How do you love yourself? What do you do to show yourself love? Actions always speak louder than words. You can practice all the positive affirmations you want but ultimately it’s the things you do on a consistent basis to show yourself self-compassion and love that matter.

I’ve spent years trying to gain a deeper understanding about myself, my inner conflicts, insecurities and fears. My biggest challenge and most consuming issue was my relationship with food and how it was so deeply connected to how I love and respect myself.

My relationship with food was complicated, there has been many ups and downs, overindulgences and restrictions involved. Food is nourishment, It should not be used as punishment and if it is, It is a direct reflection of your lack of self-love and compassion for yourself.

Skipping meals, rushing through your day, eating food infront of the TV and choosing unhealthy options is saying ” I’m not worth the time to slow down, nourish and nurture myself.” This was something I did for many years, I didn’t realize that simply throwing something together or nibbling on random bits of food is disrespectful to myself.

Focusing on your relationship with food builds a sense of safety trust and connectedness to yourself. When you prepare a meal for yourself you are infusing loving energy from your heart into the food you eat.
So what changed? How did I change my destructive relationship with food and turn it into a more loving one?

– I started by setting up one or two days a week to prepare all my meals. since I enjoy having company while cooking, I would invite a friend over and meal prep on Sundays,I would invite my sister over one night of the week to cook together. Since she really loves to cook, it makes the experience a lot of fun. I noticed how much I loved eating and sharing a meal with someone, it’s almost therapeutic in a sense. You can talk about what you made, discuss new recipes for the next week and enjoy it together.

– I really started to tune into my feelings and the love I had for myself. We are taught that if we focus too much on ourselves we are considered selfish but nothing can be further from the truth. Poor dietary choices are linked to issues of low self-esteem and lack of self-compassion. When we respect ourselves and believe we are worthy, we are less likely to eat unhealthy food, overeat or restrict ourselves.

– Being present and mindful while eating is very key and important in order to truly develop a better relationship with food. Mindfulness is the act of fully paying attention to the present moment. Before I used to rush through my food, eat really fast while on the go not even realizing what I was consuming at times. Now, I make a conscious effort to set the table, sit down with my meal, take the time to smell the aromas of the food and savor each bite. I can’t tell you how much this helped transform my relationship with food and cultivate more self-compassion by doing this regularly.