I help my clients realize that dieting and restriction are not long-term solutions and I aim to provide them with more productive strategies while learning to accept and eventually love themselves in the process.