August 18th

theresa albert - my friend in food


The Connection between Food and Relationships

Paris at night

Eating, food and how we view ourselves are connected with our core beliefs, values and attitudes.   Did you ever stop to think of the central role that food plays in our lives?  Consider these scenarios.  One involves a lovely 75 year old woman who, during a recent visit to her hospice bed two days before she passed away, said “Do you realize how long the day is when you can’t eat or drink?”

Another scenario involves a recently separated 49 year old woman who laments the additional 12 pounds that she has put on in the past few months which she attributes to the stress of her separation.  “I have to think about putting myself out there, and nobody’s gonna want me because I’m too fat.”  We have another client whose husband died several years ago very young and she has wanted to meet other men but has such a poor self image that she doesn’t even want to post her picture on an internet dating site. These very human situations teach us that body image is related to relationships because we are all social beings.

Here are some strategies that we utilize to help people shift their view of themselves to something a bit more realistic.

  • Notice and take steps to change the situation
  • Gather groups of people who make you feel good about yourself
  • Engage with a nutritionist
  • Join a gym
  • Treat yourself to a haircut or manicure/pedicure when you have achieved a small goal on the road to caring for yourself

As therapists we try not to recommend the application of dietary rules or exercise regimes. Rather our focus is to help people take control over lifestyle choices.

Do you have some tips for other readers on ways that have worked for you?

Susan Barron & Renee Climans

Susan Barron & Renee Climans

We are both accomplished Social Workers (Masters of Social Work and Registered Social Workers) with extensive backgrounds in counselling/coaching with individuals, couples, families and groups. Throughout our over 25 years of professional practice, we have worked and consulted in a variety of health care and corporate settings.In addition,we have served as field instructors for Social Work students, presented guest lectures at Ryerson and University of Toronto, presented training workshops on a variety of wellness topics to corporations and institutions across Ontario, presented locally, nationally and internationally on various topics in the field of health care, and have published articles for several journals and are involved in a variety of support group initiatives.


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