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Healthy relationship with food?

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Old 04-12-2013, 05:07 AM   #1
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Default Healthy relationship with food?

Is it ever possible to rebuild a healthy relationship with food whereby I don't want to overfill my plate so that I stuff myself until I feel sick and that I no longer miss out on so many things because I'm worried about calories (e.g. meals out, nights out, cinema, days out, parties, being able to bake! you catch my drift)

Is this demon here for life?!
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:23 AM   #2
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I would like to think so, but don't know for sure. I think for a lot of us it may be a lifelong thing, though I'm hoping it gets easier as time goes on. Like my fiance put it the other day, I am very good at losing weight, and I am very good at gaining weight. I don't think I have maintained for a day in my life. So, for me, I think it's going to stick. :/
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:33 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by EmLay View Post
I am very good at losing weight, and I am very good at gaining weight... So, for me, I think it's going to stick. :/
I kinda feel the same way. I don't think I'll ever become indifferent to food (and I'm not sure I would want to) or satisfied with small portions. I can't be slim and eat the way I would like to. For the time being, I manage the trade-off by allowing myself periodic uber-indulgences.

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Old 04-12-2013, 08:37 AM   #4
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I think it's possible, especially if you stop connecting food with activities. "Cinema" for example is a 2 hour block of time watching movies. Why does this need to involve food? You eat lunch before you go, and then you have dinner afterwards. You don't need to have a constant stream of calories going into your mouth to sustain you while you sit.

Likewise with meals out. Change what you eat. Have lower calorie meals, drink less. Stop making food the focus.

Change what you do with your friends. My friends and I used to go out to bars a lot, Calories from drinking and then calories from eating bar food. Now we run races, so many of our outings are either after a race where we want more water less gross stuff, or before a race, so we are careful about we eat and drink.

At parties take the focus off the food and put it on the people, the dancing, the talking, whatever.
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:51 AM   #5
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I don't think it has to be a lifetime challenge. You work towards your goal by making changes and healthier choices both in food and exercise. Then once your goal is met, I don't think there is anything wrong with being more lenient with yourself at times (vacation, birthdays, holidays) knowing you now have the knowledge to get back on track before the weight gain creeps up on you again. Once I take this weight off, I will be more cautious when I gain 10 lbs. knowing how hard it is to lose it. I do think I will have a burger and fries again on vacation or bake brownies again.
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:10 AM   #6
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I'm actually actively learning to rebuild my relationship with food through intuitive eating (IE). So far I've been really happy with the results!
http://www.intuitiveeating.org/conte...tuitive-eating

There is even a thread here on 3FC about IE.
Intuitive Eating #17

From what I am reading, Intuitive Eating is often used effectively for people with all sorts of eating disorders to transition them back to "normal eating."

I'm LOVING it. In addition to completely changing my relationship with food- I have actually lost 32 pounds this year by "making peace with food" and "honoring my hunger."

Good Luck! But to answer your question- Absolutely not. I don't think this needs to be a demon for life. If you need a little extra support, you could probably find a good nutritionist or therapist, but I definitely think you can get passed this behavior and open a new free chapter in your life.
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:52 AM   #7
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I've been thinking a lot about this myself. I managed to turn a lot of my bad habits around into a healthier lifestyle, only to slide back into them recently and I've been trying to figure out why. The only conclusion I have reached is that like many other 'addictions' (for want of a better word) you have to work at it or at least be aware and sensitive to it for life. You have drug addicts who need long programmes of rehabilitation, smokers who have to quit cold turkey as one cigarette undoes all their hard work and recovering alcoholics even though they haven't touched a drop of alcohol in years. I'm starting to think of myself as a recovering fat person, and I am going to have to deal with that for the rest of my life - even if I crack the healthy eating/exercise routine and maintain my goal weight I will still have to deal with the psychological effects of low self-esteem, appalling self-image, binge tendencies etc.

Sorry to have got onto a bit of a rant, this is very good timing for this topic and it has been on my mind a lot lately. I do think it is 100% possible to get into a healthier mindset - exercise becomes part of your daily routine like brushing your teeth, making healthier choices at restaurants, allowing yourself to snack and overindulge on occasion whilst still maintaining your weight and being healthy. I think that it will just mean that you will be and you need to be aware and thoughtful of it more often than people who have not had the experience of gaining/losing a lot of weight.
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:14 AM   #8
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For me, allowing myself to do those things in moderation is the only thing that lets me maintain. We go out to dinner all the time, but I plan ahead what I will have and if I go a little crazy I eat lighter the rest of the week. I never, ever clean my plate unless I've prepared it myself with smaller portions, and I am always the slowest eater in any group. I don't order dessert, but if some else does, I have a few bites. When we go to a movie, we never get food. If I bake, I eat one or two (depending on what it is) and take the rest immediately to work where it will disappear.

That being said, I think I will always think about food more than someone who naturally maintains a smaller size. I plan all meals in advance so I can eat accordingly the rest of the day, and I'm very aware of how much I'm putting into my mouth. I have a friend at work who half-jokingly said I have all the mental/thought process symptoms of an ED; I don't perform the behaviors, but I obsess over food in the same way.
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:21 AM   #9
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It is possible to create a healthy relationship with food! I think you have to find something that's more important to you than food. I've had a love-hate relationship with food, especially sugary stuff, my entire life. But I decided my health was more important. Food will always be there, my health may not be.

I was always like food's needy, crazy, dependent girlfriend who kept calling & texting. Saying "I love you" one minute, then "I hate you" the next. But I've realized I don't mentally/emotionally need food to feel happy, or loved, or satisfied. Eating healthfully does make me happy, but that's because I know I'm taking care of my body rather than feeding my inner sugar addict or that clingy, food's obsessive girlfriend part of me.


I realize that I probably just made no sense whatsoever.....
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prillabong View Post
Is it ever possible to rebuild a healthy relationship with food whereby I don't want to overfill my plate so that I stuff myself until I feel sick and that I no longer miss out on so many things because I'm worried about calories (e.g. meals out, nights out, cinema, days out, parties, being able to bake! you catch my drift)

Is this demon here for life?!
Prillabong, I think you can develop a healthy relationship with food and even have times where you indulge. But I've finally realized after years (let's be honest here, decades!) of up and down dieting that I can go to parties and restaurants and family events BUT I am responsible for making good choices. Just because the food is there doesn't mean I have to eat it all. Or, if I want to try something, have a taste instead of eating a meal's worth of calories just off of snacks. Will I ever get to the point where I don't think about food a lot in certain situations -- or even most situations? I doubt it. It's ingrained in who I am, how I was raised, wonderful memories almost all of which have a food component. But that doesn't mean we can't think about food in terms of making good choices. Not easy, but it's easier than it was just a few months ago.
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:41 AM   #11
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Now that I have been through this journey this time around, my relationship with food is so different!

For one, smaller plates are your friend! And I mentally picture the plate in quarters, 2 of them are all salad, one can be rice/potato/pasta and the last is my protein. No room for anything else! And trust me, it's not as boring as it sounds. I crave my healthy meals now!

This might sound weird to some but I had to start respecting my food. It's there to enjoy, nourish me, can be a social piece with family and friends. But it is not to be abused anymore.

Now that I have a plan for my day as far as 3 meals and 2 snacks, I don't *need* food at the movies anymore or just because I'm sitting on my deck enjoying the afternoon. Now my life revolves around reading the book I just got, going for a walk in the warm weather, logging on to 3FC to see what everyone is up to.

In the past, I couldn't get my hands out of the bag chips long enough to log online and check this place out.

So having a good relationship with food can be done, it just takes some careful planning (both mental and physical).
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Old 04-12-2013, 12:12 PM   #12
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I've been in maintenance (except 2 pregnancies) since 2004-2005ish.

Yes, you can have a healthy relationship again. Will you ever be the person who can just eat properly without it being a concern? Probably not. Part of maintenance, for most of us, is being consious of choices throughout life.

But yes, you can live without overeating and yes, you can go to a restaurant and eat 'normally' with others instead of choosing a ridiculous amount of food OR canceling because you are afraid to eat OR eating a small green salad out of fear.

It takes a lot of practice and a lot of mistakes for most. If you have an actual eating disorder (which some here do, and it's okay to admit that!) then professional help can also be useful.

Most of all, I found it came from swinging to both ends to start finding my balance. Good luck.
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