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Try a Little Tenderness: Building a Better Relationship With Food

better relationship with food

Image thanks to duh.denise

You wanna know something I’ve been thinking about lately?
Maybe we would all be better off if we treated our relationship with food the same way that we treat our relationships with people. Whether it’s with friends, spouses, lovers, or family, we need these relationships to be healthy and nurturing.
They need to be fostered – we have to put effort into them , and we have to give time, love, and attention to in order for them to thrive.
A bad relationship can drain you of your energy and leave you feeling hopeless and purchasing Adele records.  A bad diet does the exact same thing. Minus the Adele records.
Here are a few ideas that can help you bring a little romance back to your relationship with food.
Learn to love it, and it will love you back.

Food Is Not The Enemy

How healthy is it if you constantly treat your significant other as an adversary? If you dread the sound of their voice and get into an argument every time you see them? Isn’t any relationship like this pretty much doomed from the start (or too much like a soap opera to survive)?
Food is not your enemy.
One of the most powerful things that you can do is make peace with food. Learn to understand it better and accept that it is a necessary part of life. Realize that it is powerful medicine, and that it sustains you.

Fad Diets Make For Bad Breakups

Do you know someone who gets their heart broken time after time because they jump into every relationship head first without stopping to consider the consequences? Or one who completely changes themselves to fit their new partner? I know I do.
This is how I feel about fad diets and all of those “quick” fix solutions to weight loss. Too many of us jump into the newest, latest, greatest diet trend without ever really learning anything about it, then we feel heartbroken when we fail. Or we try to fit our lives into a plan that is overly restrictive and completely unreasonable.
A diet, like a relationship, just won’t work if it’s all or nothing. It must fit your life in order to be successful in the long-term.
Honestly, if you can’t say, “you complete me,” then you have the wrong plan.

Love Is The Answer

I know that you think loving food is the problem, but it’s not. It just needs to be real love, not some at-a-glance infatuation. When I’m hungry, I may think I’m in love with that bag of Doritos in the vending machine, but chances are it would just break my heart. Real love would be the feeling if I opted for a truly satisfying snack instead. One that would love me back.
Guilt and shame do nothing but perpetuate themselves. And the more you allow food to make you feel these things, the more likely you are to give up and give in.
Take a breath and choose love. Know that you need to eat, and also that there is no reason it should make you feel miserable. You can eat better foods, and make better choices, and still enjoy what you are eating.
It can be avoided; we need food in order to survive. So why not give it the love and attention it deserves?