I feel like I am controlled by food and can’t stop myself from eating badly. What can I do?
Dear Food in Boca Raton,
You may not realize that the control food has over you is really the relationship you have created with food. When you think of food or talk about it certain associations fill your mind. Start to recognize these associations and see in what primary direction they are going, negative or positive. Is your relationship with food healthy or is it filled with resentment, secrecy, guilt and shame?
Once you recognize how you relate to food, you can start to change the relationship. A healthy relationship with food consists of realizing that food is your friend, it nourishes your body and when viewed positively it can enhance your life.
The reason your relationship with food is currently unhealthy is because you are eating due to emotional reasons and don’t even recognize when you are eating. You may finish a box of cookies and have only tasted one or two. You may be in such an angry or depressed state that your focus is more on these negative emotions then on the food you are eating. You are giving the food you are eating no attention.
Shift the way you eat. Take the time to feel the food, experience it so that at least you are honoring what you are putting in your body even if there is some judgment as to whether or not it is a healthy choice. Once you do this you will see that eating is a choice. You have control over your body and you can decide how and what you will eat no matter what situation you are going through.
Please be advised that the advice written in this column is not a substitution for psychotherapy.