Top Tips For Dealing With Fear Around Food
This time two years ago, I had a huge amount of fear around food, knew the amount of calories in basically every staple food off by heart, always felt the need to 'exercise off' anything I ate and hated my body 99% of the time.
When it came to meal times I'd often be scared of eating, but would soon come up with an 'excuse' to eat the food in front of me. Because I'd thought these 'excuses' through so much I'd then overeat, which of course left me feeling uncomfortably full, I'd bully myself in my head for being 'fat' and would most likely have a meltdown afterwards.
With Christmas in particular having a focus on food (and a lot of it) I absolutely dreaded it. If you read my post a few days ago or follow me on Instagram, you'll know that this is no longer a problem for me. It took time but my fear of and stress around food is hardly existent anymore. So, it's time to help you Angels.
Below is a list of things that have helped me. I hope they help you too if you're struggling this year.
Listen to your body.
For me this meant paying attention to how hungry or full I was both before I ate and whilst I was eating. I stopped myself from eating when I was genuinely not hungry anymore and had had enough food to fuel my body.
Notice when you're overthinking.
I had to learn to notice when my head started spiraling and fight the negative thoughts with positive ones (whether I believed them or not), or distract myself with something that had nothing to do with food.
Be kind to yourself.
Take deep breaths if you feel a low point coming on. Learn to love your body and to compliment it regularly. Know your worth - I'd suggest unfollowing anyone on social media who you compare yourself to physically especially if they are particularly thin. Even if they have a lovely personality, you're still comparing your body to theirs and now is not the right time for you to be following them. Focus on loving yourself, and take away the opportunity for your head to focus on other people too much.
Learn how to deal with feeling overly full.
I didn't get better overnight; I had a whole lot of ups and downs along the way and so sometimes I'd overeat again until I felt uncomfortably full. That's where the downwards spiral began and that's what I had to learn how to cope with.
For me this was going for a short walk to get some fresh air and a small amount of exercise. I didn't overexercise, but just getting some air and listening to up-beat music helped a lot. I also found it helped to reassure myself that the feeling of being full would pass soon, whether it be in a few hours or the next morning.
Stop counting calories.
If you usually count calories then this might terrify you. But for me at least it was a huge help in terms of getting me to really listen to my body and know how hungry or full up I was feeling, as opposed to basing my level of hunger on how many calories I'd consumed or burnt off.
Lastly, talk about it with someone you trust.
At first this made me cry. As soon as I opened up about my worries and fears I'd have a complete meltdown. But overtime I learnt that that was okay (it took my boyfriend telling me multiple times that it was okay and in fact helpful to cry before I felt comfortable doing so) and now I know that whenever I need to have a meltdown and cry something out, he's there to listen. Having someone close to you who understands what you're going through means that you can tell them how they can help, and they're more likely to notice when something's up.
Whether it's a boyfriend, girlfriend, family member, friend or me, learn to open up and know that it's okay to ask for help. If you don't feel as though you can turn to someone close to you, I am always, always here to talk through anything that's affecting you. Just drop me a direct message over on Instagram.
I hope this post has helped you if you've needed it, or will help someone else that you've sent it to.
And of course enjoy this time spent with those closest to you! Merry Christmas, Angels. Look after yourselves.
Love, Ally x