6 Ways to Change (and Heal) Your Relationship with Food

Having a relationship with food sounds silly, right? That’s what I thought when I first started diving into the world of learning how to lose weight the healthy way.

Not quick fixes or overnight results; I wanted to learn how to start living a healthier lifestyle. I didn’t want to yo-yo diet where I’d lose weight and then gain it all back again. I needed lifelong, sustainable solutions.

This is when I learned that I had a terrible relationship with food.

I’d never thought about how I viewed foods before, but I quickly realized that my way of thinking when it came to food was not the way I wanted it to be. It wasn’t the way I needed it to be. I started my first diet when I was 13. I had terrible body-image issues that I still struggle with sometimes. The road to healing this relationship was long and still on-going. I’ve had to learn a completely different way of thinking that would replace the decades of what I’d learned at a young age.

Here are some ways I’m healing my relationship with food and eating:

  1. One thing I’ve learned is that I can’t be overly restrictive when it comes to what I want and don’t want to eat. Or how I used to see it as what I can and cannot I get to choose what I eat. There are no more “can’ts” when I’m deciding on a meal or snack. I know that if I restrict a certain food or tell myself that I can’t eat it, I’m going to want it more. I can eat the way that I want to all day but when nighttime hits, I will binge and eat all the things I wanted to earlier when I restricted it. If I allow myself to have a little bit of what I wanted and really take the time to enjoy it and be satisfied by it then I won’t overeat later.
  2. I don’t view foods as “good” or “bad”. It’s all just food. I used to see an apple as good and a cookie as bad. Now I believe in everything in moderation. I can have an apple and a cookie without any guilt.
  3.  Food isn’t something I need to earn or burn. Meaning I don’t make a list of all the things I need to do to be healthy in order to earn that ice cream I want. I also don’t calculate how many calories I’m going to indulge in and then figure out what I need to do to burn that same amount (or more) of calories. I used to think this way for YEARS. I would never want my daughter (or sons) to think this way. I don’t want them to hold back on enjoying a piece of birthday cake because they’re busy trying to decide if it’s worth it not knowing how many calories they’d need to work off. 
  4. I exercise because it feels good to my body. I do it knowing that there are so many rewards to not just my body but my mind as well. For example, it helps keep my anxiety under control. I like the feeling I get when I do things physically that I couldn’t do before. I no longer treat it as something I need to do to lose weight. I do it as something that I simply enjoy. It isn’t a punishment for eating something that I regretted.
  5. I don’t use sweet foods like cookies or brownies as a reward. I serve them with (or shortly right after) our meal.  This has been an important part when it comes to how I view food.
  6. I’ve unfollowed every social media account that doesn’t align with my believes. Any article that I see that lists five different things you can do when you’re hungry is something I scroll right on by. I don’t distract myself from hunger. I listen to my body and I EAT when I’m hungry.

Food is meant to be enjoyed. The freedom I have felt during this process in healing my relationship with food has been so freeing not just physically, but mentally as well.                                                

Chelsi Carter
Born and raised in Wichita, Chelsi married her high school sweetheart Britt in 2012 and they now call northwest Wichita home. Brody (b. 2013), Brexley (b. 2016), Beckett (b. 2019) and two dogs (Paisley and Mater) keep Chelsi busy as a SAHM. When the family is not playing with tractors and having dance parties in the living room, you can usually find them at their family farm in Clearwater or having a family movie night at home. Chelsi is a coffee and ice cream cake loving, Christmas obsessed list maker that has a passion for writing and designing custom invitations on her Etsy shop. She is always ready for an adventure with her kids and husband especially if it involves ice cream!