How Healthy is Your Relationship With Food?

It’s Day 1 of the HealthyGirl.org Book Club, hooray! As many of you know, our first book club pick is Crave by Cynthia Bulik, Ph.D. We’re going to post on a topic or thought from each chapter once a week. We hope you’ll read along with us, but you don’t have to in order to get something really helpful out of these posts.

The first thing that really struck me in Dr. Bulik’s first chapter was this super simple list of questions that she uses to help people figure out if they have an unhealthy relationship with food.

How many of her Qs do you say yes to?
1. Do you feel compelled to eat when an urge to binge is coming on?

2. Have you always had “issues” with food?
3. Do you have negative weight associations, i.e., “fat” is “bad” and “thin” is “good”?
4. Do you frequently lie about the amount of food you eat?
5. Do you often wait until you’re alone to eat?
6. Once you start eating do you have difficulty stopping?
7. Do you build your day around eating?
8. Do you hide secret stashes of food around the house/in the car?
9. Do you have feelings of shame, guilt, remorse or inadequacy after overeating?
10. Do you have a list of “bad foods” that you secretly crave?
11. Do you often “black out” or “zone out” during overeating, to the point where you barely remember, let alone taste, what you ate?
At one time in my life I would’ve answered yes to nearly every single one of these questions. Now? It’s just two: Number 2, of course, and also number 6. (Sometimes it’s still tough for me to push my plate away, especially when I’m eating carbs.)

How many of these Qs from Dr. Bulik do you answer “yes” to? How many would you have said “yes” to a couple years ago? What does this say to you about your relationship with food?

xo…Sunny

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12 Responses to How Healthy is Your Relationship With Food?

  1. Shady says:

    Unfortunately I wasn’t able to track down a copy at my local library but this a great guide anyway. I answered yes to all questions except for number 8. And the only reason I was able to say no to that one is because I live alone so I have no need to hide food.

    • Sunny says:

      I can’t really tell from your comment, but I get the feeling you might feel bad about your answers to these Qs…don’t! We have all been in the same boat–and you’re on your way to recovery! xo…Sunny

      • Shady says:

        Thanks Sunny.
        Yesterday I may have felt bad. Today,though, I’ve made some healthy decisions and I don’t feel bad. Today I feel empowered and like I can recover.

  2. Kate says:

    I answered yes to all except for building my day around eating.

    Anyway lol, I thought that we were doing the book club earlier and I’ve already read the book! I guess I’ll have to skim the chapters to refresh what I read.

  3. Veronica says:

    I said yes to every question except for 7&8 because I couldn’t answer yes or no to them. I don’t really plan my day around food but there are some nights where I think about what I’m going to have for breakfast and I seem like really excited for it. Then morning comes and I’ll just skip breakfast. Number 8, well, I don’t have secret stashes of food but I do hide all of my food wrappers so no one can know how much bags of chips or whatever I just had.

  4. Nichole says:

    I answered yes to 8 of them. Everything but lying about food, secret stashes and the list of “bad” foods. The only reason the “bad” food question wasn’t a yes is that it’s no secret that I crave Cheetos and ice cream. (Not together, though.)

  5. Gayle says:

    I’m almost halfway thru the book. Couldn’t help but chuckle when I answered a big ole yes to every question. I cannot help but wonder how much lighter my life would be, in every way, without food ruling it.

  6. Emily says:

    I’m batting 1.000 on these.

    1. Do you feel compelled to eat when an urge to binge is coming on? Yes. It’s like I stop thinking about anything else and I’m in a tunnel.

    2. Have you always had “issues” with food? For as long as I can remember, though I’m trying to pinpoint when it started to figure out the origins of my compulsion.

    3. Do you have negative weight associations, i.e., “fat” is “bad” and “thin” is “good”? Yes. I also think that that thin people are more deserving. I know I’m wrong, but it’s my instinctual reaction.

    4. Do you frequently lie about the amount of food you eat? Sort of. I don’t tell people. If asked, I would lie.

    5. Do you often wait until you’re alone to eat? All the time, whether it’s a regular meal or a binge. I even get annoyed when people try to talk to me while I’m having breakfast if I haven’t planned for it.

    6. Once you start eating do you have difficulty stopping? Absolutely.

    7. Do you build your day around eating? Yes. At breakfast, I think about what I’m going to have for lunch, dinner and snacks.

    8. Do you hide secret stashes of food around the house/in the car? I live alone, so I don’t need to hide food there. But I hide food at the office.

    9. Do you have feelings of shame, guilt, remorse or inadequacy after overeating? Yes.

    10. Do you have a list of “bad foods” that you secretly crave? Yes.

    11. Do you often “black out” or “zone out” during overeating, to the point where you barely remember, let alone taste, what you ate? Sometimes, yes, I’ve been surprised to see what wrappers are in the trash.

  7. L says:

    Yes to most of them. Maybe not 7, 8 and 10. It is no secret I constantly crave chocolate and melted cheese.

  8. Angie says:

    I answered yes to all questions except question 11. The first chapter of the book really helped me understand that my food issues are not isolated issues. I find that food has isolated me. It seems like the recovery from food issues does not have to be an isolated experience. That said, I am never sure how much to share because, at some point, I cross a line and feel too exposed. In a posting last week, I mentioned how my closest girl friends have no idea of my food issues. I really don’t want any friends to know because then I feel like they pay too close attention to me, food, etc. Disordered eating is hard enough to deal with – I don’t want anyone watching me. (However my husband is aware of everything and is completely supportive. I guess that means he’s the right guy for me. No judgment – just compassion and understanding. I also appreciate that he is not an enabler – just a person who accepts me as I am and rolls with the ups and downs.)

  9. jess says:

    I was surprised to see that I have a problem with #11. I cannot believe I cannot remeber what i have eaten, or what it tastes like when I eat.
    any suggestions?

  10. […] last HealthyGirl.org BookClub was ages ago. But now it’s starting up agan, this time using my new book, Food: The Good Girl’s […]

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Sunny Sea Gold

About the Author

Sunny Sea Gold is a media-savvy advocate and commentator specializing in binge eating disorder, cultural obsessions around food and weight, and raising children who have a healthy body image.