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If food feels like your best friend and your worst enemy ...

If food feels like both a best friend + a worst enemy,

+ this perpetuates a cycle of food restriction, craving, binge eating, guilt, self loathing + more food restriction,

taking forbidden foods off the pedestal,

removing their morality

+ allowing yourself to eat them CONSCIOUSLY and CONSISTENTLY can, in conjunction with digging a little deeper, very often be a forward step in creating a positive relationship with both food and your body

+ free up some time that was previously spent being preoccupied with eating, for some fun things in your life.

when we tell our selves we aren't allowed something we place greater value on it.

It seems special.

So we crave it, we desire it.

That feeling gets stronger until we experience a stressor, leading to a need to self soothe + we eat the forbidden food.

We don't know when we will allow ourselves to eat this food again,

So we over consume mindlessly.

We are overcome with guilt

+ the restriction cycle starts again.

When we consciously, with curiosity and awareness learn about how foods make us feel, and understand that we don't have to eat the whole packet now, because we can have some tomorrow and the next day for the rest of our lives, it brings an element of food neutrality into our lives.

If "unconditional permission to eat" seems like a too big step consider these

- create a food list of "fear foods", separate them into three groups - green (safe), amber (uncomfortable) and red (really scary). Pick one food off the amber list introducing it consistently

- add in trigger foods after a meal instead of as a snack in isolation. This removes the physical vulnerability of being hungry when introducing something triggering.

- try to become aware of your beliefs around certain foods. e.g. chocolate is bad. Restructure these to something more neutral. Is the thought true? What evidence have you got for + against that thought? How does having this thought make you feel + behave? What is a more neutral thought? How would having this thought make you feel + behave? Try the new thought out.

all these gently help teach our subconscious minds to learn that X food is not a threat to our survival.