Food Is NOT The Enemy! Eat When You're Hungry!

Food is one of THE most magical things in this world. Just think about it. Food literally keeps us alive and we would be nowhere about it, but, at the same time, it's never boring. It comes in billions of different forms, there are countless possible flavours, combinations and styles of food. It can be presented in exciting ways, on big and small scales and it exists in a variety of forms in different cultures. And, to add to that, there are new types of food being created as we speak! How amazing!
Food is something we should be absolutely head over heels in love with but, sadly, that isn't always the case. Many of us have really unhealthy relationships with food and, rather than viewing it as our companion, we view it as the enemy.

I have spent every day since I was a small child feeling terrified of food, terrified of even eating the smallest bite out of fear of gaining weight, failing to recognise that, by existing, food is looking out for me and food wants me to eat it. Food is many things but it is not something to deprive yourself of, regardless of how frequently diet culture tells you it is.

Food is nourishment.
Food is energy.
Food is fuel.
Food is LIFE.

Food is what our bodies need to survive, just as we need water, sleep and oxygen. It works in harmony with all of those things and more to keep us functioning.

Without food, we would be shells of nothingness, exhausted, drained and miserable. Food allows us to truly live life to the full. If there's one thing I've learnt, it's that it is possible to exist on an empty stomach but in order to truly live, you have have to eat, there's no other option. Without food, you're merely floating through life but, with food, you can be fully immersed in every single moment, be fully aware of your surroundings and create memories that will last a lifetime. You can share laughs with friends that are genuine and actually remember the thing you were laughing about a year later. You can have deep and meaningful conversations and be truly present in them as a whole.

Personally, food guilt is one of my biggest everyday battles. I still feel rotten to the core after every bite of anything, however, I need to remind myself that eating isn't the worst thing in the world. When I eat, I'm not hurting anyone, I'm not doing anything terrible like burning down an orphanage, I'm simply doing something that is keeping me alive! Whenever I've eaten, I've done something which is so vital in order for me to exist and it's something I should be proud of, especially after having such a toxic relationship with food for so long.

When you are hungry, you need to eat. Listen to your body, the sound of your rumbling stomach and the burning desire for goodness inside of you. Your body knows what it needs so why deprive it of that? Food isn't something you have to 'earn' or 'deserve,' you were deserving of food the moment you were created and you will continue to be deserving of food for as long as you are on this Earth. Food is not a 'reward,' it isn't something to congratulate yourself with after a period of starvation or an intense workout session, food is a RIGHT, something you have the right to consume at any opportunity. It's something you have the right to experiment with and explore. You don't need to chastise yourself for giving in to cravings or satisfying your hunger or snacking when you feel like it. Food is there to be savoured, enjoyed and devoured, you should never punish yourself for eating it and you certainly don't need to 'work it off' afterwards. No matter how much you have eaten today, you still need to eat tomorrow and no matter how much you plan on eating tomorrow, you still need to eat today.

If you are feeling hungry, EAT! If you are feeling hungry right now at the second you are reading this, pause, go get some food and come back later.

Food is not something to dangerously control or to restrict yourself of, you deserve a much better relationship with food than that. Don’t allow yourself to be on your deathbed in decades time, lying there wishing you ate that piece of cake, or had another sandwich, or three scoops of ice cream instead of two, or that biscuit from your grandma, or that piece of fruit that looked so delicious. It isn’t worth it. Grow old on a FULL stomach, not an empty one. Get to your deathbed without a single food-related regret, don’t end up wishing you’d spent more time eating and less time worrying about your stomach flab or suffering from dizziness because you were starving.

You are NOT a bad person for eating, not on a regular week day, not on a lazy Sunday in front of the TV, not during holidays like Easter and Christmas which are pretty food orientated. Eating food will make you feel so much better on the inside than starving and dieting ever will. You may not be able to see that now, but with time, you will.

EAT. THE. FOOD. Eat what you like! It’s okay! It won’t hurt you! And if you don't quite know what you like, then you have permission to explore different tastes until you do. All the monstrous voices inside you're head are lying to you when they tell you that food is not there to be consumed. They are lying to you when they tell you that starving yourself will solve all of your problems and that being thin is the route to long term happiness. They are lying to you when they tell you that you need appetite suppressant lollipops, flat tummy teas, weight loss gummy bears, shakes or pills, YOU NEED FOOD!! None of those things are substitutes for proper food.

You've got a LIFE to live. I realised recently that I physically have not got time to be starving myself or saying 'no' to food. WHY should I do that? I've got goals to reach, things to achieve, places to visit, people to meet, things to create and memories to make, all of which are far more of a priority than dieting and food will help me do all of those things on a much grander level.

Eat so that your body has the strength to stay warm.
Eat so your hair doesn't fall out.
Eat so your belly doesn't cry because it hurts.
Eat so your brain has the energy to focus on things that matter.
Eat because food tastes amazing and it provides you with a nice feeling.

Not eating is a form of self-harm and you DO NOT deserve harm.

Go eat, please.

Love, Emily

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