Make a Peace Treaty with Food in Eating Disorder Recovery
In a previous blog post, I illustrated how I combat harmful thoughts about food. Now, I want to take this a step further and examine how I recalibrate behaviors around eating. These days, I have a healthier relationship with food than I ever thought possible. I attribute much of this transformation to a framework called intuitive eating—and the decision to make a peace treaty with food as part of my eating disorder recovery.
Intuitive Eating Is Basically Making Peace with Food
The basis of intuitive eating is simple: Rather than viewing foods as either permissible or unacceptable, I tune into which foods my own particular body wants for both nourishment and enjoyment.1 With this approach, I have learned to honor my natural hunger and satiation cues. I have also realized that the human body is an intelligent mechanism that can be trusted to know exactly what it needs at any given time.
Dietitians Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole discuss the connection between intuitive eating and making peace with food in The Intuitive Eating Workbook: Ten Principles for Nourishing a Healthy Relationship with Food. Here is how they describe this interplay:
"Making peace with food is a critical component of intuitive eating which involves eating the food you desire in attunement to your hunger and fullness levels. It is the process of making your food choices emotionally equal, without placing shame or judgment on them, whether you eat green jelly beans or a piece of broccoli. Your dignity remains intact, regardless of your food choices. You are not a bad or good person based on what you eat!"2
Intuitive eating creates freedom and balance, a stark contrast to restrictive dietary rules that assign moral value to foods, labeling some clean and others off-limits. So if I subscribe to the intuitive eating philosophy, then all food groups can be normalized. None are inherently evil, as I once assumed.
That revelation has led me to make a peace treaty with food—to enact a firm declaration that my food choices will stem from health and pleasure, not deprivation or fear. I will share what this peace treaty entails in the video below.
The Peace Treaty I Have Chosen to Make with Food
What does making peace with food mean to you? Has this been an incremental part of your own eating disorder recovery, or is it still a continual work in progress? Please share your insights and experiences on this topic in the comment section.
- Sparks Akers, A. (2021, August 23). What Is Intuitive Eating? Medical News Today. Retrieved June 22, 2022, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/intuitive-eating
Resch, E., & Tribole, E. (2017). The Intuitive Eating Workbook: Ten Principles for Nourishing a Healthy Relationship with Food [E-book]. New Harbinger Publications. Retrieved June 22, 2022, from https://books.google.com/books?id=IuZzDgAAQBAJ&source=gbs_navlinks_s
Schurrer, M. (2022, June 23). Make a Peace Treaty with Food in Eating Disorder Recovery, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, August 12 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/survivinged/2022/6/make-a-peace-treaty-with-food-in-eating-disorder-recovery