Ep 96: How to Calm Down Around Food - Part 2

Oct 22, 2019


Today we are covering Part 2 of our series on How to Calm Down around food. Last week we gave you 3 strategies for how to physically calm down around food, and today we’re going to give you 3 strategies for how to emotionally calm down around food. So if you missed last week, go back and listen to it! These 6 strategies work very well together and will give you a big boost in feeling more peaceful and calm around food.

As we discussed last week, emotional distress makes us feel physical stress, which leads to physical symptoms - especially digestive issues. Stress has a huge impact on our relationship with food. Emotional distress feels out of control, and maybe like something you can’t change, but we want to tell you that you have more say over your emotional well-being than you might think, and there are lots of things you can do to improve your emotional health.

If you struggle with food, there are lots of emotions around food that may have led to you feeling chronically stressed around food. These strategies we’ll share with you today will help you feel calmer around food and also help you be more emotionally resilient and flexible overall!

First: There are no good or bad foods.

The value of any given food is very subjective + also very easily influenced.

“So much of the misery that pollutes our emotional atmosphere around eating comes from the consequences or moralizing about food.” - Marc David

Labeling our food shuts off the process of exploration + curiosity. We don’t question anymore, and we’re not open to any discovery about the relationship between us and the food we eat. 

For instance, here’s a common food we label as bad: Sugar. When we label that as bad, even just in our minds, we lose the ability to ask questions, to figure out nuances + complexities about sugar - the different ways it affects us and in what quantities.

Are there times when I feel physically fine eating sugar? Can I tone down the physical effects and balance my blood sugar with other foods? What benefits do I experience? 

These questions + opportunities that lead to discovery and confidence around food, disappear when we simply label it good/bad. Moralizing about food keeps us stuck.

Second: Avoid labeling foods. Especially beware of labels that sensationalize food.

If it feels emotionally triggering for you to hear foods described as “toxic” “poison,” or the other side of the coin “clean” “whole” “real,” you can challenge that. You don’t have to take those claims at face value.

Third: You are not what you eat. Separate your worth from the foods you eat.

You’ve been conditioned to believe that your appearance determines your worth and value

This happens either subconsciously from the subtle yet ubiquitous cultural messages that thin is best and/or directly through comments from caretakers, friends and loved ones, who we naturally want to please and feel validation from.

This is why your body feels like such an emergency and why you may feel desperate to fix it...your very worth and value as a person is in jeopardy.

You can practice this just by the way you talk and the language you use around food. Stop saying “I’m so bad…” when you eat things or quantities of things. Stop saying that you’re “being good” or thinking that you need to try harder to “be good.” That is attaching your value to your food choices, and it will only keep you stuck.

You can also practice this by finding and affirming your worth in other ways. You could make a list of things that make you, you that have nothing to do with food.

Thinking through and acknowledging your worth will cultivate your sense of worth outside of the way you eat, which will strengthen you against those times when you may feel pulled into attaching your worth to your food choices. Remind yourself that you are worthy + valuable, no matter what you eat.

You deserve to feel nourished + satisfied, no matter what your size. Your food doesn’t determine a single thing about you - it doesn’t affect who you are and it doesn’t change your worth.

Small shifts in mindset that truly do lead to greater peace around food. You’ll have more positive food experiences, which leads to increased trust + confidence in yourself.

And now, the holidays are upon us, Halloween is soon, and it’s getting to be the season when food stress is a thing for many of us. We know this can be a difficult time of year.

Often, it starts a vicious cycle with food of an attitude of just kind of flinging your hands up and saying, “Forget it, I’m going to eat all the things all the time no matter how it makes me feel for the next 2 months and then I’ll start fresh and eat clean in January.”

We want to help you avoid that cycle, so we’ve created a great resource for you.

We want to invite you to join us for a masterclass we’re teaching on Nov. 1 called 6 Strategies for Feeling Confident With Food Through the Holidays.

This is a paid online class - it will be $20 - and once you sign up, you will guarantee yourself lifetime access to the class (whether you can make it live or not) and the workbook. The workbook will include a really great advent-style calendar with daily self-care prompts you can practice throughout November and December to continue building your food + body confidence throughout the season. 

You can register for the class at eatconfident.co/holidays - you’ll get the ability to come live to the class and the workbook, but we’ll also send you the link to the replay of the class that you can keep forever and watch as many times as you want.

Thanks so much for listening, and we’ll talk to you next week!

Want more of Eat with Confidence?

If you’d like more support + guidance in your process of becoming a Confident Eater, we’re here to help. Learn more about our group coaching program, Eat Confident Collective.

If you like this episode, we’d love to hear from you! Take a screenshot, share it on Instagram, and tag us @eatconfident.co. We’re cheering you on, and we love knowing how the podcast is helping you!


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