How Yoga Helped Me Improve My Relationship with Food
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It is said that our eating style is a reflection of our internal state – if you are stressed out, it's likely that your eating style will be affected by it. Eating was once a joy to me, and I remember how I would eat until I was full, without a care in the world.
However, due to the ‘ideal figure’ notions, I was constantly reminded that I don’t have the perfect body. At an impressionable age, I started making the wrong decisions and potentially ruined my relationship with food.
Yoga teaches us to be mindful of all our lifestyle choices and how they impact us. When your life is balanced and relaxed, your diet routine is set right. When I turned to yoga, I never imagined how it could transform my eating habits. I was going through a difficult phase and started experiencing symptoms like a high heart rate, a racing mind, and complete inability to stop and calm down. These, in turn, affected my eating habits, and my body was experiencing a lack of nourishment.
Luckily, yoga taught me to become more mindful and relaxed, sorting my life out. I’m sure that by now you must be wondering how can yoga renew your relationship with food. Well, it all begins with finding peace within yourself.
Better lifestyle choices
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Yoga is not just about losing or gaining weight. It's about finding the right balance between which food to consume and how much. It teaches you to work on making yourself a better person. Loving yourself, no matter how you are, is one thing most people like me lack. I was making bad choices in life, and being a regular drinker was not helping me in any way. Whenever I felt low about myself, I turned to beer and chocolates for solace. But nothing helped. Not anymore.
Once I started practicing yoga, I could see the difference. I became more aware of how I wanted to be and cared less about what others thought of me. Instead of being someone who wanted to be lean like the models in fashion magazines and going to the extent of starving myself, I started making better lifestyle choices.
Meditation, the right way
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The food you consume affects your body as well as your mind. Ignorance and lack of knowledge about what is good for your system lead to unhealthy eating habits. Yoga channels the mind in the right direction and creates alertness and awareness. It relaxes your mind and enables it to focus.
Meditation changed the way I looked at food. My relationship with food went through different stages. Initially, I was an emotional eater; I ate even when I was not hungry. Sometimes just to make me feel better, and sometimes because I had nothing else to do. Later, I became obsessed about starving myself to maintain my figure. Even if I did eat, I would throw up later, fearing that if I didn't do that, I'd pile on the pounds.
It is said that our mental attitude often depends on what we eat. By meditating, I could find myself making the right choices with food. My mind was calmer, and now that I was more focused and aware, I gave more importance and respect to food as it was the sole source of energy going into my body. I stopped throwing up and never held myself back again.
The mindfulness of yoga made me eat better meals, make more nutritious choices, and consume enough food to fill my stomach. I had a newfound relationship with food, where I began feeling it was my responsibility to supply my body and mind with the right energy sources.
The right attitude towards food
Thanks to yoga, I developed a mature perspective about my diet and body image. Instead of obsessing about losing or gaining weight to reach the ‘ideal body’ notions, I devoted myself to a healthier lifestyle. Yoga transformed the way I thought about food. It was no more a burden in my life. When unhealthy eating habits were affecting my behavior with others, my mind was too stressed out to have a peaceful meal. Practicing yoga gave me a better insight towards how I need to balance my life and uphold the right attitude towards anything, especially food and eating healthy.
Improved relationship with myself
Photo credit: Alexandra Kirr
The lessons and teachings of yoga made me love myself more. I stopped linking my happiness to achievements or looks and started concentrating on more important aspects. I began practicing gratitude, no matter how big or small, and started to realize that when you give out happiness, you will receive it back. I started dwelling in positivity and wanted to take more care of my body. I was much happier and felt great from within.
In a society that fosters unhealthy attitudes towards food and body image, it is truly a struggle to be at peace with yourself. Your body needs all the care and love you can give it, and it needs to be internal. No external force should make you despise your body. Yoga teaches us to let go of personal anxieties and be more ourselves.
I could see my life transform and my habits change. I no more treated my food platter as a burden, but as something that I could treat myself with. I started eating healthy food and concentrated more on cleansing myself rather than obsessing over unrealistic goals. Yoga helped me transform my relationship with food and myself, and I have never felt better! And now, every day is a new beginning that I have started looking forward to.
Rebuild your relationship with food the right way by going on a yoga detox retreat!