Discover what it feels like to heal from food addiction and live free of dieting!
This afternoon, I decided to have some vanilla bean ice-cream after my lunch. To start, I had yummy stir-fry with curry and sea salt rice. After, I decided to top it off with two scoops of delicious and refreshing ice-cream. I had eaten my entire lunch, yum! For my dessert I began taking small and very mindful bites. I wanted to enjoy every morsel and not miss out on the creamy, cool flavor on this hot summer day.
Then it struck me... about half way through I stopped and thought, "Ok, I'm done." No struggle. No sense of deprivation. Quite the opposite! If I had kept eating, I would have felt utterly stuffed and yucky. There was still half a bowl of ice-cream left, yet I cared more about feeling great and having the ice-cream. When we are stuck in food addiction, we only care about the finish line and less about how we feel when we get there.
I have been healed from my food issues for over 12 years now, yet it still amazes me when I turn down food just because I feel like it! I catch myself thinking, 'wow, that was fun!'
It wasn't always like this for me. I used to eat every last drop of the ice-cream, finish everything on my plate and confuse being stuffed with feeling satisfied. I couldn't turn away food without feeling deprived. Diets just made me want junk foods even more.
Turning away sugar and/or excess food is one sign of healing. When we are on a diet, we turn down food because we are supposed to. When we are healed, we turn down excess food because we want to. We get to a point where we know our bodies, minds and spirits so well that we are completely aligned with what we really want. Not a reaction, but a true, heart-felt desire for what nourishes us most.
The top 12 indications that you have healed from food addiction:
- When you are upset, you prefer to look at what your heart is asking for, instead of turning to food.
- You eat slowly and peacefully no longer gulping down your meal, or feeling panicky.
- You are aware when you have had just enough to eat.
- You stop eating when you feel the tipping point.
- You feel energized after eating.
- You are present while you eat and you regularly enjoy every bite.
- You no longer have to fret over a forbidden food list.
- You have food standards. There are some foods you refuse to put in your body because they are harmful.
- You only crave foods that leave you feeling good during and after you eat.
- You eat with delight not guilt.
- You do not obsess over food and it doesn't rule your choices.
- You enjoy being satisfied over being stuffed.
This is a snapshot of what it is like to live a life healed from food addiction. It is what it means to have a natural and healthy relationship to food. We are all taught crazy ways to relate to food, all are very unnatural and have led to all the myriad of struggles we deal with and are left to overcome.
If your relationship to foods feel obsessive, beyond your choice or control, and leaves you feeling frustrated and caught, then this is an indicator that food addiction is the problem. Food addiction is a stronger type of emotional eating, and yet it is healed just as effectively with the same process.
Laurel Inman is the founder of Eating With Heart. Food addiction is a form of emotional eating. Learn how to completely break free from emotional eating and food addiction in Laurel's 12 Week Online Course: True Transformation - 12 Weeks to Freedom From Emotional Eating.