For as long as I can remember I have had an unhealthy relationship with food. It was a source of comfort, a source of reward and also a source of pain and unnecessary hurt. I never really thought about why food was associated to so many emotions until now.

 

As a baby we cry and we are fed. As a toddler/young child food becomes a way of bargaining; ‘if you don’t behave you won’t have any sweets’ my parents used sweets and food as a way of keeping me quiet when they were busy or we were walking round the supermarket. If I fell and hurt myself then food was given to me to to try and settle me. If I’d done something good I was rewarded and so this unhealthy relationship of treating food as everything but sustenance begins.

 

Is it any wonder that when we are taught as children that food solves everything that as adults we approach it in the same manner? If I am feeling low I turn to a bar of chocolate, but then after the chocolate is gone I don’t feel any better, in fact I feel worse. I sink into a pit of self loathing where I beat myself up over it and thus I feel worse than I did in the beginning.

 

I know that I’m not alone in using food as a comfort. In all the women (and men) I have spoken to, at slimming world and online I have found that they too feel the same way as  me. This leads the question that whilst we may not be able to cure our own unhealthy relationships with food perhaps it’s the realisation we need to change things for our families and our children so that in 15 years time they aren’t in the same position as us, struggling in a society that although the majority are overweight, the overweight are criticised.

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