Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope
For many individuals who struggle with an eating disorder, there is often an abnormal and chaotic relationship with food. This can be the result of many different things, as a person’s beliefs about foods develop from various experiences and circumstances.
Chronic dieting can also lead to misbeliefs about food or the idea that eating certain foods may in fact be harmful to one’s body. There is also the classic categorization of foods as “good” or “bad”, which may help people simplify their food decisions but can ultimately fuel a disordered relationship with food.
“Good” & “Bad” Food
It is not uncommon to hear phrases such as, “I was so bad today because of what I ate!”, or, “I’ve been doing so good by eating all the right things”. The reality is that food is just that – FOOD! There is no morality associated with food, and all foods can truly offer some form of nutrition that is beneficial to our body.
Calories are simply a form of measuring the amount of energy that our body can acquire from a particular food. Eating things that are higher in calories versus something that is lower in calories does not make you “good” or “bad”.
Learning to make peace with food begins with letting go of the many judgments that may have developed about food over time. Allowing yourself the freedom to eat a food based on what your body is wanting and craving is essential to the process of making peace with food.
If there are certain foods that you find difficult to eat because of judgments that you might have about them, it is important to work through these concerns to get to a place where all foods are acceptable and neutral.
In the process of eating disorder recovery, silencing the “food police” is a necessary part of learning to make peace with food and your body and to normalize chaotic eating habits.
If you are not sure how to make peace with food and your body, consider working with a registered dietitian who specializes in eating disorder recovery along with your treatment team. It is possible to get to a place where food no longer holds power over you and you are free to make choices based on what your body wants and needs.
Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!
What do you think the importance is of letting go of judgments about food in order to make peace with all food? What are the challenges that might come along with doing this?
Crystal is a Masters-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a specialty focus in eating disorders, maternal/child health and wellness, and intuitive eating. Combining clinical experience with a love of social media and writing, Crystal serves as the Special Projects Coordinator for Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope, where her passion to help others find recovery and healing is integrated into each part of her work.
As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Crystal has dedicated her career to helping others establish a healthy relationship with food and body through her work with EDH/AH and nutrition private practice.
The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of eating disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.
We at Eating Disorder Hope understand that eating disorders result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an eating disorder, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.
Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on November 3, 2015
Published on EatingDisorderHope.com