“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”― Hippocrates
Food is an essential part of our survival, perhaps the sole reason behind it. Food can instantly change my mood, make me happy, energized, motivated and exhilarated. I’ve experienced severe bouts of anger, irritation to the point of absolute frustration when I’m hungry. I’m extremely blessed to have a belly full of food whenever I desire it. My mother has always been an amazing cook and have prepared scrumptious dishes for our family all my life. At the end of a tiring day, having good food prepared by my mother has the power to reverse back all the stress built up during the day.
But I’ve never had a cordial relationship with food. While growing up I was overweight. I never thought that I ate too much to gain that weight. It was much later in life that I was introduced to the terms “binge eating” and “stress eating” to deal with it during my childhood. I was oblivious to the amount of food I had during the day as a child.
I always tend to eat too fast and too much. I somehow feel the need to have more than necessary portions of food to feel satiated. I tend to eat an indescribable amount of sugary treats when I’m sad or depressed. The dopamine rush that I get when I eat sugary food used to be my way to deal with stressful situations in life. I absolutely couldn’t live without sugar or sweet food. I swore of sugary food for a year and a half about 3 years back as a sacrifice to achieve one of my goals at that time. As silly as it may sound, it was my way of pleasing the universe to manifest my dream in exchange of something that I absolutely couldn’t give up. I never ended up fulfilling my dream but my abstinence from sugar made me mentally strong to deal with the frustrating situations in life.
The second breakthrough with my food habits came during my weight loss journey. I gave up eating all of my favorite food (junk, processed, with refined sugar etc) and resorted to healthy eating only. My portion sizes were also limited. I forced myself to eat slow and chew more, giving ample time for my brain to realize that it’s full. I drank water first whenever I felt hunger pangs to avoid eating because of boredom. I slowly acquired a taste for all the healthy food that I absolutely detested before. The effects of healthy eating showed up on my mind, body and overall health within a span of 3 months. I couldn’t have been happier.
My relationship with food still isn’t the best but I’m learning everyday. I feel extremely guilty when I have junk food or excess food. I feel the need to workout more than usual just to burn off the extra calories consumed from having “unhealthy food”. Up until few months back, I could eat multiple bars of chocolates in one sitting to cope with my anxiety issues. I don’t know how I got over it but I don’t crave sugary food anymore. I still tend to gulp down my food without realizing it. I order large portion sizes of food just for the sake of it and find it difficult to eat everything leading to overeating. There are many instances where I tend to allow food to control me rather than it being the other way around.
I’m learning each day and trying to heal my relationship with food. My mind has a lot to do with my food choices as I tend to use food as a punishment when I feel guilty of eating unhealthy food. I’m working very hard on my mental health and the desire to be happy despite any adverse circumstances. If we can get our mind to calm down and be patient, each and every aspect of our life would flourish, especially our food choices. So let’s try to understand our mind better and be patient enough to love every aspect of our life. Let’s be stronger, little by little, ever day!