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Are you starting to feel like food is too big a part of your life? Do you spend a lot of time thinking about, planning, worrying about, feeling guilty about, the food you eat? Do you feel different from everyone around you because of the "food rules" you live by?

Has exercise worked it's way to the top of your priority list, above other important things list family, friends, or faith? Have people told you that you exercise too much? Have you missed out on life events in favor of getting your workout in? Is missing a workout or cutting a session short not an option?


Do you wonder how this happened?

Do you wonder if maybe you need help?

What start out as good habits - clean eating, daily exercise - can easily become compulsions and obsessions in our social media dominated world. There is so much information available and so many people posting "success stories" and "daily routines" that it's easy to believe physical perfection is achievable, if you just push hard enough.


When thinking about calories in and calories out becomes your full time job, it's time to put food and exercise back in their rightful place as one aspect of your healthy, balanced life. 

Signs that you're developing an

unhealthy relationship with

food and/or exercise:

  • Planning your day around your meals and workouts and experiencing distress if something gets in the way

  • Anxiety when you don't have complete control over the foods you eat

  • Categorizing foods as either "good" or "bad"

  • Inability to be flexible with the content or timing of your meals and snacks

  • Eating the same few foods every day

  • Feeling guilty about eating

  • Avoiding social situations when food could be involved

  • Hyper-focus on your weight or the shape of your body

  • Intrusive judgmental thoughts about the weight/shape of others

  • Engaging in behaviors such as purging, fasting, misuse of laxatives, diuretics, diet pills, teas, or exercise with the intent of losing weight (called compensatory behaviors)

  • Obsession with "eating clean"

  • Eating only plain, dry food

  • Being very particular about how food is prepared for you by others

  • Taking health messages to the extreme

Getting control over these thoughts, feelings, and behaviors can seem overwhelming. It's not like an addiction to drugs or alcohol; abstinence is not an option. You need to eat and you need exercise so learning what "normal" is and learning to live that way is the only option. 

What is "normal", anyway? 

Is Keto or Paleo or Raw or Mediterranean or Vegan or Vegetarian "normal"? These all certainly have their benefits and have been normalized by our culture but how they fit into the scope of your life, and the life you want to be living, is perhaps a better indicator of what's "normal" for you. Your diet should let you live your life, do the things that bring you happiness, be energetic and positive and engaged with those around you, be spontaneous and flexible with whatever comes your way, and lets you sleep at night feeling comfortable and satisfied, not just because you kept your anxiety at bay but because you've adequately met the physical needs of your body.

Signs of a Healthy Relationship

with Food and Exercise:

  •  Recognizing and honoring your body's hunger and satisfied cues

  • Able to enjoy a wide variety of foods along the full spectrum of "health"

  • Being flexible with meals and snacks based on the rest of your life

  • Trusting that your body is able to handle fluctuations in food intake and exercise engagement (and you won't instantly gain or lose weight)

  • Spending your day working, playing, resting, and engaging with others without constantly thinking about food

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