10 Ways To Make Peace With Food And Your Body

6 October 2016 | Written by Xenia Ayiotis

Filed Under: Body Acceptance

So much of our thinking is taken up by what to eat, what not to eat, what to wear and how we look…

Imagine if we freed up our thinking around food and our bodies and devoted that time and head space to more meaningful aspects of our lives!

Imagine a peaceful relationship with food and our bodies! What difference would that make?

  • How would we show up in the world?
  • How would we treat ourselves and treat others?
  • How would we feel on a daily basis?
  • If we felt peace around our bodies, what ripple effect would this have on those around us?

How do we make peace and end this consuming struggle? Here are some steps to take…

Step 1 – Media friend or foe?

We need to question most of the media. We live in a culture where the media tells us that thin = happy, thin = successful, thin = worthy. The media generally promotes an “ideal” body shape and size and when we compare ourselves to this ideal, it often drives us into self-judgement leading to self-hate and feeling “not good enough”.  Let’s stop buying into these messages and limit our exposure to adverts and publications that promote an unrealistic body ideal. The majority of women’s bodies do not look like the models in the magazines, they only represent a small percentage of women. If you want to delve deeper into this, read these blogs — “How to Stop Obsessing About Being Thin” and “Do You Compare Your Body?”.

Step 2 – Decide and Commit

Make a decision and commit to ending the food and body fight. Make peace your focus and intention.  Sign a peace treaty with your body! Here is one as a gift for you.

Step 3 – Tell yourself the truth

Tell yourself the truth about your relationship with your body and food. How has this struggle served you? Has it allowed you to have excuses not to do the things you want? Who would you be if you were not at war with food and your body?

Step 4 – Take Action

Making peace is an active process – it’s not a passive thought. Taking action towards peace means noticing your judgements about your body or your eating and choosing to let them go or replacing these negative thought patterns with neutral or positive thoughts. It takes awareness and patience. It means not being tempted by a new diet or quick fix. It means practicing self-acceptance which for most of us, is so much harder than self-criticism…

Step 5 – Know Your Triggers

Get to know your triggers to body bash, to binge eat or overeat.  What are they? Social events, parties, going to the beach, certain people, work events, “comparisonitis”? If you are aware of your triggers, you can plan for them and work around them.

Step 6 – Allow it be hard

Don’t expect this to be easy! Can you allow it to be difficult? Even though it may be difficult, it does not need to mean suffering. The way to peace with food and your body can be difficult at times – most change is hard. When we resist the change and push against it, it causes suffering – if we allow it to be difficult – it simply becomes hard work.

Step 7 – Experiment

Try different approaches – see what works and what doesn’t work. Experiments are not meant to be perfect. What I know “for sure” is that elimination, diets, willpower and control do not work. They just lead to overeating and more self-hate.

Step 8  – Let it go and let it be

Let the past go… what can you learn from past experiences? Can you turn those experiences into meaningful lessons for the future?  As best you can, try to forgive yourself and move on. You cannot change the past, but you can try something new right now.

Step 9 – Feel your feelings

Easier said than done! We humans are wired for pleasure and to avoid pain. Most of us were not taught how to deal with our emotions. Our typical response to discomfort is to flee, deny or repress. If you find it very hard to deal with emotions and the only way out is to eat then learn to eat emotionally in a mindful way – emotional eating does not need to be emotional overeating!

Step 10 – Patience

Be patient it’s a process! It’s almost like a tango – 2 steps forward, 1 step back, 1 step side-ways and 1 forward again. Change is slow. Embrace the process.

Rinse – Repeat – Rinse again. What I have learned and continue to learn is that the path to a peaceful relationship with food is definitely not peaceful neither is it a linear journey. Being at peace with food and your body does not mean you will never overeat again, or that you will never want to binge. It simply means that when you do overeat or binge that you will treat yourself differently.

Wishing you peace.

Xen

Tired of overeating and feeling out of control around food? Dieting and restriction hasn’t worked for you? Do you want to find peace and freedom around food? Book a free Online Intro Session with me or join my “Food Freedom” 8 Week Programme (available in Jo’burg & Pretoria).

You can also sign up for my free Mindful Eating “Slightly Different” Advent Calendar to enjoy over the festive season.

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Certified by The Life Coach School Certified Life Coach Certified and Trained by The Original Intuitive Eating Pro