If you were a baby, would you feed yourself the way you do now?

MOST people dream of a healthy food relationship. So here’s something that will stop and make you think. I want you imagine yourself as a baby that needs nourishing and love. Would you feed that baby the same way you feed yourself as an adult – sweets, sugary snacks, fizzy drinks, massive meals? I don’t think so.

The key thing if you want to develop a healthy food relationship is to love and care about your body and your health as if you’re feeding a new born baby.

So you must ask yourself: what exactly does food mean to me? Do I see it as nourishment and fuel because I care about your body and health? Or do I use food to make myself feel better or as a form of reward? Just reflect on your answer for a moment and ask yourself if you really have a healthy food relationship.

After 10 years of working with overweight people it’s become clear to me they have a different relationship with food compared to those who are slim.

Most slim people regard food as a source of nutrients to fuel and nourish their bodies. Their pleasure comes from the feeling that they’re caring for their bodies by doing healthy things. Of course, slim people have times when they enjoy food and drink as a reward, but it’s not a constant emotional thing. They’re in control of their food choices.

Sadly, so many of overweight people I have a relationship with food which is far more emotionally driven by pleasure, reward, stress, comfort or boredom. Occasionally, something that happened as far back as childhood has altered the meaning of food.

Healthy food relationship – how to achieve it

Many of us associate food with love and warmth because it reminds us of family dinners with everyone around the table.  I was rewarded with chocolate and sweets if I was a good girl and did my homework.

When you’re used to having a food reward as a child, in adulthood it then becomes the thing that makes you feel better about yourself.  This can often get out of control because you’ve triggered dopamine, the pleasure hormone, and the more you get the more you want.

The great thing is that you can change and influence this. If you make poor food choices based on immediate gratification and immediate reward, you can do something about it.

One of the ladies on my Slimpod Gold programme recently told me it has really helped her to change her focus so she now looks at food only as nourishment and fuel. She says she’s no longer “mindlessly eating for Britain!” I’m so excited for her!

It’s life and bad habits that have changed things for YOU. Your brain has taken you down the road to being overweight and your brain can just as easily do a U-turn and take you down the road to being slim and a healthy food relationship.

It’s the same brain after all. To make this change of direction you only need to be in tune with your body and be able to eat in a way that gives it the nourishment it needs.

Do let me know by leaving a comment below if you identify with any of the food reward stuff or if you want a healthy food relationship.

26 thoughts on “If you were a baby, would you feed yourself the way you do now?”

  1. I identify totally with what you are saying as an emotional eater. Many years ago, I underwent a hypnosis programme and the outcome was that I ate normally. It was a great feeling to just ‘know’ when I had enough and to stop. Sadly I went through a lot of upheaval and never quite got back on track. I am hoping for the normal eating outcome here and yes I have been mindlessly eating for Britain!

  2. I am aware of having a bad relationship with food, but it’s very negative! Over the years I have used it as punishment, hating myself so much, that I have starved myself, loving the control that brings but the viscous cycle of failing and binging takes you down further into self destruction, I have never enjoyed food but seen it all as a negative. I am loving the slimpod as it is slowly allowing me to change the whole mindset and to be good to myself, creating new habits and loving myself, it’s all good.

  3. I definitely have used food as a reward and an emotional crutch. Love the analogy using a baby and have taken your advice on board. Everything about babies is relevant, except nappies!

  4. Thanks for this – it makes perfect sense! My problem has always been mindless eating, especially late at night. Now I can ask myself, would I feed my precious baby such rubbish in the middle of the night – I think not!! ??

  5. As a newcomer to Slimpod Gold, I find that everything in this blog speaks to me personally. I associate family, good times and bad times with food. I’m so looking forward to my brain changes. I’m excited to see what is in store.

  6. My Dad always said to me ‘a car will not run without fuel’. And that is exactly how I see my food. I need to give my body nourishment to be able to do the things I want to do in life

  7. I very much like the phrase “mindlessly eating for Britain” and unfortunately identify with it too much. Trying to stop. I suppose another is “Stop treating yourself like a human dustbin – you’re gorgeous”.

  8. Geraldine Mackey

    Never think of food ( have no favorite foods) but when in bad form big time (bread) & I have to eat because of taking insulin ( afraid of the lows ) when I have a low and take a sweet it is like turning on a tap that you cannot turn off

  9. I totally sit in the emotional eating box. I turn to food for every kind of emotion, pleasure, pain, reward, sadness, tiredness. What also really has struck me is rewarding for good behaviour with food when young. I can’t remember for sure if that was the case for me but I certainly do it now. I have a 21 month old and I found myself giving her a snack for being so good! So I can see how easily this can happen! It was a not an unhealthy snack but still it was a food reward….should I do that…?

  10. Your remarks about feeding a baby are especially relevant to me as both my daughter and daughter in law are staying with me and their 6 month old babies.
    They keep discussing what foods to give them – I will now pay more attention and think of my own bad eating habits.

  11. Yes I constantly reward myself with cake, or sugary treats. I can’t seem to stop this bad behaviour. I really need help ?

  12. Since starting Slimpod Gold, I have a much better relationship with food. Unfortunately I have not lost weight, but I have had an upsetting and emotional 18 months where without Slimpod I would have undoubtedly have put on a lot of weight. I was a truly emotional eater previously, so I can identify with the comments in this blog.

  13. I have a very unhealthy relationship with food. It is like an addiction that i cant stop. I have lost weight before but i alwaus end up putting it back on. At this time i am living to eat instead of eating to live.

  14. Carole Le Gresley

    I really identify with the idea of food as a reward! I’ve been on Slimpod Gold for a month and it’s been brilliant, I’ve noticed real changes to my thinking and eating patterns. I just want a normal relationship with food. Slimpod’s got me back into going on long walks, doing lots of thinking…and I suddenly remembered this morning that when I was 5 years old, I was left unattended and drank a whole bottle of penicillin (it was pink and sweet, right up my street!). I was rushed to hospital and had my stomach pumped – believe me, having a tube forced down your throat is a horrendous experience! When I left hospital after a few days, I’d lost weight and my family started ‘feeding me up’…my Mum whipped raw eggs into my hot chocolate…so I rapidly put on weight and rapidly became known as ‘Carole The Barrel’ at primary school…so I guess that’s where all the problems began! After years of yo-yo dieting, I finally feel Slimpod is letting me befriend my body and mind…I can’t wait to see what happens over the coming weeks!

  15. Hi Sandra. I completely identify with this. Realise that in so many ways food became a substitute for missing people in my life. By that I mean people who were not “there” for me in the way I needed them to be at key points in my life. This isn’t a beat those people up moment as it wasn’t necessarily their fault. However because my food was “there”, my chocolate or ice cream or sweets etc didn’t let me down – they were dependable & I could lean on them…
    Completely unhealthy relationship I know?. Thankfully the shift is here. Sugar pod has been revelatory for me. Haven’t touched a chocolate in over a month & sweets have also fallen by the wayside…
    We are talking about dependencies of over 40 year’s you know…
    I’m now watching portion sizes shrinking …

  16. I certainly would not feed a baby the way I was feeding myself over the past ten years. I breast fed my children because I wanted the best for them. I’m now starting to nourish my body again & starting a proper relationship with food. I’m thrilled with Slimpod & feel so positive. Stress whilst working in NHS nearly killed me.

  17. My parents used to give us sweets and chocolate as rewards for helping and doing well. Also my mother had a very sweet tooth so always encouraged me to eat sweet things more than healthy

  18. Ooohhh that made me think…. I’m trying hard to get out of the “I’ve had a very bad day at work so I deserve something nice to eat/drink” mindset. I’ll need to re-read this when I get that feeling…..

  19. I absolutely would not and did not feed my children rubbish when they were little and fortunately they are very sporty and like to eat healthy food as well as indulging in the odd bit of junk…
    I have completely changed my whole way of eating in the last 3 weeks. I now eat good nourishing food and I love it!!!

  20. I do already make fairly good food choices and rarely eat junk. However, I eat too much of the good stuff! Food as a reward is not helpful.

  21. If I were a baby, or indeed if I were feeding a baby, I wouldn’t eat a lot of the stuff available to eat. Certainly not the junk food. Saying that, even baby foods now have higher amounts of sugar in. Not the jars but the snacks and porridges. I do remember as a child being rewarded with something ‘special’ like a bar of chocolate or a cake for doing something good or for special occasions. I guess it does stick with you that when you feel you need a reward you often reach for something sweet. If I’m not well I sometimes want some chocolate to cheer me up. So I would say that yes I do unconsciously associate sugary stuff as a pick me up. I’m hoping to change that though with Slimpod. 🙂

  22. I do not think about food until I am hungry and then I will grab the easiest and quickest food available which is usually bread. Then I will eat until I am full. I don’t buy cakes, biscuits, takeaways and I don’t drink. I wish I knew where I am gpingvwrong.

  23. i am not overweight and I mainly have a healthy diet and eat mainly little and often. The trouble is i delay eating until later in the day so to save the food as long as I can. I have set safe foods but enjoy and cook more interesting foods on Saturdays or eat out. I used to binge and take laxatives, this has mainly stopped but from the minute I wake I am thinking of food all the time. Food controls my life, we can never deviate from the set pattern, eg eat out at lunchtime instead of an evening as I fear I will not be able to stop and will pick for the rest of the day. Your articles have been spot on as I do need to retrain my brain to recognise when it’s had enough food. Any ideas in my case how to become normal. Thanks.

  24. Of course I would not feed a baby in this way, having suffered depression and anxiety the outcome was falling into poor habits and simply not caring which, caused me to fall off track after substantial weight loss that had been kept off for 9 years

  25. Totally identify with this, big emotional eater but although I listen to my slimpod each night I can’t get out of eating sweets stuff, like cakes etc. Not sure if the slimpods will help me need to know more about the programme

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About Sandra
Founder of Thinking Slimmer
Food addiction expert
Member of All-Party Parliamentary Obesity Group
Huffington Post contributor
DipCHyp HPD NLP MasterPrac
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