Gentle Reminder: Paying Attention to Pleasure

“I hate food.”

“I wish I didn’t have to eat.”

These are some of the things new clients say when we start working together.

Years of dieting and dysfunction with food have left them desperate about what to eat. Food has become the enemy and, understandably, they feel it would be simpler if they just didn’t have to eat at all.

Meals are often such a minefield that eating has no pleasure.

One of the best things about normalising your relationship with food is you get to enjoy eating again (or perhaps for the first time). As you learn to give yourself absolute permission to have exactly what you want, the sense of deprivation that contributes to binge eating begins to fade away.

As you understand and respect your hunger and preferences, the secret binges naturally come to an end and, instead, you learn to savour what you eat. Food is no longer scarce or forbidden so you’re less inclined to turn to it to soothe yourself.

Rather than eating how someone else says you should, you find your autonomy and eat in a way that’s truly enjoyable for you. Without stress. Without guilt.

Then food becomes what it should be – a pleasure.

Fellow blogger Chris from CP, Papagni Pages left a really interesting comment on one of my recent posts on exactly this topic – he talks about how he works with his feelings to make sure food remains a pleasure for him. In case you missed it, you can click here to read it.

There should be many things in life that bring you pleasure and there’s no reason why food shouldn’t be one of them. For more on the importance of pleasure, you can read this 2018 post “What’s Your Pleasure?”.

***

This post wraps up this month’s theme of “self-soothing”. By happy coincidence, my blogging chum Karen Lowry published a thought-provoking post recently on the difference between self-care and self-soothing – you can read it here.

***

There are now some additional questions on the News page for this month’s eatonomy group session.

 

15 thoughts on “Gentle Reminder: Paying Attention to Pleasure

  1. Great reminder Julie, about how wonderful it is to truly enjoy food! It’s a work in progress for me to do it without some old negative associations slipping in at times, and your posts and resource links allow me to enjoy food in a simpler, so much healthier way ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have to eat, either. However, my reasons are slightly different. I wish I didn’t have to spend time (and energy) preparing food and then eating it. There are so many things I could accomplish during that time! During those times food tastes like nothing. That, in contrast when I sit down and enjoy food is interesting. Food is delicious and it helps enhance the celebration of life.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It sounds like having to prepare and eat meals is sometimes an inconvenience as it gets in the way of you doing all you want to do, Sam. I can relate to that! I think sometimes we can’t help but eat in a rush because we have busy lives. As you say, what a difference it makes to our enjoyment when can really take our time and savour what we eat. Good to hear your thoughts, thank you.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you for sharing!!.. Possibly the stress caused by outside pressures (social, work, etc) may influence ones habits also… the same reason some use alcohol and drugs… I make sure I do not bring stress to the dinner table… 🙂

    “If you think you can, you can. And if you think you can’t, you’re right”. Mary Kay Ash

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I like that, Dutch – “I do not bring stress to the dinner table”. I consciously have to take a breath and relax before I start eating if I’ve had a tough day. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Like

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