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Why Building a Healthy Relationship with Food is Essential for Overall Well-being

We are constantly being fed floods of nutritional information that can be quite overwhelming because we can never get comfortable in our body. While clean eating is beneficial on many levels, it's not for everyone. It can cause emotional battles that trigger bulimia and binge eating.

As soon as we place restrictions on what we’re allowed or not allowed to eat, our brains start creating compulsions and obsessive thoughts that drive us to “cave.”

Have you ever noticed that as soon as you “can’t” have something, you automatically want it even more?

When I was in my teens, I started my first "diet." I wasn’t even overweight. I weighed less than 125 pounds and played soccer, but I still wasn't "skinny" enough, so I thought I needed to lose a few pounds. At the time, I didn’t have a bad relationship with food; I just ate like any other teenager—not the best choices.

About a day in, I remember starting to obsess over the things I "couldn’t" eat and being desperate to be skinny ASAP so I could eat them again.

The very next day, I “failed.”

I "caved" and ate the things I was trying so desperately not to eat... carbs. 1 Crunch Wrap Supreme and 2 Doritos tacos with sour cream to be exact! And not only did I eat cards, I overate, as I was full after the second taco!

 Not only could I not make it one full day, I instantly felt so guilty.

It’s not just that I thought I had made a bad choice, I became obsessed with food. Any chance I got access to "bad" food, it resulted in me binge eating, consuming thousands of calories in a single sitting.

The reason we cave is because our brains are hardwired to. Once we "cave", the act of caving actually gets wired into our brains as a habit that we continue to repeat on autopilot every time we restrict food or food groups.

As soon as nothing is off limits, we can begin to slowly move away from the scarcity mindset and break the habits and obsessions created by dieting.

Rather than focusing on what we should or shouldn't eat, we must build a connection with our bodies.

We have to learn to listen to them, and learn to distinguish the difference between physical hunger and emotional hunger. To stop eating when we’re not physically hungry, and to start feeling emotions instead of feeding them.

We have to break the habits that drive autopilot eating. We have to be mindful, trust the wisdom of our own bodies, and make choices based on how they make our bodies feel rather than what some diet tells us is the answer to happiness and being skinny.

We need to appreciate our body where it's at NOW because no one has ever successfully and sustainably, hated their body into being healthy. We need to learn to take better care of ourselves from a place of gratitude and curiosity (instead of judgement). Quit with body bullying. Consider both the mental and physical ways we abuse our body, the bullying has to stop and we need to know that we can have food freedom and still obtain the results we want.

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