Throughout my entire teen and young adult life I have struggled to have a healthy relationship with food. Obsessive thoughts of my weight and appearance have deeply affected the way that I eat. Unfortunately for many young women the struggle to have healthy and sustainable eating habits is a reality within their daily lives. I spoke to a recent graduate from Queens Health and she outlined some of the things that she learned in her four years of study that has helped her develop a healthier relationship with food. However, please recognize that this is an individual experience and everyone’s experience is different regarding their relationship with food and the ways in which they recognize it and strive to create healthier habits and patterns of thought. I hope that through an understanding of this individual’s experience with seeking healthier habits that a sense of community is established.
- Intuitive Eating
Have you ever found yourself in the “today is the day I start clean eating. No more junk food!” mentality just to suddenly be overcome with the dire need to eat a pizza. When you tell yourself you aren’t allowed to do something you immediately have the desire to do it and that does not exclude food. The all or nothing mindset of leading a healthy lifestyle is unsustainable in my experience as it results in me ignoring hunger cues and cravings that results in guilt when I break the restrictions I have placed on myself. This student that I spoke to taught me that by eating intuitively, that is eating when I am hungry and recognizing my cravings I will begin to break down the negativity that food and eating can be associated with.
- No food is Bad Food
To keep it short and sweet everything in moderation! My experiences with yo-yo dieting and fads is that every single one is different and they all create irrational fears of some food group. There is a reason why doctors subscribe to the Canadian food guide, it enables young adults to recognize that when leading a healthy lifestyle it is important to have a well balanced diet of all the major food groups. Carbs are not the enemy and fats aren’t going to hurt you!
At the end of the day everyone is different and if you have a very healthy relationship with food that is amazing! I hope that by sharing my experience with my relationship with food and my discussion with this student creates a sense of community for those who struggle with having healthy well balanced eating habits.