Food: Friend or Enemy?

Food. It’s both my friend and my enemy.  All of my life, I’ve had an on and off relationship with food. Lately I’ve been really examining why this is. Why do I turn to food in both good times and bad? When am I going to take control of my attachment to food and free myself from its hands? 

I’ve always felt I could eat better, but my attachment to food kept me from really giving it a try. I have never been able to stay motivated and always end up right back where I started. Recently I started following the Whole 30 plan and prepared my frame of mind for eating only whole foods.  It was a daunting task at first and made me resent healthy food in the beginning, but I’m now part-way through my 30 days and food is beginning to become my friend again.  But what happens after those 30 days? 

In order to sustain the benefits of only eating whole foods for 30 days and detoxing everything harmful out of your body, you need to continue to eat healthy after. That’s my plan and I’m sticking to it, but what am I going to do so that I don’t jump right back into my old habits?

I decided the best thing to do was really look inside myself and figure out why I always rely on food.

I turn to food in good times because it’s my friend, is always there when I need it, and never judges me. Food doesn’t care if you overeat and gorge yourself. It just keeps offering itself up and hugs you tight as it fills up your belly. You feel warm and loved, and there’s nothing better than that! 

I also turn to food in bad times because I can stuff my feelings away quickly, it doesn’t yell at me to stop, or get angry at me when I eat too much of the wrong thing. Food comforts me and makes me feel like everything will be okay.  It’s like putting on a warm coat in the dead of winter with the way it makes me feel. You can be any size, shape, gender, or race and food doesn’t care. It’s just always there when you need it. 

But what happens the next time I need it? What am I going to do to stop this vicious cycle that has been going on all of my life? I must look inside myself and learn to feel my feelings. Yes, FEEL my feelings!

I’ve come to realize that instead of really feeling what’s going on in my life, I push it to the side and let food fill up the void that those feelings left.

It’s time that I be brave, put on my big girl pants, and face what life brings me! 

There is no other choice for me, and food will now forever become my friend. My new and improved, healthier friend! Food will always be one of my favorite things in the world to enjoy, but my relationship with food will no longer be controlled by my feelings. I will be in the driver’s seat and will choose the road we take.

Food won’t be the one at the wheel anymore, and that feels so good! 


Melissa was born and raised right here in Iowa. Although she grew up in southwest Iowa (about as close to Missouri and Nebraska as you can get!), she has called eastern Iowa home for 15 years. She and her husband Eric live in North Liberty, along with their 4 year-old daughter Kennedy. Melissa attended the University of Northern Iowa where she earned her BA in Early Childhood Special Education and her MAE in K-6 Learning Disabilities. She currently teaches kindergarten for the Clear Creek Amana School District, where she has taught for 14 years. In her spare time, Melissa loves to be outside playing or working on projects in their yard, spending time with family and friends, and baking up goodies for her family. She also enjoys taking walks with their two dogs, plump beagle Lenny and shy dachshund-beagle mix Cooper. Life as a full-time working mommy keeps her very busy, but Melissa wouldn't have it any other way!


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