Forging a New Relationship with Food
By Marcheta Goodin, LCSW
In the past, most of us have long signaled our devotion to the joys of eating by various means—the way we savored each bite of our favorite foods or the anticipation of our next snack break. But losing weight has given rise to a new set of rules to guide our eating habits.
Now it is necessary for you to keep track of the number of calories, proteins, fats, carbs--and even the time of consumption of each meal. You should also note your feelings and emotions when you eat. Yes, it takes a considerable amount of effort to keep a detailed record of your new eating behaviors. But, quite frankly, at this stage, it’s risky to lose track of the food that is going into your mouth.
Keeping a food diary is simple. But the amount of damage it can do to your progress if you stop keeping track of what you eat can make your life complicated.
After losing a significant amount of weight, you discover that food can be your friend and your enemy. So, you must learn to enlist it as a supportive ally.
You see, food has often been used to fill our hungry heart. We enjoy the comfort of this familiar friend through smell, taste, and connection with the events and people we love. Food can give us relief—as well as shame and guilt when we overeat. Food is an enabling friend we love and hate.
Trying to restart a relationship with any person is a challenge. It is no different with Food. Initiating this new relationship requires us to:
- Take a brave personal inventory of our food history.
- Forgive ourselves for whatever use and misuse of food that we perceive our history holds.
- Appreciate the value of food in our emotional and physical journey.
- Accept the value of food, simply as food.
Like other relationships, our connection with food is ongoing. Our weight loss surgery simply empowers us to renegotiate this relationship and make it a part of achieving a balanced, satisfying life.