What is freedom from food?
1st January 2020 | Author: Bianca Skilbeck
“Fear is the memory of pain. Addiction is the memory of pleasure. Freedom is beyond both”
- Deepak Chopra
Somehow or in some way, you have found yourself in this little corner of the internet, on a site called Freedom from Food.
Hello and welcome!
I’m not sure exactly what has brought you here. Your individual reason likely sits on the spectrum of a myriad of reasons why you, or someone you might know, may experience a less than peaceful or intuitive relationship with food.
Before we even get to that though, you might first be wondering….
What on earth is freedom from food?
We need food to live, right? So how can someone be free of it?
I’d like to explain, but first let me tell you a story.
It was in 2014 when I finished my training as a hypnotherapist and counsellor.
Eager and ready to get out and start practicing, I did what most hypnotherapists in Australia do and I went in to private practice and started my first business; South Eastern Hypnotherapy & Counselling. The name, as you may have guessed, suggests that I was indeed practicing in the south eastern suburbs of where I am from in Melbourne, Australia.
Since I began my studies and career (well honestly, even before then), I knew that eating disorder recovery was my true passion. This was largely because of my own personal experience, but also because without another way to say it; I find the relationship that we have with food and our bodies to be fascinating and profound. Often in ways which are not always apparent at a surface level.
In my view, the relationship that we have with food and our body is literally everything. Without a body and without food….well of course we just wouldn’t be here.
However, it’s more than that. What I have personally experienced and observed about many people's relationship with food, is that:
- what we eat
- what we would never eat
- what we feel guilty for eating
- what we feel virtuous for eating
- what dietary lifestyle we prescribe to
- how we relate to our bodies based on our choices
- how we identify ourselves in relation to our dietary choices
- what we say to ourselves about what we ‘should’ eat versus what we actually do eat…
…and so much more…..
is embraced and held on to by so many, with an almost religious zeal.
People can be downright dogmatic about what they will and will not eat!
And don’t even get me started on what foods we consider ‘good’ versus ‘bad’ (a.k.a. ‘pure’ versus ‘sinful’).
People hold on to their beliefs about food, like they might hold on to a religious or spiritual belief. Sometimes to the extent that it would shake them to the core of their foundation, if they were to consider an alternate way of approaching certain types of food.
"For that reason, I see the discussion about food and body as just a gateway into much (much!) deeper conversations about identity, belonging, attachment, uncertainty, mortality, loneliness, dependence, escape and so much more"
South Eastern Hypnotherapy & Counselling was a great business and it got me through the next five years or so as I went back to part time study, committing myself to a psychology degree at Melbourne’s Monash university. In my practice, I was what is known as a 'generalist'. In other words, I didn't specialise in anything in particular. Rather, I saw clients for all types of presenting issues; anxiety, depression, addictions, phobias etc.
I was content with where I was. Nonetheless, despite being a generalist, I was finding more and more that the work I was predominantly doing with my clients was eating disorder work. This was no doubt for a few reasons. I myself had had a history with disordered eating, so it was a topic that was close to my heart. Naturally, my marketing reflected this, and from there, word of mouth referrals were doing their thing.
At the end of 2018, as life does, it had other plans for me and suddenly I found myself living and moving my business to the western suburbs of Melbourne. Still operating under this business name, however I was no longer 'south-east' was I?
Turn the page to the start of 2019, and whilst taking a road trip by myself one day out to Victoria's beautiful Yarra Valley region, I was thinking deeply about the direction of my business and my profession as a therapist. Given all of the above considerations, I was beginning to feel in my heart that it was time for a change. I was reflecting on some of the clients that I was currently treating and some of their difficulties with food, when in a flash of insight, it came to me....
"Freedom from Food"
This was all my clients really wanted. They wanted freedom from food. They wanted:
- Freedom from worrying about food
- Freedom from obsessing over their food choices
- Freedom from the deprivation and restriction of food
- Freedom from bingeing and secret eating
- Freedom from shame and secrecy
- Freedom from body-hatred and self-loathing
- Freedom from placing all of their self-worth, self-esteem and self-efficacy on whether or not they had a ‘good day’ with food….
….and so much more.
They wanted freedom, and who could blame them? I could totally understand.
Thus, was born Freedom from Food.
The alliteration of the words rang nicely in my ears and so the first thing I did when I got home that day was register the business and the domain name….and as they say, the rest is history.
So, I sit here writing this now at the end of 2019. It is almost the turn of the decade. It has been six months or so since I made the decision to focus all of my professional interests and time on my passion for eating disorder recovery, and subsequently morph in to Freedom from Food.
Freedom from Food is of course the name of this eating disorder recovery centre which specialises in all eating disorder, disordered eating, chronic dieting, body-image, self-image and addiction related issues. As you can see however, it is so much more than that.
Right now, as I write this, I am bursting at the seams with ideas for content for Freedom from Food. It is as though the dam wall has broken and I am now being flooded with ideas about what I can create for Freedom from Food, and most importantly, the purpose of all of it; what I can bring to you.
On the home page of this website, you will see the phrase,
"You deserve to have a peaceful relationship with food and your body"
This is not just a throw away line. I really do believe that YOU, just like everyone, deserve to have a peaceful relationship with food and your body. You deserve a peaceful mind. You deserve to choose a philosophy with food which really works for you.
So, whilst I am currently bursting at the seams with all of the ideas for content which I can create, put out here for free and offer, please check out the resources below which are currently available which can start you on your way to finding that peaceful relationship with food.
Take this quiz today to get your individual results
Designed to help you identify disordered eating, determine how ready you are for change and help you to create more self-compassion in your recovery
Where you can get support from like-minded folks on your path to recovery
Group run weekly. You can attend from the comfort of your own home AND you get to pay what YOU can afford
Keep an eye out for upcoming online courses which will be designed to help you tackle specific aspects of your recovery – you will gain updates about the release of these courses when you sign up for the free course through the subscription box on the website.
Please keep enjoying as much of this free content for as long as you need.
If at any stage you begin to think that it is time to seriously work on improving your relationship with food, I am available for personal therapy sessions; both in person if you are based in Melbourne, or online (via Skype or Zoom) if you are not local.
If you are interested in working with me one on one, head over to the online APPLICATION FORM to fill out the details of your needs and what you are looking for and I promise to be in touch as soon as I can.
If you have any questions, as always, please get in touch by emailing at firstname.lastname@example.org