We are excited to feature a guest post from Marci Anderson. Marci is a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist who manages a group practice in Cambrige, MA. To read more from Marci, please visit her blog or you can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
When you have a healthy relationship with food then…
How would you finish this sentence? Kaleigh, from HugStronger asked me this question and given the culture of eating in the U.S. it’s a really important one. We live in a society that conflates health with morality, size with success, and appearance with identity. This takes a toll on our feelings of self-worth and ability (or lack thereof) to measure up. Our food landscape is over-processed and over-abundant while the sub-text speaks to the virtue of self-denial. How utterly confusing. The line between clinical eating disorders and culturally accepted dieting and body hating continues to blur. Many people feel as if they are living in a food and body prison with no way out. In short, I will never be out of a job.
So this brings us back to what a healthy relationship with food looks like. Here’s my top 10:
- Eating is often enjoyable- full of flavors and textures you truly love.
- Eating doesn’t define you as a person. Your sense of self-worth doesn’t increase or decrease based on what you eat in a particular day.
- Eating requires some forethought and planning but food does not pre-occupy the majority of your thoughts.
- Eating is flexible in terms of timing and variety.
- Eating does not result in feelings of guilt or shame.
- Eating is motivated by internal cues of hunger and fullness most of the time.
- When eating or thinking about eating you can feel relaxed and at ease.
- Sometimes you eat food solely for the pleasure of eating, regardless of nutritional content.
- Balanced, nutritious eating comes naturally because of your connection to how certain foods make you feel physically and the emotional tug of war is not present.
- Eating is viewed as a way to take good care of yourself.
These are my top 10. What would you add to the list?