If you have an unhealthy relationship with food you may think your behavior needs to change. Once you’re eating better, your relationship will change. But that’s not how it works.
In this episode, I’ll explain why your relationship isn’t dependent on your actions and how you can start changing your relationship with food right now. No different eating habits are necessary to do it. But, when you do it you WILL see your eating habits change.
Hi! Before I begin today I want to let you know that I’ll be doing another free training next week.
It’s going to be a 5 day training and the one I did in December was so much fun and some of my group members who participated and then joined my January group program still talk about how much they gained from it.
We’ll be breaking down why you binge, how to stop binge eating, and how to stay on track as you go through this process. You’re going to walk away knowing what you need to be doing you’ll have a plan for yourself.
The training will be starting on Monday March 15, 2021, and I’ll be doing a training each day for 5 days. You’ll need to register to join and to access the replays, so go to coachkir.com/training right now, pause this episode and go register, so you don’t forget and don’t miss anything.
Alright, you all registered? Good. Let’s talk about your relationship with food.
I used to always say I had an unhealthy relationship with food.
I couldn’t trust myself with it, I felt out of control with it, I had a love/hate relationship with it, it negatively impacted how I lived my life yet, I still kept going back to it.
I felt like a crazy person or that girl that keeps going back to the boyfriend that’s not good for her.
Her friends scream, “stop seeing him!” yet she keeps seeing him. I would scream to myself, “stop bingeing!” yet I kept going back.
I would think about the good times I would have with the food, how much fun I would have buying and eating the food. So I’d do it and then feel like poo afterward.
Then I’d think so terribly about myself and the food and us together.
If someone were to ask me how me and food were doing, not that anyone ever did, that would be weird but, if they did, like if me and food were in a relationship, my brain would have immediately gone to a negative place.
I would not have had nice things to say about me and food and our relationship.
I would have talked about how I act with the food and how that’s unhealthy and how I think about the food and how that’s unhealthy and how I was obsessive.
I would have talked about how food affects my life negatively.
I would have talked about how I get mad at food for being so delicious and so available and for making me feel so good.
Seriously, I sound like an obsessive girlfriend talking about her boyfriend that treats her badly.
Except here’s the difference. Food wasn’t doing anything to me. I was doing all of it.
Food wasn’t treating me badly, I was. Food just sat there, doing nothing, and any negative outcomes of my life that stemmed from eating were all created by me, not the food.
I was the one obsessing, the one choosing to eat it in excess, the one who was sabotaging my life.
The food did none of that.
My unhealthy relationship with food was created solely by me so if I wanted to change it, I had to change me.
So let’s talk about how we change any kind of relationships and change ourselves to change relationships.
A few years ago, I was taught something about relationships with people in general that blew my mind a little bit.
It’s that relationships are defined by how we think about them.
Most of the time we want to look at the other person’s actions and observe our interactions to define relationships.
We focus on the actions.
So what then happens is we try to change the interactions and change behaviors to make the relationship better.
But that’s not going to work because we can’t change how other people act. They get to decide how they act just like you get to decide how you act.
And, when you only focus on changing your behavior without changing your thoughts behind the behavior, the behavior won’t stick, it won’t be a permanent change because behind every action is a thought and feeling that are driving it.
So if you want to change your relationship with food, you might be thinking that you’ll have to eat differently. That’s how’ll change the relationship. If you eat differently then your relationship with food with change and you’ll be totally at peace with it.
But, how do you get there? How do you change your eating?
Well, you have to change your thoughts first. You have to change what’s going on in your mind first.
Your behaviors are driven by your feelings and your feelings are created by your thoughts. Everything you do begins with a thought. So if you want your behavior to change, your thoughts must change first.
You have a relationship with food.
You think you and food have an unhealthy relationship and that you keep going back to it, excessively, even when it negatively affects your life. That’s how you define your relationship.
So when you’re around food, and that’s how you define your relationship, guess what’s going to happen. You’re going to be unhealthy with it. You’re going eat it excessively, because that’s what you believe you do, right? And you’re going to experience a negative effect. You’re going to prove your definition of your relationship true.
You can’t think you keep going back to it, excessively, even when it negatively affects your life and then act like someone who doesn’t do that and doesn’t get that result. That’s not how it works.
The same thing happens when you think you’re out of control or can’t trust yourself or that you hate food. You’re going to create that in your relationship.
You act how you think. You do what you think.
If you want to act differently with food, you have to change how you’re thinking about yourself with food.
You have to define your relationship before you live into that definition.
It’s like how we define ourselves to be exclusive in relationships before we become exclusive. Even if we don’t discuss it with the other person, we define ourselves to be exclusive and then act exclusively with the other person. We don’t act exclusively without defining ourselves to be exclusive. The defining comes first before the action.
You telling yourself over and over that your relationship with food is unhealthy isn’t helping you to make it healthier.
What will, is changing how you think about yourself and food.
Imagine if you thought, “I don’t eat excessively because it negatively affects my life.” How would your behavior change? Drastically I bet.
Imagine if you thought, “I’m building trust with myself and food.” What a difference that would make, right? Instead of just thinking you can’t trust yourself and then acting untrustworthy.
You can have bad relationships, good relationships, and relationships that are a work in progress and they are all just definitions you come up with based on how you choose to define them. And really, even the good ones are a work in progress because we can’t just stop trying and expect things to always run swimmingly. It’s best if we’re always working on them, checking in, finding what could use some work, taking action to improve.
Even if you can’t make the jump to having a good relationship with food in your mind, you can make it a work in progress.
You’re working on feeling in control, trusting yourself, making better decisions, and loving food without the hate.
Food doesn’t need to change or do anything for your relationship to change. Only your thoughts do.
Your thoughts are what make a relationship.
I have great relationships with people I rarely talk to. One of my best friends lives in California and I live in New Hampshire and I rarely ever speak to him and I think our relationship is great. What I think about him has not changed just because we talk less than we did when I lived there. I don’t use our actions to define our relationship.
I have a friend who lives about an hour from me, used to be about 30 minutes when I lived in Massachusetts and since I’ve been back on the east coast I’d say we’ve probably hung out maybe like 10 times. Most of those hang outs happened because I reached out to her. I asked her to hang out. She’s reached out to me maybe twice. I don’t know exactly because I don’t keep track. Now, some people may be bothered by this thinking it’s a one sided friendship or she doesn’t care enough to reach out and I never have thought that. I just think that in our friendship, I’m the one who reaches out more. It’s not like she turns me down all the time. She says yes and we get together. In my mind, our friendship is great. We hang out every once in a while, we have a lot of fun, I love her, it’s great.
I don’t use her actions to define our relationship. I define it in my mind and then act on how I want our relationship to be for me. I want to hang out with her because we’re good friends and so I’ll ask her to hang out.
But if I was thinking, “Our relationship is one sided and I’m sick of being the one who always reaches out, she clearly doesn’t want to spend time with me” then guess what would happen. I wouldn’t have this great friendship that I have.
You and I have a relationship. Even if I’ve never met you, we do because I have thoughts about you and you have thoughts about me.
You have relationships with people far away, people who you don’t talk to, people who have died, people who you’ve never met and their actions don’t define your description of it.
Your thoughts do. You may have thoughts about their actions but those thoughts about their actions are yours to choose and they will determine how you define your relationship. You can have a great relationship with them no matter what they do because your thoughts aren’t determined by their actions. You choose how you want to think about things.
So what kinds of thoughts do you have about food? Are they loving and nice? Or hateful and resentful? And what are your thoughts about yourself in relation to food?
My relationship with food now has completely changed because I no longer think those thoughts I shared at the beginning of this episode. Now, I think thoughts like, “I am in control around food, I can be trusted around food, food is fuel and sometimes just pleasure, I don’t eat excessively because I don’t like the effect of that.”
Because I think this way, I behave differently around food. I don’t freak out about it like I used to.
And the food never had to change. The same foods exist in the world around me as they did for those 10 years that I was bingeing and in those years when I told myself I had an unhealthy relationship with food.
You think how you act with food needs to change if you want a healthier relationship but you have it backwards. Your relationship, how you relate to food in your mind with your thinking needs to change if you want your actions to change.
What makes this shift with food so much easier than with another person is that this really is a one sided relationship, in a good way. The food doesn’t behave in any way or do anything or take any actions. It can’t. It can only sit there, doing whatever us humans do with it.
See that clearly and you can stop blaming the food for anything. The food is not at fault when it comes to your relationship with it. It’s all you, all the results you get are created by you, which is great because you have control over what you create. Ultimately, its your thoughts about you and your relationship with yourself that needs to change. Think better of yourself and you will feel better and take better actions.
Think about food in a healthier way and think about yourself in a more empowering and self-loving way and the relationships will change.
Improve your thoughts to improve your relationship with both food and yourself.
Find out what those thoughts are that are ruining your relationship with food and decide to think better.
Okay? So, before I go, I just want to remind you to register for the free 5 day training that will be starting on Monday March 15, 2021. Don’t forget and miss it, do it now, get yourseld registered so you’re ready to go when it starts.
I’ll see you there.