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.

299 thoughts on “Food Has Been My Best Friend

    1. Great point Kylie Jackson and something worth bringing awareness to! Honestly, most of us (in the wealthy countries) hardly get a chance to go hungry with all the food we are eating during one day.

      1. Yes, we can get in a ’tis’ about missing a meal or not having sufficient snacks on us to get us through the day and yet we can survive for something like 30 days without food. I’m not suggesting for one moment that we try but it’s interesting to feel our need to have food 24/7.

  1. Food, food and the things we love to do with food. While replacing foods with ‘better’ varieties has been the push for many years and does allow you a different style of thinking and eating it’s still not the clear and full picture. What is food? What is it to be truly used for? Is it meant to be a focus or just one of many parts of something that is there to support and nourish us in a certain way. We are seeing many more articles about how we cover things with food, feelings, emotions, cycles etc all covered with food. I really don’t think you can ask the current food industry for the truth because there is too much at stake for them. Money currently controls food and in that we will always be fed the lie. Food isn’t what it seems as this blog is saying and settling for a better version of the same thing doesn’t mean it’s still not covering something. By all means eat lighter so you feel lighter but realise this is just another part of letting go of how we are with food.

  2. The effects of certain foods on my body is constantly surprising me. More recently I’ve noticed that when I eat sweet things out of an absolute need to numb something I am feeling, the next day my face is puffy and I look tired the whole day, even if I have had what felt like a decent sleep. Not only do I look tired, I feel a bit lethargic and all I want is more of the sugary fix to keep me going. It’s an awful cycle to be trapped in.

  3. I can so relate Danielle and it is great to bring awareness to the fact that what we call ‘hunger’ may not necessarily be the need of the body to eat but something else that is going on. The body can easily go without food for a day or even a few days, whilst the mind and spirit can not. So we mostly eat not for nutrition but for comfort and the increasing rate of comfort food in the supermarkets makes this truth very obvious as well as the fact of ever increasing statistics of obesity and diabetes, which clearly shows that we overeat.

  4. Boy oh boy, what an on-target article this is in what it reveals and shares about the dynamics we attach to food! Food has been my best friend too, and still is, when it comes down to it. Loosening the attachment to food by accepting more of what I feel – the good, the bad and the ugly – is the way forward, for intellect (‘mind-set’) alone will not do it. The failure of the diet and gym industry to offer any lasting change beyond that which rigid discipline can exert attests to this truth.

  5. The spirit is exceptionally cunning when it comes to finding ways to get us exactly what we crave. I recognise in myself the same kind of planning ahead, especially as food choices have reduced, and the same kind of crutch-like dependence as described here. I can feel as I write this my dependence on food is one giant distraction, a way of limiting life so it’s all about the next meal rather than what’s truly needed. Put this way, obsessing about food is a great way to keep playing it small.

  6. It is crazy on one hand to eat our self away from how lovely we truly are. But if we avoid our choices to not be that love, that never goes away we have to repeatedly numb ourselves. And from experience, the more we eat the numbing foods the more our thought patterns go from – ‘this feels horrible in my tummy’ to ‘I love this!’ It’s only until we break that cycle do we get to feel that our initial feelings have always been there (the intolerance to the food) underneath the mind that says there’s nothing wrong, just a little bit or ‘I can’t live without it’

  7. I recall someone saying to me that food is a controversial area, and I have to agree. There is so much information about food and diets, not to mention the vested interests in food that it is so confusing. What do we eat. This is good for you, that is not good for you. The only person that have ever talked common sense about food is Serge Benhayon in that our body is the guide that will tell us what to eat and what not to eat. I have found it a process over time and like you Danielle developing real honesty with food and eating and there is definitely more to how we are with food that simply nourishing our bodies. The truth is though our food and drink choices are never about our food and drink choices, it’s about our needs, what are we not living or choosing, what are we not expressing. Food and how we choose it and eat it is a great marker for us to see how we are travelling and how we are in ourselves and if we saw it that way, maybe we would see that we actually don’t have any issues with food at all.

    1. History has shown, it’s not in the interests of the “food industry’ to be honest about whether certain foods are ‘good’ for us, or not, or even what our daily intake should be for each food group. The only thing we can rely on to tell us the truth about what we need, is our body, it never lies and never judges. It’s up to us to stop and listen.

  8. “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”. My best friend too and to be honest, now and then I allow this friend to visit me falling for the comfort it is offering me. I am observing the way I am with food (instead of beating myself up for my choices) or better stay with myself and why I don’t want to feel what is there to be felt at any given moment.

  9. Food is a huge part of life for many people. I was observing kids playing recently and they were erratic and all over the place- they had eaten heaps of high processed sugar foods for lunch- a daily occurrence that has become quite normal. I was watching it and wondering- it would be crazy to see animals feed their young foods that totally knocked them about yet as humans we don’t really question it. We need to be asking why? Why is this normal?

  10. If we connect deeply to the body and feel the delicacy and rhythm of it we would never think of dulling this with food of any kind. Could it be that we tend to dull ourselves with any treat we can find, and of which many are food? When this is true, this knowing could be a key to all the issues we in general experience as a community with life.

  11. Danielle, I can very much relate to this, ‘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.’ What I have noticed is that the less I eat the more light and well I feel, I notice that if I snack in the day this actually makes me feel more tired than if I don’t snack or have a meal in the middle of the day, it feels like I have a slump after snacks and lunch, my body loves feeling light and not weighed down with too much food; I feel much clearer and more me.

  12. Thank you Danielle for your sharing. Food is the downfall of many of us and I feel it will be for a while. There is also trust involved here where we need to listen to our bodies and the truth they reveal to us all.

    1. Yes, Roslyn, absolutely, trusting in and listening to our bodies and then honouring how we feel, even if that means not eating when everyone around us is. I know times when I’ve sat down to dinner not really feeling like eating, but because everyone else is, I find myself joining in, to take away the uncomfortable feeling from not eating. The more I override how my body feels like this, the more numb I become to what it is sharing with me.

      1. I have done the same Alison, I’ve done it countless times with cake or eating food which I know is not going to support me and eating when my body is telling me not to to block out the layers of anxiousness that I don’t want to feel.

  13. An awesome blog exposing how complex and abusive our relationship with food can be. As obesity levels continue to sky rocket world wide, it is more critical than ever that we look at what’s driving us to eat certain foods and the way in which we eat food generally. Are we eating to nourish our body or to numb it from feeling what is truly going on?

  14. Whilst our ‘go tos’ vary – the reason we go to anything that dulls us is the same – ‘I don’t want to feel’ and thus ‘I don’t want to evolve right now’.

  15. From a young age I have rushed my food, I would race to finish it as a child to make sure I didn’t miss out on a second portion and this pattern has stayed with me as an adult. Breaking this pattern has not been easy to shift particularly when I’ve spent the day disconnected from my body as I use the meal as a opportunity to numb the separation I have felt during the day.

  16. Using food as a distraction has contributed to the overall ill health we see in our world today. We have the knowledge of what foods are good for us and the portions of which to eat. What has been missing is the love of self and honour for our body that will support us to feed ourselves for vitality.

  17. This article made me laugh as I remembered being a kid and saying things that are mentioned here when I didn’t get what I wanted. It was the same for my children and we all had our little tweaks we made to it. I can relate to a lot of what is said in this article around food and while we still get tagged into a debate around food and hunger this is not truly about this. This is about feeling and not about food alone; it’s about more awareness around how we are with everything and why some are placed on different lists to others. It’s great to see things written and down that bust myths around things and this is one of them. If we keep leaving the world to be as it is then we allow the ‘norm’s’ to walk to a place where the only normal thing about them is that there a lot of people doing them; there is no relationship with quality or with what is truly being done.

  18. There are many reasons why we use food and I can certainly relate to the many shared by Danielle. Having food as my ‘best friend’ is something that resonates with me. I make sure it’s always there for those times when I need it. What I need to feel into during those times is why it is that I need it and what foods I use and when? I have been away over the last few days and went without a few meals. Now this was not with the intention to starve myself – not at all. But just to observe myself, my patterns and what comes up. What I see is that being alone and being at home are the times when I ‘binge’ It’s relatively easy to not need my ‘go to’ foods when I am away. So the questions are how have I been during my day that I need to ‘binge’ when I am home and/or alone. There is also the thought, well no one will know what I am doing, so it’s ok. But this is not true. We may not be able to see what goes on behind closed doors, but we know that things are not travelling well with neighbours and friends etc. What I am recognising, certainly for me, is that how I use food and the foods I specifically choose highlight very much how I am during my day and how I am walking through all that occurs and how I express in every moment.

  19. Food fuels our body and nourishes its bodily functions. That should be our primary focus of eating but in this day and age we are far more likely to eat for comfort or even indulgence which will always be at the expense of the quality of food we eat. In a world that obesity statistics are escalating significantly which in turn is putting more and more of a burden on our already overwhelmed health care system, this is something we all need to start to get honest about to change our ways.

  20. Weight loss programmes and diet plans are a billion pound industry that does not even begin to touch on the gold that you have shared here Danielle. Will power with food never truly works. Connecting to who we truly are does.

  21. I’ve started to realise how often thoughts of food come in. But I’m now starting to understand, through presentations I attend via Universal Medicine, that these thoughts aren’t truly my own and that recognising this means I can set them aside and turn to my body – a far more reliable indicator – for information on how and what I’m truly feeling. However understanding that the thoughts we receive might not be our own means accepting the possibility that we are fed thoughts from sources external to us that might not have our best interests at heart. This is a truth for me.

  22. My relationship with food has changed. I used to control what I ate and how much and as soon I let this ill-behaviour go I noticed a change. The change was that I was becoming honest with my relationship with food and instead of controlling food with my mind I began to notice the times in my day when I felt I needed something sugary and would eat it. I then began to associate the need with an overwhelming feeling that I couldn’t cope with what was in front of me and would reach out for a banana to make me feel better to try and fill the empty feeling inside which didn’t make me feel better but more racy and stimulated. Making a connection with what is going on in my life and food and my choice as to whether I take responsibility for how I am feeling is certainly supporting me to have an understanding of my relationship with food and as I become more honest with myself the more I can pause to reflect on what is going on within and around me.

  23. I totally agree food can be used as a way to comfort or trying numb what we’re feeling. I know my go to foods when my body hurts, or I’m really tired and they’re certainly not what I would choose to nourish my body normally. It’s become so obvious that the food I want to eat is a direct reflection of how I’m feeling within myself that day.

    1. Yes, I agree. It is so interesting to be aware of our cravings and understanding where they stem from which usually supports us to make wiser and more loving food choices.

  24. Our lack of contentment in life can’t be quelled with food, but the focus can be shifted elsewhere quite easily. For example, many people struggle with feeling uncomfortable in their bodies as a result of what they have eaten – and as a result, feel a lack of contentment within themselves and their body. If we don’t deal with the rawness of the discontentment from our day – we are faced with it as secondary level of discontentment which appears to be with ourselves, when it is in fact not us at all.

  25. Love the honesty of this sharing Danielle… and the fact that you are seeing the ‘crazy’ nature of our use of food to numb, dull down, and/or distract ourselves from not only what we may be feeling at the time, but essentially, the amazingness of our true nature.
    The way you have described such a use of food leaves me pondering all the more deeply, how we can fuel an anxiousness within that is actually calling for us to become more still, allow the depth of connection with ourselves, and know that yes, we can be who we are in this world.
    It is the depth of our sensitivity that deserves honouring here and the most gentle and loving support, that we may actually make the choice to deepen, rather than go into further raciness or numbing behaviours that essentially keep what is there for us to embrace, at bay.

  26. Being honest with ourselves is the first step to taking responsibility and looking more deeply into the issues we are trying to numb and bury with food so we cannot feel or deal with them. Building a deeper and more caring relationship with our body opens our awareness to feeling how our choices are impacting our body and we are then able to change our choices so that they are far more supportive.

  27. I can relate to your blog so well. I used to get very grumpy and even angry when I was hungry. I didn’t understand why but would eat to get rid of that feeling. Now I don’t feel like this anymore because my relationship with food has changed and I have developed more loving choices. I now eat to nourish instead of numbing and allowing myself to feel what is going on instead of ignoring it. It’s made a huge difference to how I relate to people close to me and this supports me to be myself more and more.

  28. We can survive quite a long time without food. I’ve questioned in myself whether what I associate as a feeling of hunger really is hunger. Or is that just what I think hunger is and have labelled it so? Perhaps that empty feeling in my stomach is not hunger. And does it really need to be avoided? Is that feeling really so bad, or is there more going on?

  29. It is interesting how we use food to stop ourselves feeling what we dont want to feel, and how we can interpret what we call hunger, for something completely different. I had a day recently which started early in the morning, and was very full, to the point where I didnt actually have time to stop and eat anything until the evening. The remarkable thing was that although I felt a bit hungry at afew point during the day, I did not keel over and fall to the ground due to my lack of food, but every time I felt the ‘hunger’ pangs I had a drink of water. I worked hard throughout the day and did not feel exhausted at the end of it. This was a real marker for me, and showed me how much I use food often as a crutch to ‘keep me going’. Although there may be some days when we do need ot eat more often it brought a greater awareness of my own continual dependency on food, and that there can be a differnet way to look at the food we eat and the way we eat it.

  30. This is such a great offering. I have been noticing how I have been overeating nuts almost every day. I come home and eat my dinner and I am full, yet I reach for a handful or two of nuts. As I have already been exposed to some knowledge about our relationship with food so I try to look back at my day, and what I am finding is it is impossible to isolate a moment or an incident that would be the cause of that – a day is a continuous one big long moment that is how it is because of how it was the moment ago. It is an ongoing observation for me – the one that reveals so much about the ‘me’ I didn’t want to accept.

  31. I have always “loved” food and to be more accurate, I have loved using food to stop me feeling things. Its been a great way to distract myself from other things in my life. Lately though, I have really noticed how certain foods make me feel, it is actually a really unpleasant feeling when the foods are sugary. I feel it tingling in my head and rushing through my blood, I cannot think straight until it has worn off, its almost like waiting for a drug to leave my system, its cool though because I never thought I could quit sweets but it seems they are quitting me.

  32. We underestimate how much we use food for emotional reasons, and the detrimental effect this has on our lives and the choices we make that affect others.

  33. For me it was not so much about eating sugar foods and the like, because my foods are gluten, sugar and dairy free so no dulling from the types of food I am eating but i did notice the other day when I ate more food than my body needed how much dulling and numbing I felt in my body, so what was it I was not wanting to feel, even eating the amount of good food is some thing to be aware of.

  34. Thank you Danielle for sharing about foods and how they can affect you and certainly too how we can use foods as a means to cope with life and to bury how we feel. How sad it is that we have such a false relationship with food – why can we not have a simple honest relationship with food rather than use food and abuse it and in the process abuse and shut down our body? I have done the same and often catch myself still doing it. For example I will also plan my day ensuring I have access to foods that support me (this is a very caring thing to do!) but then I will over eat or stuff myself when I do eat. I also tend to use food as a reward, so I might end up stuffing myself at the end of a big day as a means of patting myself on the back for all that I have achieved! Once again, this exposes the type of relationship that I am creating with food, one that is not based on mutual love and respect and care for the body. Much food for thought here Danielle! Thank you for sharing what you have experienced and have been working on!

  35. If we don’t judge or condemn ourself by our past choices it’s easier to be truly honest with ourself about what we have been choosing and from there have a platform from which to change. Bringing in more real love and acceptance of ourself gives us a foundation from which we can build more love in every aspect of the way that we live.

  36. I am so done with food!! I can really relate with what you say when we plan our day etc around food and I have subconsciously been doing this for a very long time. I am now starting to choose to plan my day around love and service. Food is not the first priority in my life yet I have let this been so now I am starting to lovingly say no. As you so rightly said we use food for a treat, comfort but I would say this is the main reason we use food … not to feel what we are feeling or to dull our awareness ‘Not only do I use food as a treat or a comfort, but also to try to not feel at all’.

  37. The way most use food is very similar to a pharmacist…we know what foods to go to for an upper, a downer, to take the edge off this emotion or that emotion, to distract, to numb etc. That’s why it can be so hard to change what we eat, because it means changing not just our eating choices but our whole life…

  38. Over-eating is not necessarily grossly eating beyond what we need in order to keep evolving. It can be subtle as well. The subtler it is, the more we wrap around with things that appeal to us and our ideals, the less we can see the extent to which we are using food in order to dull ourselves and make sure we do not really feel ourselves. We use ‘under the radar’ techniques to support our decision to fly ‘under the radar’.

  39. It’s possibly a big step for some to see food this way but if you have a look you will see there is more to food then just a meal. Look at when you eat what you eat, not as a pressure of even with the thought of doing anything else but just look and ask why that food then. I remember and still have foods I eat at certain times for certain things. If I am out and about, the end of the week as opposed to the beginning, the morning to the night, if you’re feeling lonely to when you don’t etc etc and the list and detail can go on and on. What the key is that you allow yourself to at least open to what is possible, not just with food but with anything. The more awareness and understanding you have, the more you allow yourself to see what is there anyway.

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