Food Has Been My Best Friend

 by Danielle, 31, Goonellabah

I recently read a post by Tony Steenson about his relationship with cigarettes (Goodbye Peter Jackson), how he used them as a comfort when he was bored, sad and lonely, or when things were too much. He had done this since the age of 15, and shared how he was able to give them up.

I can relate to this exact scenario with food, especially sugary foods, or foods that are crunchy or have a certain texture like chips, biscuits, crackers or nuts that go creamy in my mouth. Reading through Tony’s story I saw I had the exact same patterns with food that Tony had had with cigarettes. These included times when I needed to have food close by me (at arm’s length) in most parts of my day and my life, even driving. I’ve told myself it’s good to take food places in case I get hungry and can’t find anything healthy to eat, but it’s really there to have as a backup in case I ‘need’ food. Sometimes I get anxious or even angry if I don’t have easy access to the foods that I want to eat. 

I recall being like this as a child, going places with my family and complaining that I was hungry and that I needed food now! When told to wait until we got home I would whinge and moan that I needed it now. I even remember around the age of 10, on a fishing trip with my family, threatening to eat my arm if we didn’t go and get food. It was a joke at the time, or a way to tell my family I was serious, or to get attention – but what was driving me to be like that, to so desperately need food?

I’m very often still driven in the same way: I can see that I make sure I have the foods I need in the cupboard at home and I’m often thinking and planning about food and what my next meal will be. When I’m going on a long drive I will plan ahead in my mind where I can stop to get food if I need it. This requires more planning than ever before because I no longer grab a lolly bag or sweet juice, but will only eat gluten free, dairy free and low sugar foods, so the planning is more complicated as my choice of emergency food outlets are less available.

I’m beginning to understand how I use food as a comfort in case things aren’t going my way, or going how I thought they were going to go, or if I can’t handle or enjoy my own company (being alone), or if I am tired or feel a sense of sadness for no clear reason. Food has been my one and truly reliable best friend that is there in any moment that I need, to comfort and make me feel better. Not only do I use food as a treat or a comfort, but also to try to not feel at all, to not feel how tired I am or to not feel what is going on. I have learnt this from a very young age.

I’ve also learnt which foods do this most easily, eg. sugary, salty, fatty, gluten and dairy foods… or if I eat too much of anything it has the same effect. More recently I’ve cut out all of these foods and have been more aware not to overeat but interestingly, I’ve begun to see that I can eat gluten free, dairy free and sugar free foods in a certain way and it will still be comforting, cause me to bloat, feel racy, numb or not be aware of what I am feeling. For example, if I eat a healthy salad or an apple rushed or standing in the kitchen, or focussed on my work or my emotions or driving – or in any way that I’m focussed on doing something else, it still results in a numbing effect, or even bloating.

Tony Steenson’s post and many comments or inspirations I have heard through Universal Medicine have helped me to be honest enough to see the attachment I have to food. The courses and self-growth I have done with Universal Medicine have allowed me to feel that I can begin to consider what it is that I am not wanting to feel, begin to feel it and deal with it, so I don’t need to use food to numb my feelings.

At the end of the day I feel I have eaten in a numbing or comforting way because I have not been content with myself and who I am. Universal Medicine has shown me a way I can choose to reconnect with myself and love who I am from the inside out. So now I am beginning to feel how lovely I am, accept this and feel that I am more than enough no matter where I am, what I have done, who is with me or what is going on around me. I now feel how wonderful it can be to just sit still, with me, feeling a light body, not a sugar rushed or bloated body. So it’s crazy to want to use food to numb who I am deep down.

364 thoughts on “Food Has Been My Best Friend

  1. It’s easy to see how we feel controlled by food when the compulsion to eat is so strong even when we are not hungry, and the tension inside of us will not leave, or we think it won’t until we’ve eaten enough to stop us feeling the tension. The tension is still there even when it has been masked, but we so desperately want relief from it, and instead of sitting with the tension and asking why it’s there in the first place and what exactly is it that we don’t want to feel when we eat.

  2. I can relate to much of what you wrote. I used to have a bag with lots of food with me on trips or to work just in case I would have to use it. Most of the times I didn’t eat it all but I got calm knowing I had it just in case.

  3. It’s crazy how much of our time we spend thinking about food, not even eating the food but stressing, fantasising, craving, feeling hungry etc.

  4. What we need to understand here with food is that it is not so much a certain food we hunger for, but a very particular vibration that this food will offer. As strange as it may well seem, we overeat, under eat or go for the foods that will not truly support us to sustain our vitality, in order to counter our ever increasing awareness as we evolve back to who we truly are. But this numbness is very specific according to what we want to achieve. E.g. do we want salty foods that make us harden and feel ‘protected’? Do we want sweet foods that make us feel racy and take us away from out innate stillness? Do we want damp foods that interfere with our connection with our divinity, or do we want foods that dull our awareness and prevent us from truly observing what is really going on? There is so much for us to observe and explore here without getting caught in the trap of what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’.

  5. Recently I listened to a report on an Italian family in Rome who provide cooking workshops in their family home, so that people get a real experience of Italian life which was much enjoyed by the participants, not just for the tasty home-made food but the sense of belonging to the family. From early on, food is very much related to how we feel and connect with people and thus it is no wonder that food comes to be representative of our emotional and social life. When looking at our food choices and behaviours, we also need to look at our unresolved emotional needs and hurts and the quality of connection we have and long for with people, otherwise working on food issues will always fall short of the much bigger underlying issue.

  6. Our relationship with food is a reflection of how accepting we are of ourselves. The more we appreciate and make choices that are loving and supportive the less we feel the need to disregard our body and abuse ourselves with food to supplement our lack of connection.

  7. Food quite often would feature in my day because I would feel a panic or overwhelm, and the comfort of the taste or texture was exactly what I wanted. And being honest about this, with out judgement or critique, but rather to simply let this play out as it will, has brought in to my life a great foundation of understanding, for myself and others and I have to come to understand that we simply all need to make our own steps and choices and really it is only through life experience that anything really ever changes.

  8. Food is probably the single most thought about topic on the planet. Well maybe there are other topics too, but food is certainly up there. It drives us every day in the search for gratification. It has become much much more than fuel. Even 100 short years ago the food choices on offer were far less than we have today. Meat and vegetables were a normal meal. These days if you don’t have 3 different sauces, condiments, desert choices, and herbed bread something is amiss! With obesity on the rise it is definitely time to reconsider food in our lives, its role, and its true benefits.

    1. This is so true Heather. And have you noticed how in shopping malls the food hall is taking over from the retail outlets in terms of space and consumption?

  9. This is such a wise observation, and amazing honesty here, for you to see how it is not what we consume, but our relationship with it that we need to look at. We can so easily deceive ourselves by swapping a ‘bad’ stuff to a not so bad stuff and think that we have somehow become better, and it doesn’t even have to be food.

  10. Food – the ultimate and always easy to justify emotional survival self-medication. Food is probably the most accepted and used legal ‘drug’ in society. We are emotionally starving but gorge ourselves with food instead.

    1. Love this Alex food is probably the most accepted and used legal drug in our society. We use food for everything except what it is meant for, purely as support and to nourish us, not as an emotional crutch to numb us from what is really going on in life. Humanity are now constant grazers and gorgers, overloading their bodies to such an extent that obesity is now a very serious problem world wide and costing the health services billions of pounds in trying to cope with the illnesses associated with obesity.

  11. I didn’t want to feel the lovelessness we express in life and from this reaction I can eat when I don’t need to or not eat for a long time, both an abuse to the body which is a resistance to feel our own preciousness.

  12. It is the anxiety that I feel about what is going on around me, all the tension and the mental activity that drives me to want to eat, to be numb and to feel like I have some kind of control of the situation or at least of myself. And then the cycle continues where I lament the food I’ve eaten for comfort because it usually makes me feel gross, thus further cementing the belief that I actually have no control at all… But what if there was a different way? What if at the core of all of this there is simply an un-appreciated ability to handle everything, to be still and quiet amongst life and to not let what is imposing or confusing get us down? What if living with awareness actually meant living without anxiety?

  13. I would have to say that food has been my best friend also. My new best friend is myself, where I care about what I eat and how it feels in my body.

  14. No matter what I eat I can still feel lovelessness it can’t stop what is felt and it seems more simple to take the steps to return to love. When I want to eat lots I know I have things I need to say.

  15. Thank you Danielle, I often find at certain times I rush through a meal and I feel terrible afterwards. It feels like I’m using the way that I’m eating to dull and race the body, even though the food is ok it’s the way I am at that particular mealtime that makes the difference.

  16. It is far more common for many of us to have an unhealthy relationship with food, using it as a means to numb and check out from our awareness of life and handling our emotions, rather than eating food to truly nourish and support our body. When we feel an emptiness or lack of love in our body, we may react by dulling our awareness in order to not feel it, instead of deepening our relationship with ourselves and choosing to build and deepen the love within us.

  17. Thanks Danielle for sharing this. I shed a tear today reading this as it brought a deeper understanding to my relationship with food. This relationship is far less complex than it used to be but there is still so much to unpack with it. It is still a strong go-to for me when I am feeling unsure, sad, angry, frustration or also feeling pretty good.

  18. I could relate to a lot that was shared in this blog. I have days when I think about food a lot and plan what I am going to eat. Other days it falls into its proper place, a support for my body but nothing I need or crave. This all depends on how connected I feel and how delicately I am treating myself.

  19. What stands out for me re-reading this blog is it is not the food per se that is the problem, it is the quality in which we bring to our living way in every movement and breathe in every day – e.g. how we buy food, how we prepare it and how it is eaten, affects how it is digested and whether it nourishes or bloats the body
    “For example, if I eat a healthy salad or an apple rushed or standing in the kitchen, or focussed on my work or my emotions or driving – or in any way that I’m focussed on doing something else, it still results in a numbing effect, or even bloating.

  20. I am discovering that there is a ‘delicious’ essence within me…and within us all too…that is constant and does not need feeding. If I fall for the allure of a tasty treat, then it will often disconnect me from this innate deliciousness – and it is a high price to pay for a few moments of stimulation on the taste buds.

  21. Food is an incredible source of comfort and even safety for many. When I go to conferences there are lots of people, and it doesn’t take long until many are looking for food or needing to have something to eat or drink. Understanding why we crave food so much is vital for our health and wellbeing…

  22. I still don’t listen do what my body wants and override it with regards to food .. and other things. The question for me to ask with this is simple .. why?

  23. Absolutely! I know so many people who have used food in the same way, myself included. It’s incredible when you realise just how much of a drug we treat it as. It’s an addiction that goes a lot deeper than society cares to talk about.

  24. I noticed a lot of comfort eating in myself today and that’s why I read this blog. I love how you shared that nothing stops comfort eating, no strict regime or discipline no common sense nothing, only connecting to ourselves and how lovely we really are.

  25. It’s great to recognise how we can feel hungry but it’s not actually always true hunger – as in our body may not actually need food in that moment, or not need the thing we are craving and by developing a deeper relationship with our body and awareness of our state of being inside we can be more discerning of whether it is food that we need in that moment (and if so what kind) or whether there is an emotional reaction there for us to reflect on and heal…

  26. It’s a biggie this one, our relationship with food. It is literally killing us with so many of us overeating and it is crippling our health system with the rise of lifestyle related diseases. And it is such a personal one as well, as many of us eat as to not to feel and to dull ourselves from this world. This is why I adore Serge Benhayon so much as he is shining a light into this dark recess of humanity and asking us very directly yet gently, what is going for us that we are eating ourselves to death? And showing us a way of living that can lead us out of this –

  27. The comfort of food – we’ve used it for so long and it’s a hard one to break. Once upon a time I’d eat chocolate eclairs, a packet of Tim Tams, chocolate bars and so on to try and fill a void or to suitably numb me. These days, I can do the same with almonds, apples and even cucumbers. It’s often not what we eat but the intention behind eating and the energy in which we are eating.

  28. We use food as a distraction to cap the level of awareness we are cable of receiving; it is not just the quantity that we consume but also the quality in which we consume it in. Understanding this allows us to be more consistent in our movements to nurture our bodies with what is genuinely needed to serve.

  29. When we understand that eating food either supports or distorts our awareness, our obsession with certain foods is seen in a whole new light. Are we eating to dull or are we eating to shine? Do we eat foods that support our evolution back to Soul, or do we choose foods that will thwart and delay this? There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to eat, just an ever unfolding path of discernment honouring where we are at and what is needed at this time so we can make the necessary adjustments to support the health and vitality of our bodies and this beings within in order to get the most out of this life.

  30. It’s interesting, because to feel lonely and to need to numb this out shows that you are actually aware of the fact that we are never truly alone because we are all interconnected all of the time and so, loneliness is simply a decrease in your awareness and not the truth of your life.

  31. I am finding the following situation rather interesting. On the weekends being busy and focused I didn’t think about food until it came to dinner – and a beautiful dinner was enjoyed. But whilst at work images of food keep flooding in, pangs of hunger wap me in the belly and I’m pretty much food obsessed.
    How come, when that wasn’t the case when I’m not at work?
    It’s so clear that we use food – at least I know I do – to distract from what we don’t want to feel. It’s the perfect satiating go-to for the comfort we seek.

    1. I can relate to what you are saying here Katerina, and I don’t want to generalise, but it would seem that most people are eating not to feel going by the obesity rates we are currently experiencing.

  32. My relationship with food was very similar to yours Danielle, I remember feeling angry when I was feeling hungry and felt I needed food to get rid of that feeling of emptiness and irritation I didn’t want to feel. Now, I feel more at ease with feeling hungry and most of the time the hungry feeling was not true hunger, because when I sit with this feeling for a while I don’t actually really feel hungry. I found the hungry feeling is more frequent when I am not connected to my essence and sometimes it can feel like I am constantly hungry even though I have just eaten.

  33. This story also helps me to be honest on the fact that I do have an attachment to food. I see it, but try to manage it by not giving in to a craving by discipline, instead of looking to the underlying issues: that I have not a lot of love in my body, and am not connected to my essence. Once I fill myself with love, I don’t need food.

  34. I do recognize a lot in this story Danielle, thanks. Just like you I have an attachment to food, it is there always when I am not content with myself, when I am tired or when I just don’t want to feel the ugliness in my body that I allowed to enter. The fact that I am more and more feeling what the effect of eating the wrong foods and/or the right foods and the wrong moments have, makes it easier to stop eating. The other part is building love in my body, making it a joy to feel my body.

  35. Really interesting point you make here that even healthy food if it is eaten in certain way can still make us feel heavy in the body so clearly it is a much broader subject than just the food – it is also how it is prepared, purchased, cooked and eaten that also matters.

    1. Absolutely Andrew. Its intereseting how all the things that lead up to the actual eating of the food is so often overlooked, when in fact how we are during everypart of the process before we eat is equally as improtant to look at and understand if we are to make true and lasting changes to our relationship with food.

  36. I have really noticed how food can support my body and bring me vitality or it can drag it down and make it tired, bloated and lethargic or even racy sometimes. Being honest about how food really effects me has been a great revelation of me.

  37. It’s so exhausting to revolve life around food! It takes a lot of planning, time, money and effort to make sure one is well fed at every stop, corner and completion of something. Perhaps that’s how we distract ourselves from feeling the depths of wisdom and beauty that is actually within – instead of feeling this we are focusing on food, our next meal and how we will get from A to B without a snack.

  38. ‘Food has been my one and truly reliable best friend that is there in any moment that I need, to comfort and make me feel better.’ And you are not the only one who has this best friend. When I see how many places there are nowadays where you can buy food and snacks, how you can eat and drink something in a shop while you are trying on some new clothes, or buy other things that are in no way related to food. People are seeking to numb or reward themselves, to fill an emptiness they don’t want feel and it is considered normal to do so, that’s the most scary part I guess.

  39. I’ved use that good excuse as well, that I need to have food on me because I can’t eat a lot of what is prepared at most shops and I might get hungry. Well what happens most the time is that I end up eating not long after going out just because it is there. It’s super powerful to expose how food is no different to drugs or alcohol if we use it to numb or dull ourselves or plain and simply hold ourselves back.

  40. Oh, I can so relate Danielle to the meticulous and ever so impressive planning that I can go into about planning my next meal intake. If I brought that level of genius planning to all of life – well, I probably wouldn’t need to be so obsessive and compulsive about what my next meal will be…

    1. This is true Katerina and I notice how much time is required to prepare meals, then sit down to eat and clean up afterwards. By cutting out a meal or two through listening to my body would be supportive. Most of the time I eat because it is meal time or I have just prepared food for my family. But if I truly listen to my body I am not actually always needing to eat.

  41. Had we followed the advice of Socrates, “to eat to live and not live to eat”, we would not have the plague of heartburn, indigestion, obesity, bloating, etc. that we are at present experiencing worldwide. We have turned food into a numbing device, into a reward, into everything we think we need it to be rather than nourishment for our body.

    1. That is exactly it, and now fuelled more and more potently by a lucrative food and restaurant industry that is lapping up on our obsession with what has become one of the smartest entertaining devices ever created.

  42. Food can control our whole life when we use it as a means to indulge and numb ourselves or to check out from being aware and committing to engaging with life. Being willing to look at behaviours and be honest about how we are feeling starts the process of empowering ourselves and discerning through a deepening awareness how our choices affect our whole way of being.

  43. Food and emotions go hand in hand. If we really fed our bodies to sustain it our fridges wouldn’t be so full, we wouldn’t have frenzy shopping when there is a public holiday. It’s already started the war between the supermarkets as to who displays the first Christmas-y food and who allows themselves to be caught up in this? Once upon a time, I was until I realised how it had a hold of me, and then made different choices.

  44. Food is probably one of the largest single issues in society. It has turned into much more than a way to provide nutrition to the body, it is a way of life, available at our fingertips, there to provide the solution to all our woes, or to provide a way of celebrating with friends and family. What if our woes could be healed by looking at them more clearly, what if our celebrations could be had by connecting with one another’s company? There is another way other than our daily lives revolving around food.

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