How to create a healthy relationship with food by removing negative relationships and understanding fatphobia.
To take on the task of creating a healthy relationship with food, we have to dissect how society influences negative relationships with food and how it coincides with fatphobia. Fatphobia is a stigma surrounding obesity. Society has created a negative association with enjoying what you want to eat. Most of this has to do with how predatory the media is towards girls and women. The creations of what you should look like to be beautiful and how fad diets can get you there have created a toxic environment. People are trained to want to look a certain way and not understand that they are influenced by what they consume from the media/ pop culture. This included magazines, movies, shows, etc.
Creating a healthy relationship with food starts with mental clarity. One has to understand that there shouldn't be limitations on the kinds of food you eat, instead listen to your body. Building up the relationship between yourself and your body helps with not over gorging yourself. This doesn't mean you can't have the food you want. You just have to understand what your body wants and how much it wants. For example, if I want to eat a pizza, I will eat a pizza.
I also don't recommend counting calories because this creates a negative connotation with eating. I know this from personal experience. Allow yourself to eat. This is a form of restrictive eating. Most likely it will turn to obsessive tracking. On a personal note, during the summer after my sophomore year of high school, I lost almost 60 pounds from doing this very method. I thought that me losing weight was helping me emotionally, but all it was doing was hiding how bad my relationship was with food. Once I allowed myself to eat what I wanted, it resulted in me binge eating and I gained the weight back and then some.
It took me years of therapy to realize food is not bad for you. Food does have healing properties and lifts emotions. This means as individuals, we have to dissect our own emotions as to why we want to eat our emotions away. I realized I ate my emotions because I did not know how to sit in my emotions or in layman's terms I lack emotional maturity. For the majority of my 21 years of living, my relationship with food was coping. I could not rely on others to listen to me, so I binged to fill an emotional void. After following my own advice, and the advice of my therapist, I now understand the relationship I want with food and myself.
My advice is to ditch the restrictive fad dieting and calorie counting. Enjoy what you want and understand that food is made for you to enjoy. Society is now changing (at a slow speed of course) and embracing people of all sizes. Be nice to yourself. Your body is getting you through large amounts of stress. Feeding your body and soul does no harm.