Do you ever feel like you have a poor relationship with food?

You may not have a full blown eating disorder, but maybe you consistently over eat, under eat, eat emotionally, judge yourself for what you put in your body, obsess over calories or look at food as the enemy.

I get it. Especially with summer (and bikini season) right around the corner. It's so easy to start coming down on yourself and let negative patterns around food take over. 

But, what if I told you that these different "food addictions" are not the real problem here?

Something I've learned from going through an actual eating disorder is that any type of addiction — big or small — is really an attempt to solve a problem in your life.

Of course they create more problems — that's obvious and what's wrong with them. But, they come along as an individuals desperate attempt to resolve some issue in their life.

So, what we have to look at is not what's wrong with addiction, but what's right about it. How is it serving you?

If you listen to people talk about their different addictions you'll hear that what it's doing is keeping them from being comfortable with themselves for a little while.

Then the next question is, well why would a person be uncomfortable being themselves? 

The answer lies in some learned experience. No one is born feeling uncomfortable with themselves.

Addictions always go back to suffering and suffering always occurs fairly early in life, in childhood.

Science shows us that addiction involves certain brain circuits that are formed early on in life and reflect life experience. Which circuits develop and which ones don't have a lot to do with the conditions in which the child developed.

It's important, then, to begin a journey of looking back and navigating through your childhood to uncover any major stressful experiences that may have occurred. 

There is no need to blame others. You're simply getting to the root of some of your deeply ingrained thought patterns that put your body into survival mode. From there we can learn other, more healthy ways of dealing with adversity.

We'll get to those tools in another post, but for now can you recognize any stressful experiences from your childhood that could be contributing to your "food addiction"? Did your parents get divorced? Did you grow up with a parent who was addicted to something? Was a parent mentally ill? Were you in an unstable environment financially? We're you bullied at school? There are lots of things to explore.

If you feel comfortable, please share in the comments below so that other people can benefit.

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