‘When Food Is Fear’ by Anne-Sophie Reinhardt published in Great Health Guide (Nov 2015). Do you suffer from anxiety with eating certain foods? Do you find it hard to associate positively with food? Anne-Sophie has some great advice on how to learn to have positive associations with food. Read more below.
Read other Mindset articles on Great Health Guide, a hub of expert-inspired resources empowering busy women to embody health beyond image … purpose beyond measure.
MINDSET: When Food Is Fear
written by Anne-Sophie Reinhardt
For most of my life, food caused all kinds of anxiety for me. Every situation that revolved around eating, meant so much more than just food: it meant gaining weight, not giving in to temptation, missing out, being an outsider, watching others enjoy themselves while I was sitting there and looking at the pasta internally screaming for just one bite, one spoonful of nutrition that would lead to freedom.
And yet, I never gave in. I didn’t gain weight. Friendships dissolved, burdens got heavier, my family grew more desperate and I was numb. I was yearning for food to just be food not a measurement of success or failure. All I wanted was to eat, be done with it and move on with my life. I wanted it and yet, I couldn’t get it. I believed I’d always live that way, feel that way, behave that way.
I’d always be the girl who had to control food to look slightly OK. I’d always be the girl who said ‘no’ to every piece of cake, every bite of chocolate. I’d always be the girl who’d just be watching on the sidelines while others were living their lives. I thought I could only be happy if I found a way to keep my skinny weight. I thought I could only be happy if I found the magic pill enabling me to eat what I wanted and still be thin.
Unsurprisingly, this day never came. Food remained a fear factor and my body was to blame for everything that was wrong in my life. Unsurprisingly, the years went by and all I’d ever lost was time, happiness and joy. The skinnier I was, the unhappier I felt. Paradoxically, all I wanted was to be skinny and lean.
Once I broke out of that way of thinking, my happiness increased. Suddenly, I had the energy to go out with friends. Suddenly, I found joy in flowers and blue skies. Suddenly, food wasn’t fear anymore but pleasure and joy. Yes, my body didn’t look super skinny and my arms weren’t lean. But I was happy.
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Look to your right…
How did I get to that place? How did I make such a huge mental shift? Here are a few tips:
Surrender to this part of your life, to your fears, to your worries and remember that all of life is a learning experience. You can’t change where you’re at. Accept it and embrace it instead of wishing it away. The moment that you truly own your reality, you’ll be able to see it in a different light and begin to heal what isn’t working.
2. Search for a team
Build yourself a beautiful soul tribe of people who’ll help you along the way. Search for a therapist, a coach, a women’s help group, a body positivity community, a spiritual circle and whatever else you need. Having a heart-centered team around you will make all the difference on the days when your fear is keeping you stuck and scared.
3. Don’t wait to be saved
For a very, very long time I thought that a knight in shining armor would come around to save my broken heart and tell me that my body didn’t matter as much as my soul. Over the years, there were many knights, but nobody saved me, until I became committed to saving myself. You are responsible for changing your life and for making the decisions that will keep you alive and thriving. Stop holding onto the belief that an outside source knows what’s best for you.
Instead, dig deep to find your very own strength and sacred presence and you’ll be able to build on that for the rest of your life.