This is not me being ironic.......I adore food, pretty much all food, and wine, and whiskey (don't judge me!) and I am useless without a constant supply of snacks!
There is nothing wrong with loving food, in fact I am pretty sure that it is one of the true joys of life. But that is a very different thing to looking for comfort, control and validation FROM food.
It scares me how many of us have/had a truly terrible relationship with food, that consists of guilt, shame, and punishment. Please cant we all just get along!!
Please do not think that I am preaching here as I had a rotten food relationship for many, many years. For me, my food was the one thing that I always could control. I was obsessive!
I wasn't eating to fuel my body, I was eating to assert my will. Some days that meant running on only 1 meal, and 12 cups of coffee, and others it was proving that I could eat the WHOLE CHEESECAKE just because. I didn't feel well, I had no energy, my skin was terrible, my digestion was a mess.....literally..... and I couldn't cope with the stresses and strains that life was throwing at me.
Instead of adopting a healthier approach, I just tightened the reigns. More external stressors just meant I needed to assert more control. This approach got me no where!
I decided to make a change only when my body started to refuse to let me do the things I loved. I was getting colds constantly, I was getting injured through exercise and not healing. Basically I was failing.
I tried with some degree of success to follow different guidelines for getting enough food, the right nutrients, the right "Macro balance" BLAH,BLAH,BLAH......it was all just more excuses to control!
The penny only dropped when I looked at the "WHY"
The reasons behind my dysfunctional food issues were what had to be dealt with first. Untangling a lifetime of pretty poor eating habits was and still is a tough thing. It is like loosing a life long friend! You grieve. You feel lost, and angry and so confused. I mean who really likes change?
But it was the best thing I have ever changed! I can look a my food as a necessary fuel source in order to get the right stuff, and find enjoyment in flavours, and textures. I don't feel guilt over my indulgences, I relish in them and savour them. I can drink in the smell, and enjoy the way food looks and how it makes me feel.
So many of us count points, sins, calories. So many of us consider certain foods bad, naughty, or even banned! Why are we wasting time and beautiful food?
Eating a treat wont make you a bad person.
One chocolate bar will not make you a stone heavier.
And I am pretty sure that eating Kale and Quinoa all day every day will not make you a happy healthy person.
Balance ladies. Love yourself enough to love your food xx
Jessica Keniston is a mother of 4, former dancer and lover of fitness who has turned her passion into a career. Read favourite tips, recipes and workout advice here, and sympathise with the daily motherhood struggles!