I know what you’re thinking: why on earth would I want to escape from healthy eating? Surely that’s the holy grail of life and the thing I’ve been trying (and failing) to do for years? Well, in a nutshell, your focus on labelling foods good and bad is exactly what’s making your relationship with food so hard. It’s what’s keeping you stuck in the binge and deprivation cycle and the reason you crave the foods you don’t want to eat.
What exactly is healthy eating?
These days there’s such a huge amount of conflicting information out there that it’s really hard to know what you ‘should’ and ‘shouldn’t’ be eating. Everything we thought we knew about fat has been questioned and the jury’s out about whether sugar or sugar substitutes are worse. It’s enough to send you over the edge into a full on binge.
When I talk about healthy eating, I’m not talking about what you eat but how you eat. Health is about much more than just physical things and it’s hugely important to have good mental health. Stressing yourself out about every morsel you put in your mouth simply isn’t healthy. If you question every decision you make about food, that isn’t healthy eating; that’s disordered eating.
Healthy eating is recognising your hunger and recognising your own eating needs and patterns. It’s being at peace with food, eating the foods you choose to eat, when you choose to eat them and not having any negative emotions about the foods you’re choosing.
When you practice healthy eating, you eat chocolate cake and crisps as well as kale and salad. You eat a mixture of foods without feeling guilty about any of them. You make your own decisions about what you eat and when. It’s all done on your terms.
Redefining healthy eating
So, perhaps I don’t really want you to escape from healthy eating but rather redefine it. Make sure that you’re being honest with yourself about your relationship with food. Are you allowing food to take up all your mental energy? Is the decision of what to eat a huge battle? That’s not healthy eating. And if you think you’re eating healthily all day and then you give in and binge at night… you know what I’m going to say… none of that is healthy eating. Not even the salad you had for lunch.
In my free group coaching programme, Understanding Emotional Eating, I help you look at your relationship with food so that you can redefine your own healthy eating patterns; I’d love you to join me by clicking here.