Food and Movement as a Form of Control

We often use food and movement to control and manipulate our bodies.⁣

We use food as an acceptable way to punish or reward our actions, thoughts and behaviours.⁣

We may use food as a way to comfort and sooth emotional wounds or to shift our narratives about our body.⁣

We CAN control how we eat and move (If privileged enough to afford food and a gym membership) it's something we are told to control by the diet industry and by societal standards. ⁣

It's something I've done for most of my life. Controlling food, rigorously exercising, obsessed with getting smaller, checking the number on the scale, consistently dissatisfied, constantly comparing, never feeling enough.⁣

This behaviour is re-affirmed, praised and pushed as the golden ticket to success and acceptance ⁣

The feeling of loss of control is what fuels the diet industry, it perpetually keeps us disconnected and dissatisfied with our body and it never addresses but distorts the root emotional issue(s).⁣

"Get in shape"⁣

"Moment on the lips, lifetime on the hips"⁣

"Portion your food"⁣

"Don't overeat"⁣

"Don't eat X"

"Get your body back"⁣

..narratives/expectations are ENDLESS.⁣

We obsessively use food and exercise as a means of control because often something else in our life feels/felt out of our control.⁣

If I was going to the gym everyday, not eating sugar, skipping meals to fit into clothes, had a flat stomach I felt like I had it together, I was in control, I would be loved, accepted, valued, I would be worthy.⁣

...In reality, I was in a constant war with my body. So much of my life had felt out of my control, food and movement were things I could consistently manipulate to "take back" some control.⁣

It never works out though, all it does is lead to increased feelings of loss of control, cyclical let downs. Using food and movement to gain control isn't the answer, it's literally fuel to an already hot emotional fire.⁣

If this resonates, here's some q's.⁣

What in your life feels in/out of your control? As a child did you often feel in/out of control? How do you view food and exercise? Do you feel the need to change your body, if so why?⁣

Ready to breakup with diet culture and start eating intuitively? Check out my Intuitive Eating Group Coaching Program

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Emily Manuel, B.A, RHN, CYT

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