Trusting Yourself with Food
One of the best ways to sustain your disordered eating recovery is to learn how to trust yourself with food. This can be daunting at first, as many people who struggle with this type of issue have never had a healthy relationship with food, but this is something that you can most definitely shift. It will take some time to build up trust with yourself when it comes to food choices and eating, but it’s worth it. It will most definitely aid in your recovery and overall happiness for the long term.
First Steps to Trust Yourself
In order to learn how to trust yourself when it comes to food, you need to first take an inventory of your current relationship with food. What is your trust level when it comes to your food choices and eating in general? Is anything concerning food a daily struggle still? Do you have rules or restriction around food/eating? Do you still tend to try and soothe yourself with food and use it for something other than health or hunger? Overall, if you still have consistent anxiety or distress around food and eating, your trust level in this area in your life is likely low.
Back when I was at the height of my struggle with binge eating and body image issues, I had zero trust when it came to food. It was a weird cycle in which I both obsessed over food daily and wanted to avoid it at all costs because the very thought of deciding on a meal could send me into a panic. I tried to keep myself in check and created a false sense of control through an endless list of food rules and restriction, which stemmed from not trusting myself. As I began to work on myself and my struggle, I learned how integral trust with food is, especially when it comes to recovery. It took time, commitment, and a lot of patience and showing myself grace, but I finally got to a place where I trusted myself with food.
These days, I rarely think about food, to be honest. I use it for health and hunger – and that’s it. It’s no longer the first thought on my mind when I wake up in the morning and the last thing on my brain before I fall asleep each night. It’s just food – what I use to fuel my body as I live my best life.
How to Trust Yourself with Food
- Create a new way of being with food. Start to become aware of your level of trust vs. anxiety around food and begin to make small shifts toward building trust with food.
- What do you want to embody? What is your ideal relationship with food? Where you hardly think of it at all? Where you experience no anxiety around meal planning and prep? Determine what you want to embody when it comes to your relationship with food.
- Create evidence of your new relationship with food. Start to gather proof that you can trust yourself with food. Make one small food related promise to yourself a day, and follow through. Take baby steps and allow yourself to build up the evidence that will bolster your trust with food.
Here’s an example of working through these steps to build up trust with yourself when it comes to food: First, begin to observe your current state of being when it comes to food. Perhaps you discover that you feel addicted to food and like you have zero trust when it comes to eating. Next you determine that as your new way of being with food, you want to feel less anxiety and like you are making good food decisions that revolve around health and hunger instead of emotional cues. Finally, to build up evidence of this new relationship with food, you commit to preparing a healthy breakfast each morning to start your day feeling good and energetic, and then you follow through on this every day for a week to build up evidence of this new way of being and trust in yourself.
Little by little, you will begin to feel more confident in making more commitments to yourself around food. You will continue to build up evidence of your behavior change, which will increase your level of trust in yourself when it comes to food. Eventually, you will see the anxiety and struggle around food begin to fall away, which will make your recovery all the more successful and sustainable.
When you’ve spent a majority of your life struggling with food and having zero trust when it comes to eating, it takes time to create a new blueprint for how you want to be with food. Be sure to show yourself grace and compassion as you begin to build up your trust with food and food choices. The less triggered you feel around food, the easier your recovery will be. You have what it takes to shift your relationship with food and to embody a high level of trust within yourself – you just need to believe it and commit to change.