How Has Having a Healthier Relationship With Food Changed Your Life?

Hi all! You may or may not have noticed that I’ve been a little more quiet than usual. I’m nearing the manuscript delivery deadline for my book, and I’ve been pouring so much into it that I’m basically…exhausted. It’s a good tired, but it’s still damn tired.

Let's take a minute to celebrate all the little ways our lives get better as we get saner about food!

One thing that’s been on my mind during this whole process is how much my life has changed during my quest to get sane about food. How much stopping binge eating has actually affected every other area of my life. And none of it has anything to do with weight. It’s all about the journey—the steps I had to take to get better.

The books I read let me understand I wasn’t crazy, or a freak, for stuffing my face like I did allowed my self-esteem to start healing. Therapy helped me heal some of the deeper pain and fears that were often causing me to eat in the first place. Mentorship from and fellowship with people in my support groups gave me hope and tools and community. Meditation calmed my mind and took away some of the anxiety that also drove me to eat.

I’m still growing and changing—and my relationship with food continues to evolve—but I will say that I am more emotionally stable, more normal about food, more comfortable in my body, more comfortable with success and less afraid of change than I ever have been. It’s amazing, and I’m incredibly grateful for it.

Let’s make this day all about hope and gratitude: What ways (big OR small!) have you noticed yourself or your life change as you move forward and start healing your relationship with food?

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6 Responses to How Has Having a Healthier Relationship With Food Changed Your Life?

  1. Heather says:

    This is a great opportunity to reflect on our progress so far, big or small, as you say, Sunny.

    For me, I’ve been actively trying to do something about my unhealthy relationship with food and myself since around Christmas. Thus far:

    - I’ve tried new foods I’d never have dreamed of putting near my mouth, like black pudding, scallops and pork belly. I’d been a ‘vegetarian’ for most my life because of my fears of certain foods and with my boyfriend’s good influence, I’ve braved new foods often enough to now try foods of my own accord.

    - I’ve had new experiences of things I’ve always wanted to try, like ballet classes. The value in this was the daring to go, even though I was petrified, and just have a go. It proved that I can do things if I want to, as long as I show willing to put myself out there.

    - I’ve read loads of books on the subject and I’m starting to take on board some of their points little by little.

    - I’ve learnt that whilst rigidly sticking to any kind of food regime is unhealthy for me, logging my food is helpful in making me conscious of what I am doing and eating. It is a way for me to acknowledge that yes, I did eat that food. I am not using this in the ways I did when I had anorexia - I am using it as a help rather than a hinderance, and when I feel like it.

    - I’ve learnt that I’m not as in love with chocolate and sweets as I thought. For the most part, I find myself craving vegetables and proper meals because these are things I don’t always have in my house, if I’m honest.

    - I’ve put aside some of my fears of weigh scales. I can get on one now and again, and not crumble if it doesn’t say what I’d like it to say. It just is. Since doing this, my weight has gone up and down, but at the moment I seem to have lost around half a stone of late without any dieting. I can’t quite let myself believe this to be the case just yet. However rather than saying to myself it mustn’t be real, I will keep going as I am and see what happens.

    - I have been going to support groups for people with all kinds of eating disorder. This shows me that it’s not only me who has a funny relationship with food, and that people of all sizes have food issues. This felt important because I never felt thin enough to have a problem, when I can now see this isn’t the case. I’ve also kept touch with a group of girls with food and esteem issues and we plan to meet regularly to support each other and give each other a positive boost.

    - I’ve learnt positivity isn’t a hippy-drippy concept. It’s okay to try and be a little more positive, and to still not be a happy, clappy person. I can be me and be positive.

    - I am starting to make in-roads in other areas of my life that I believe my food issues mask. I’ve made peace with my relationship with my Mum and have set my own boundaries for it. I’m trying to deal with my insecurities which mean I don’t feel good enough for my boyfriend, and so make me nervous of losing him. I’m trying to deal with my fears about making friends with other women, due to past experiences.

    - I am starting to look at what I see as ‘fat’ and ‘thin’ so I can hopefully keep the aspects of each I value, and move towards a body that is right for me without the worries.

    There are probably other things too. Looking at it, I’m doing a lot and I’m pretty proud. Yes, I want to be better faster, but it is what it is and if I keep chipping away, one day I’ll look back and see I’ve moved mountains!

    • Sunny says:

      Yay, Heather, yay! I think it is incredibly important for all of us to really pay attention to and acknowledge all of the big and small ways that we move forward and change. Just like we do in those great Little Victories posts. If we don’t take a few moments to step back and look at our lives, we often completely overlook the positive things happening in them. xo…Sunny

    • Katie says:

      What a wonderful summary of positive changes, Heather!

      • Heather says:

        Thanks Katie :-)

        I only wish I could see these changes in my body as much as I’d like! I imagine that this will come in time, though, and I need to be patient. Patience is hard work!

  2. Angie says:

    As I have moved forward to heal my relationship with food, I am becoming more honest and in the moment. These are character traits that I have always valued, but haven’t had the courage to do on a daily basis. For example, I am having a bad day. I really, really, really felt tempted to binge. I’m trying to take it one minute at a time to stay in the moment, do my best, be forgiving of my shortcomings, and stay honest with my feelings to not binge.

    I’m also trying to practice more self care. I usually binge when I don’t get enough sleep, think about how the binge foods affects my body, and don’t think about putting my health / wellbeing first. If I take care of myself, my relationship with food seems a lot more sane.

  3. Eleanor says:

    Everytime I try a new approach to eating healthier it turns into a new form of disorder…

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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.