Eating healthy food is an important part of our well-being. After all the foods we eat impact how we think and feel. The foods we eat also connect us spiritually to the land, plants, and animals around us.
Sometimes we develop unhealthy relationships with food. If you notice that your eating patterns are negatively affecting your life, your happiness, or your ability to concentrate, you may want to take action.
Talking to someone about what you are going through is a good first step. The reason to take action early is that negative eating patterns can get out of control quickly.
Try reaching out in a way that feels good for you (texting, calling, Face Timing, meeting in person). Also keep in mind that if one person cannot support you in that moment, it does not reflect on your lovability or value. Simply seek help from another individual. Most counselors or other health professionals can help. Also, consider calling, texting, or chatting with someone at the National Eating Disorder Hotline here.
Eating disorders, like other mental health issues, can affect anyone, regardless of their age, gender, or cultural background. Take time to learn about different types of eating disorders, like anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating.
Many of us struggle with mental health issues, like eating disorders. Don’t let shame or fear get in the way of getting the help you need and taking steps to get better. You deserve to feel good and be well.
Keep a ‘journal.’
Fill a journal with positive and affirming thoughts. Write about why you have concerns, how you’re eating has impacted your life, where you want to be five or ten years from now, and anything else that will help keep you motivated to learn about and change your health.
Distance yourself from toxic friends.
It can be exhausting to be around people who project their insecurities onto you. If you have friends who constantly criticize their own body, you may subconsciously mirror their insecurities. Try to limit your time with people who make you feel anxious about your body. Eating support groups may be a great way of meeting people who are going through similar things as you.
Make exercise your self-care routine – but not to “lose weight.”
Turn exercise into an outlet to recharge your energy, relieve stress, and connect with your body. Yoga is a great way to recharge after a long day. You can also, go for a walk or let loose by dancing alone in your room.
Take up a hobby.
Try something new or go back to doing something you used to love. There are heaps of different hobbies that are fun and interesting. You might find that you are an awesome guitar player or have a flair for painting. Sometimes focusing our energy on a hobby allows us to have a space where we feel safe, calm, and connected to something we love – all awesome for creating better balance in our lives.
Do things that nourish your soul.
Activities that are positive for our soul could be anything from planting a veggie patch or climbing a tree, to going sailing or engaging in volunteer work. It does not have to be big; it does not have to be expensive; it just has to make you feel good about yourself. Experiment with different things. You will not necessarily like everything you try.
Detach from social media.
Whether it is for an hour or for a day, consider removing yourself from social media – where lots of images encourage body shame. This is especially a good idea if you notice that your negative eating patterns are triggered by social media. Remember, social media allows a person to post what they want the world to see, which usually just includes the good, not the bad or the ugly. Taking some space from this can help remind us about what we love about our lives and ourselves.