Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

I know you think you’ll be fine once you figure out how to “control” food. But…Isn’t that what you’ve tried to do all these years with no success?

I had and insane and damaging relationship with food for 15 years. I also thought that if only I were able to “stay on track” for a week and gain momentum to “be good”, then I’d be onto something. I hated my body and wanted to disappear. During the ugliest moments, I was hopeless. I was sure that living a “narrow”, lonely life was my destiny. 

Many things contributed to restoring my sanity around food. In thisthis andthis blog I cover some of the practical and mental actions that helped me, for example. After reflecting on my past and my clients’ own journey, I realize there are three things that preceded any progress and no one is talking about them.

Read them carefully. Reflect on your own experience:

Truth # 1: You desire for sanity must be stronger than your desire to look a certain way.

I found an email I sent my sister in January 2013, a year after I started my journey towards making friends with food. In it I wrote: “Yes. I’m happy with the way I look. But now I understand that the goal is not maintaining my looks, but my emotional sanity. Do you understand? The goal is not to keep a specific weight to feel pretty and as a result, smile. The goal is to grow emotionally so I don’t need to feel I need to control everything.”

The question then is, is your desire for sanity and have your life back stronger than your desire to look a certain way or achieve a specific weight?

Truth # 2: You must dedicate time to do the work that’s required to build sanity around food.

Our brains are wired to take the path of least resistance. You’ve been fighting food for years! It’s only natural that it’s hard as hell to take actions that contradict your usual pattern. It will make you uncomfortable and it will feel like another thing to add to your to do list. Yes, it will take time. But I promise that it won’t happen if you don’t do the work.

When it comes to how you relate to your plate and your body, progress is only possible if you do your “homework”. Real self-care is prioritizing and making space on your schedule—no matter how small—to get your sanity back. Then, all the things that you desire and seem so hard to reach will materialize. 
It won’t be easy. I can tell you that. But getting your sanity and life back is priceless.The question then is, if your desire for sanity and having your life back is stronger than you desire for a number on the scale, are you willing to do the work that it takes?

The question then is, if your desire for sanity and having your life back is stronger than you desire for a number on the scale, are you willing to do the work that it takes?

[Early next year I’ll offer a group coaching program where I’ll guide you and other women who fight food in the journey towards sanity. Sign up here to get updates]

Truth # 3: You must remember to be curious.

Juts like you now, seven years ago I was so desperate to feel sane, normal and happy, that I was willing to try anything! (outside of the realm of shakes, appetite suppressants and diets, of course). 

Today I realize I was always curious. I was willing to read books, go to support groups, do rituals, share my most intimate thoughts with strangers, etc, just for the sake of maybe finding something that would work for me.

Not everything worked. Not everything rang a bell. But an attitude of curiosity and open mind allowed me to get in touch with the parts of me I needed to listen. I had powerful breakthroughs I’m convinced I would not have had if it were not for my willingness to do the work and curiosity.

BONUS – Truth # 4: You cannot do the work alone.

I tried it many years. It didn’t work. Whenever I tried to do it on my own, I ended up implementing the same restrictive, controlling strategies. 

Look for help. Whatever works for you and seems like the right fit. The sense of liberation that comes from asking for help and finally surrendering and accepting you cannot control your craziness, is very powerful and makes truths 1-3 exponentially easier.

The information provided on this post is for educational and informational purposes only and solely as a self-help tool for your own use. 

Written by Lina Salazar.


  • Lina Salazar

    Anti-Diet Health Coach

    Live Well

    Lina is an Anti-diet Health Coach based in Washington D.C. She helps women make peace with food by breaking free from diet culture, increased emotional agility, and an enhanced attunement to their bodies. Lina’s practice is based on the principles of Health at Every Size® (HAES), intuitive eating, and leading insights and tools from eastern thought on how to actualize emotional, mental, and physical well-being.  She also works with companies and leads mindfulness sessions in organizations of all sizes. Prior to this work, Lina worked for several years in international development, passing through entities such as the OECD in Paris and the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington D.C. Lina holds a dual master's degree in Public Administration (MPA) from Columbia University, and Sciences Po in Paris. She is a political scientist and a lawyer from the Universidad de los Andes in Colombia. Lina got her certification at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York. Lina is a board member at FRESHFARM, a nonprofit that promotes sustainable agriculture and improves food access and equity in the Mid-Atlantic region. Lina writes for Thrive Global, and has been interviewed on the podcasts Lunch Agenda, Simple Roots, pineapple radio, Unbreakable You and A-Cup. You can follow Lina on Instagram, LinkedIn and read her blog.