How to reduce food anxiety

woman deciding whether to eat healthy food or sweet cookies she craving

 

The day you were born, you activated your very first smart-device. With proper care and simple maintenance it has a lifetime guarantee; no upgrades needed. It is designed to give you the power to keep it running at optimal levels in its most current versions. In fact, if you transfer your power to an external source, the integrity of your device will be compromised and its operation will malfunction. Every single person has one of these devices; however, no two are the same. Every single one is unique.

Can you guess what it is?

{cue Jeopardy music}

The correct answer is: your body.

Your body comes with a one-of-a-kind, built-in Intuitive System that allows your body to tell you what it needs in order to keep you running healthy for a lifetime. Your intuition is connected to another fascinating system called your metabolism. The metabolism operates as a liaison between your intuition and internal processing systems within your body, such as digestion, hormones, mental function, and nutrient storage. Your body is the most powerful smart-device ever created!

When your body is running on low charge, it automatically sends signals to your brain letting you know what food or liquid it needs to get back to optimal performance. Tuning into and responding to these body signals is called intuitive eating. It is your intuition that reads the body signals, understands what those signals mean, and chooses the nutrient that will best fit the need.

Your intuition never turns off. It is the one thing in your life you can trust to keep your body healthy, and it’s exquisite bio-technology designed to keep anxiety from contaminating your food decisions.

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Dieting Advice Confusion Monitor Shows Diet Information And RecoUnfortunately, there’s a crisis of technical difficulties happening, and external sources of power are messing with our smart devices. Things like diets, cleanses, scales, ideal body image, and food trends interrupt our body signals, and we lose the connection with our Intuition system, thus manually overriding our smart devices by restricting calories and depriving critical nutrients.This causes breakdowns and malfunctions in our metabolism, resulting in a multitude of health problems including severe weight fluctuations, improper digestion, hormonal imbalances, and general shame and unhappiness with our bodies.

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I will give you a personal example of what this looks like, sans metaphor. As an active, high-anxiety Taekwondo student and mom of two energetic kids, I burn through mental and physical energy like fire on paper. My body is constantly sending me signals for carbohydrates, both complex (like bread, potatoes, pasta) and simple (chocolate, fruit, and really, anything sweet!).

Chocolate Brownie

Carbs and sugar are not the enemies.

It used to be that I’d call myself a “carb addict” and shame myself when I had a “high-carb day.” I’d chastise myself when I read all the media about how terrible carbs and sugar and calories are. I’d call myself a failure if I gave into the McDonald’s french fries or let myself have two desserts in one day. I began to force myself into self-discipline, going against what my body was asking for and hyper-controlling what food I ate according to calorie and nutrition rules set by our culture’s health industry.

So, if my body craved bread, noodles, or potatoes, I fed it something like spaghetti squash with marinara or a lettuce-wrapped burger (with no mayo or cheese). If I craved potato chips, I ate carrot sticks or dried fruit instead. All these substitutes were “healthier choices” and would lead me to a happier, healthier me!

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What our health/fitness culture fails to communicate is that carrot sticks don’t do the same thing as potato chips inside the body. When my body is signalling to me that it wants a sandwich with all the fixin’s or hearty plate of fettuccine Alfredo, it’s telling me that it needs some serious energy replacement for the exercise, mental fatigue, and housework I endured today. If I ignore those signals and feed my body a salad instead, I’ve given my body fiber and water, rather than a recharge of complex, long-term energy (also known as carbohydrates). It’d be like the gas light coming on in your car and filling your tank with diesel instead of gasoline. You’re not going to make it far!

Over 13 years of this behavior gave me a broken metabolism, a body that was fighting to keep me alive, and a ticket into anorexia recoveryThe more in touch I was with the rules of “health and fitness” the less connected I was with my body’s unique needs. In losing touch with my body signals, I lost touch with my ability to eat intuitively… to feel, know and respond to my body, trusting my body to care for me in return.

Thankfully, I have the smartest device ever designed. When I removed the signal interruptions (media, diets, food trends, the scale, etc.), I was able to reboot. It took a while, but I recovered my connection with my Intuition, restored my Metabolism to normal function, thus resetting trust in my body again. In being reconnected with my body, I feel, know, and understand what it needs and why. I feed it with pleasure and it responds, giving me optimal performance in my active, high-anxiety, Taekwondo, parenting lifestyle.

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Terrible title, phenomenal content!

Terrible title, phenomenal content!

If you’re struggling with yo-yo dieting, disordered eating habits, or an eating disorder, evidenced by, among other things, an extreme dislike of your body and unhappiness with food, be encouraged that you own a super-smart bio-technological device powered by YOUR intuition that will help you find peace again.

Start by researching intuitive eating; I highly recommend the book you see to the left here. And most importantly, give yourself grace and time as you learn how to reconnect with your device.

 

 

 

 

*This post is simply a second introduction to intuitive eating. In future posts, I’ll discuss intuitive eating in relation to medical conditions and children.

One thought on “How to reduce food anxiety

  1. andrew

    Very thoughtful and informative post. I truly believe a lot of people will befefit greatly from reading your words. Thanks for reminding all of us that our body will take care of us if we allow it to. When we get swept up in societal pressures/influences we tend to forget that our body’s “smart” functions are much more reliable than any outside diet or device. Awesome message!

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