Food Freedom Recovery & Health Consciousness
I get asked a lot by clients, women online, and by my own inner voice pretty much every day,
“How do I balance my eating disorder recovery while being health conscious?”
In other words, if you’re someone who has struggled or is currently struggling with food restriction, rules, timetables around when and how much you get to eat, if you’re someone who has had a poor relationship with food, whether that be eating too little or too much, or if you are someone who just can’t find a natural balance between yourself and your plate… I want you to read this blog post.
Because there’s a massive difference between restricting and truly desiring to eat healthily.
When I first began my own food recovery, I went crazy on junk food, takeout, candy, things that I had not allowed myself to eat for years were now on every single plate I made for myself! And that’s great! When you come from a restrictive eating background and you make a conscious choice to begin your own food recovery, you should eat freely and unapologetically. If you crave pizza at 2 AM, do it, girl! If you want seconds, then thirds at family dinner, take that spoon and enjoy!
The question and sometimes confusion I think we naturally fall into when it comes to our food recovery is, “But, what if I choose the apple instead of chips for my side?” Women who struggle with food are usually type A, ‘all or nothing’ headstrong and incredible women who tend to go ‘all in'.
Meaning if we are going to diet, we are going to diet STRICTLY! Which is where food rules and restrictions come into play! But, once we release that, we decide we want to recover (WHICH IS AMAZING!) we can then feel that at every single instance, we must choose the ‘bad or junky’ food option, otherwise we aren’t fully recovering.
And that’s simply not true.
The ultimate goal of food recovery is to find BALANCE & a NATURAL state with food again! I am NOT saying you cannot have days, weeks, even months or years where you naturally want the junkie-food option! I did that! I had restricted and starved for almost 9 years from anorexia and when I began to go through my own recovery journey I ate…. A crap ton. And that’s amazing! I needed the calories to curb my physical hunger and regain my body to a healthier weight and hormonal balance again. I needed the food to curb my emotional hunger. I had been depriving myself for years and placing my body in a state of trauma the entire time. I needed the comfort and the freedom to enjoy food again and also to rebuild my own trust between myself and food.
However, I remember going out to dinner with my boyfriend at the time and ordering a salad… and he got very nervous. He was terrified that I was reverting back to my old restriction ways around food. Salad was a ‘healthy’ ‘low-calorie’ option. I used to allow myself to eat salad all the time. Was I choosing it because it was a safe option for me? Or did I truly want that #6 on the menu? This is where I think it can get confusing when it comes to you and your food recovery.
Healing from disorderly eating is LISTENING to your body 110%. Meaning if for three weeks straight you want to only eat bagels or if for an entire weekend you order seven smoothies, if you are truly in-tune with your hunger, stomach, body, and brain, then there’s no ‘right way’ to recover.
And you can naturally want to eat healthier.
The question becomes how do you differentiate between is this a natural craving for grapes or is it an old disorderly eating action or pattern?
That’s what I want to help you with.
Ask yourself these questions:
Going off the first, you need to create a ‘judgement-free zone’ when it comes to yourself and food
Stop validating your food choices
Finally, focus on what makes you ‘feel good emotionally’ almost more than physically at first.
I hope this helped you balance your recovery a little more. I hope it helped you see that there is no ‘right’ way to recover and the true was to recovery is to eliminate the ‘whys’ and hidden meanings you carry behind food. Nothing is bad and nothing is good. It’s not a step-back for eating 8 cookies or for choosing some carrot sticks for a snack. The step back would be not honoring whatever the heck your body wants to eat and when. The step back would be questioning, stressing, trying to restrict around it or burn it all off at the gym. The step back would be creating a new restrictive way of eating.
Eat without judgement.
Eat when you are hungry.
Eat when you are emotional.
And the more you can do that, the more you can release the need to control your diet, the more you will live, laugh, and love your way through life by leading it with food freedom.