Healing our relationship with food can be a doorway to spiritual and personal growth, and can help us understand ourselves on a deeper level.
There are 3 core reasons why this is so.
- FOOD MIRRORS LIFE
You may have heard the phrase, ‘How you do anything is how you do everything.’ This stems from the fact that everything you do in life is based upon the relationship you have with yourself.
Our relationship with food is a mirror of the relationship we have with LIFE.
This is why, when we start to dive into the relationship we have with food, it becomes clear that food was never really the issue in the first place. It becomes clear that there were elements of our lives that were unbalanced, out of alignment, and which were leading us to express ourselves with sabotaging patterns, using food – or lack of food – as our weapon of choice.
If you have a stressful relationship with food, you probably have a stressful relationship with life.
If you rush through your food quickly, always thinking about the next meal, you’re probably someone who also rushes through your life pretty damn quickly, always thinking about the next thing.
If you’re a perfectionist around food, it’s likely you’re a perfectionist in life.
If you’re someone who loves breaking the rules of life and hates to conform, you probably have a pretty hard time sticking with diets.
If you don’t feel nourished by your life, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be feeling truly nourished by your food.
If you feel guilty about receiving pleasure in your life, you probably feel guilty for receiving pleasure from food.
If we struggle to slow down as eaters, we most likely struggle to slow down in life.
If we have chaotic rhythms around food, we most likely have chaotic rhythms around life.
If you’re all-or-nothing when it comes to your food, then chances are you’re all-or-nothing when it comes to other areas of your life, too.
If you’re a control freak with your diet, you’re probably also someone who highly values control in your life.
How we experience food, is how we experience life.
This is why simply going on a weight-loss diet will never address the reason for most people’s unwanted and emotionally-charged struggles around food – because it’s not actually about the food itself. It’s about your relationship with food, which equals…? Your relationship with you – and your relationship with your life. Change your relationship with life, and the natural byproduct will be that you change your relationship with food. Instead of focusing on trying to lose weight, focus on enriching your life.
- FOOD CRAVINGS = SOUL CRAVINGS
When we emotional eat, our cravings come on fast, and they originate in the mind. Real hunger is a biological function of the body’s real need for food, whereas emotional cravings or eating triggers are caused by psychological needs. That’s why when we emotional eat, we feel it in the head, not the stomach. Which means, we think our bodies are craving sugar or salty foods – but actually, it’s an emotional need that we have to meet. We are usually craving something like love, and connection.
How often do you eat when your body isn’t actually hungry at all? More often than not, our emotions come into play in a big way. Depending on what’s going on in our lives, we can become obsessed about food; or, on the other side of the spectrum, we forget to eat, or restrict food as a way to deal with a conflict we’re having within ourselves.
And the biggest discovery I’ve made through my work is that it wasn’t ever about the food at all. It was about fulfilment.
When we are unhappy or unfulfilled, normal eating slides into overeating, under-eating or an unhealthy relationship with food.
But when you pursue a fulfilled life, food or other vices stop being your happy place. You find a deeper pleasure from life than you found at the bottom of the ice cream tub.
Leading a fulfilled life requires a little more effort and self-enquiry, of course. It requires willingness to change, willingness to grow and willingness to push yourself outside your comfort zone. It requires a willingness to get radically real with yourself and dive deep into your awareness. It requires oodles of self-love. .
How many times have you found yourself mindlessly looking in the fridge for answers, or ravaging a packet of crisps when you’re stressed, or ploughing through food when, actually, you weren’t even hungry in the first place? All you had to tune in, and get aware. You were hungry all right, but not for food. That’s right, you were hungry for more.
If you’re someone, like me, who has struggled with their relationship with food, I want to gently remind you: It’s not about the food. It’s never been about the food. That’s right, I am here to suggest that your soul’s desires go far deeper than a bag of salty pretzels or a big glass of Shiraz at the end of the day. If your relationship with food and cravings have been an ongoing theme in your life, trust me when I say: Every challenge you face in life is an invitation to
go deeper into the truth of who you are.
We are all truly hungry for:
- A sense of belonging
- Deeper meaning in life
- Lasting pleasure
Therefore, meeting these needs for ourselves, instead of simply turning to food to try and meet our needs for us, can lead us to true fulfilment, from the inside out.
- SURRENDERING CONTROL WITH FOOD + SPIRITUALITY
Intuitive eating paves the way for intuitive living.
Often, when we’re ‘hungry’, we’re actually craving a deeper connection, and more meaning and purpose in our life.
When we look at healing our relationship with food, our challenges often lie around control, and control may also be what’s held you back from spirituality in the past. Spirituality is about letting go of that control, at least a little bit, and learning to trust your path.
Control is a fear-based mechanism, and in life we have two choices: we can act from a place of fear, or we can act from a place of love. You can guess which one leads you to a fulfilled life, I’m sure.
While controlling things can feel good in the moment, because it makes us feel safe, ultimately it leads us to us feeling out of control and unsafe when one tiny thing doesn’t go to plan. When we try to perfectly plan our lives, perfectly control our food or perfectly control our love life, we are living from a place of fear. We’re not opening ourselves up to a higher power – in fact, we’re blocking it.
Dieting, of course, is all rooted in fear and control. We don’t check in with our bodies intuitively, instead we control.
When you can learn how to trust your body, you can learn how to trust yourself, and trust the Universe too.
An intuitive relationship with food, can lead you to live an intuitive life.
If you can trust your body, you can learn to trust yourself.
Want to know how your relationship with food is also showing up in other areas of your life? Go to melwells.com/quiz to take the free quiz and get your email report. It will take 5 minutes and can give you some great insights into your personality type and how you can best make personal improvements to help your relationship with food.