Our relationship with food is in direct correlation to the relationship we have with ourselves – no doubt about it. Self-acceptance and self-love are the keys to moving forward with a good relationship with, and healthy habits around, food.
Poor body image, low self-worth and esteem, going through emotional distress, not feeling enough – all plays havoc with the type of foods we eat.
Overeating to restrictive eating, bingeing on highly processed foods to complete restriction of food groups are becoming frequent issues in today’s hectic lifestyles; and all this is a reflection of our core beliefs about ourselves.
What we put into our bodies is just as important as WHY we chose to do so. The emotional and physical costs of our relationship with food can take a toll on both our minds and bodies. Having a healthy relationship with food ensures that there is a balanced intake of proper nutrients to keep the body and mind happy and running smoothly.
I am a believer in using alternative therapies as an aid to overall wellbeing and the two I love most, and work brilliantly in relationship to food, are essential oils and crystals. Both help to achieve balance, reduce cravings and disordered eating behaviours by helping to alleviate stress and tension. They can also help get to the underlying causes.
Crystals and oils can be yummy extras to your wellness tool box. The scents of the oils, and the beauty of the crystals are uplifting and invigorating.
Which essential oils should you use?
Many people eat when they are angry, sad, or feeling stressed. Bergamot can help reduce those feelings, lifting your spirits so that you can avoid eating when you really aren’t hungry. This sweet-smelling essential oil is a natural anti-depressant, as well as being packed with polyphenols, similar to the ones found in green tea, which incidentally help your body burn more sugar and stored fat.
Inhale bergamot slowly until negative feelings subside, or dilute it in some olive oil and use it as a massage oil by gently rubbing it into the back of your neck or feet to relieve stress.
Everyone loves the scent of peppermint, but did you know that inhaling this uplifting scent can help curb hunger pangs? Studies show that peppermint essential oil stimulates the brain’s satiety centre, which will prevent overeating. It will also aid indigestion.
This is an essential oil blend that was designed to combat stress and relieve nervous tension, but it also works well for those who wish to lose weight as these types of feelings often lead to overeating. Stress Away contains cedarwood, vanilla, lavender, copaiba, lime, and ocotea in a coconut oil base.
Which crystals should you choose?
I am a strong advocate of working with crystals, their healing properties have helped people across the ages. Crystals emit a vibrational energy that gets to the root cause, the underlying issue of a problem or a challenge and gently shifts the energy and the body to a more positive state.
The following crystals will help you improve your relationship with yourself. No amount of dieting, purging or bingeing will ever address that.
You can choose all or just one crystal that really appeals to you and place it in a small pouch and carry it in your purse or pocket. It’s also a lovely reminder to stay well.
There are many different forms of agate, and most are pretty and powerful.
Moss or Aquatic agate is known to calm the wearer by raising the energy of the heart. Aquatic agate also helps the wearer self-analyse and feel comfortable from within.
This beautiful crystal has been used for thousands of years to help with addictions – including alcohol and food cravings.
Amethyst is one of the most powerful stones for healing and providing insight into the self. It helps you make good decisions that will benefit you in the long run, avoiding those instant gratifications that don’t feel so great later (we’re looking at you, ice cream!)
This stone is connected to the Third Eye chakra, providing insight into the central office for our intuition. It will help you see yourself more clearly and trust your gut. You’ll feel better about your food choices and more at one with yourself with the energy of amethyst around you.
Quartz is known as a purifying crystal; it helps flush out toxic thinking and confusion to aid clear thought. When we have clear thought, we see ourselves and the world clearly. It keeps us committed to our goals.
Rose quartz – stone of unconditional love
I love this stone; it’s my go-to stone when I need to give myself an extra dollop of unconditional love – it truly handles the inner agonies.
It radiates gentle, soothing vibrations that regulate your emotions and restore your emotional nature after overwhelming events.
If you are constantly criticising yourself about your weight, your body image, lack of self-worth, then this is the crystal for you.
Rose quartz calms your nerves and helps with self-love and self-acceptance. It will open the gateway to your heart allowing you to be a vision of love and beauty.
The biggest gift of turquoise is helping us know that every part of us is an element of our Divine self, to be understood and embraced. Turquoise encourages us to accept ourselves, warts and all. It can help release regrets and find self-acceptance which is important.
If you struggle with loving yourself as you are, then Turquoise is the stone for you.
I view turquoise as a self-mastery stone and is ideal for healing any underlying issues that lead to obesity and binge-eating disorders. Binge eating is really a result of frustration with self and confusing thoughts and feelings which are dealt with badly, by dumbing them down or stuffing the feelings with food.
Dr Bunmi Aboaba is a Recovery Coach specialising in Food Addiction, helping clients to achieve a healthy relationship with food to meet long-term health goals. Dr Bunmi’s work covers the full spectrum of disordered eating, including overeating, compulsive eating, emotional eating, addicted eating and other associated patterns. Dr Bunmi is also creator of the first Certified Food Addiction Certification to support nutritionists, personal trainers, dieticians and clinicians to help their clients achieve long-lasting results. Dr Bunmi also runs 7-day self-care retreats for clients suffering from disordered eating.