What if I told you that eating is not the problem?

2 January 2021 | Written by Xenia Ayiotis

What if I told you that eating is not the problem?

Does this sound strange? Seriously, what if eating is NOT the problem? What if eating is the symptom of other problems? What could those be?

I am going to tell you the story of my client, Mary. Of course, Mary is not her real name.

I worked with Mary for just over three months. Prior to working together, she had been on a series of very restrictive diets. Mary didn’t know that dieting has a 95% failure rate and believed that she was the problem, that she lacked discipline and willpower. She blamed herself. Unfortunately,  life presented Mary with career and personal challenges.

The combination of food deprivation, having to stick to an unsustainable way of eating and life challenges led to her overeating and binge eating almost every evening after work.

The first brave step Mary took was to stop the crazy food rules and restriction. She understood that she couldn’t continue this way but it felt scary to let go of what she had always been doing. Rules gave Mary a false sense of safety and structure. We explored how rules led to a backlash of rebellious eating. With time and patience she was ready to give up on rules and learn to trust her body. She understood that restriction kept her in that binge – restrict – binge cycle. Once Mary did this, she was bingeing less and less. Progress!

Although the binges mostly stopped, Mary continued to eat to the point of discomfort and going to bed feeling uncomfortable.  The next step was for us to examine her life and work, to do a life audit. Each time she overate we investigated the triggers and what we learned was that the underlying reasons for overeating, were: exhaustion, lack of time for herself and zero time for fun or to meet up with friends and family. Mary believed that self-care was selfish. Mary had a really hard time saying no and she was always going out of her way to help. As we slowly started to make sense of this, she started to create boundaries at work and at home and make time for herself. She started to cook satisfying and enjoyable meals. She made time to go for walks or simply read a book. She started to say no more. She stopped blaming herself and beating herself up. As she started to act on her own behalf,  her eating became more caring and nourishing.

She now prioritises self-care and when she occasionally overeats she knows it’s because she’s ignored herself. She has understood that when she overeats it’s mostly because she’s trying to get her own attention. Eating was never really Mary’s problem. Mary was committed to doing the work to make peace with food. It took patience and trust and consistency. She worked hard at cultivating awareness and self-compassion in her journey towards freedom and peace with food. Mary is entering 2021 at a peaceful place with food and will soon be changing careers to something way more fulfilling!

Our relationship with food is a doorway. Do you want to enter?

I have 5 private coaching spaces opening up.

If you are ready to commit to changing your life and your relationship with food, book a free 30 minute mini-session and let’s explore working together.

All my best

Or…Join the waitlist for my next group coaching programme.


“Working with Xenia was amazing. She armed me with a bunch of tools to help me through difficult times. Xenia is the kind of person who really cares for helping you in the long run. Her work will forever have an impact in my life.”

Daniela Velásquez, Ottawa, Canada

“Working with Xen was a game changer for me. After working together for a few months my relationship with food radically changed. I no longer felt like a failure. I now have the tools to nourish my body with foods that feel good in my body. I don’t feel guilty about eating cake or chocolate, I also don’t overeat cake and chocolate. I no longer feel the need to exercise to compensate for my eating. I feel much more free around eating and I am more accepting of my body. Xen has a nonjudgmental and compassionate approach to coaching and really supports you in the process.”

Rachel, Dublin, Ireland

“Working with Xen has been very empowering. Her approach is so refreshing from the usual. I have learned that I am in charge and that I get to choose what I put in my body and how to move my body in a way that I like! I get to make my own choices. It’s so liberating. Once you get a taste of freedom with food, there is no turning back to old ways! Thanks Xen for guiding me along the way to freedom.”

Heather B, Cork. Ireland

“This is the answer for those of you that struggle with food and all that surrounds it. Xenia said that I could make peace with food and it seemed at the time like an impossible dream. Turns out it isn’t. I recommend Xen and the mindful eating / intuitive eating approach unreservedly. If you have any questions about my experience, please get in touch. Thank you Xen. My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”

Michelle, Johannesburg, South Africa

“Xenia was a walking, living, breathing example of what can be done. I laughed and cried my way through a short course in this fascinating and invigorating programme with her, and have gained a designer tote full of coping skills that go way beyond containing kilogrammes. I feel infinitely lighter. I am doing this for me and, yes, you can do this for you too! And believe me, I’m cynical!”

Diana, Vancouver, Canada

“I don’t obsess about food like I used to. I am thinking differently about food and feeling so much more relaxed around all types of food. It’s wonderful to have pleasure and satisfaction from eating.”

Sarah, Illinois, USA

“I learned a new way of thinking about food. I have learned that food is not the enemy and that it can actually be enjoyed with no guilt.”

Sandy, London, United Kingdom

Certified by The Life Coach School Certified Life Coach Certified and Trained by The Original Intuitive Eating Pro Professional Member of The Center for Mindful Eating