What’s Your Relationship with Food

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Kids eating ice cream, each having a different attitude

Question; 

What is your attitude toward food?

Silly question?

Ok, let's try this word association.  Say the first thing that comes to mind.

  • Birthday party…
  • Christmas…
  • Beach day…
  • Date night…
  • Cozy night in…

If your answer was anything close to what mine would be it would be something like this;

  • Cake
  • Turkey dinner
  • Picnic food
  • Nice dinner
  • Popcorn and snacks

In my house, anytime we have a party, we can tell it is a good one when the kitchen is so full of people that I have trouble opening the oven to get more food.  The fridge is open all the time, and there is a cooler full of drinks. The morning after is cleaning up plates, cups, napkins, and food all over. Good party.

  • When we mourn, we send food.  
  • When we celebrate, we eat.
  • When we are bored, we eat.
  • When we are sad, we eat.

Food is in our world so much that whether we admit it or not, we actually have an attitude toward food.

Some people have an unhealthy attitude toward food.  They simply consume to excess and can’t help it. Others do their best to eat as little as possible.  Some even eat and purge just to keep their consumption under control.

The truth is that food is supposed to be fuel.  That’s it, fuel. But we are humans and have learned to attach emotions to the food we eat.  Whether we should or not, most of us do. So when we have chosen to change the way we eat or what we actually eat, it is not as easy as changing the fuel we use.

In my opinion, this is the biggest reason why we have difficulty with ‘dieting’.  It is not changing fuel, it is replacing emotions. We know that intellectually we NEED to change what we eat but our emotions are way more powerful than our intellect so, we struggle.  So we try to do the ‘other things’ that will get the extra pounds to leave. We do a cleanse. We take weird supplements. We wear gear that encourages us to ‘release’ the fat. We may exercise a little.  We try almost anything to lose weight without interfering with what we know is comfortable.

Unfortunately, we are all wired pretty close to the same.  We want to change but don’t want to actually change what we love.  One of the things that we have found an odd relationship with is food.  We love to eat. Sometimes we eat stuff we don’t even like, but not because it is fuel, but because it may give us the feeling we want.  Usually, when I do that, I end up feeling worse. I beat myself up for doing that, it wasn’t worth it, I am such a loser, I may as well eat the rest of the pantry of food I already screwed up.  Sound familiar?

It is time to treat food as fuel.  Sure it is ok to like it. It is better that way, but your body will ultimately let you know when it likes certain food.  If you pay attention. As a kid, I loved peanut butter and honey sandwiches. My mom made her own bread and cut the pieces so thick.  So right now, I can taste that, I am 7 years old again. Not a care in the world. But, the last time I ate that I wasn’t 7, it wasn’t homemade bread, Mom wasn’t there, and if I were honest, I felt really heavy and kind of yucky when I was done.  Sure emotionally I was trying to feel like a kid at home again, but the reality is that I am now a grandma and my body really doesn’t like that much bread or that much sugar.

So, now, I try to listen to my body.  I eat food that I used to think was gross, spinach, but I eat it in a shake instead of cooked.  Choices. I eat only a tablespoon of peanut butter instead of an unknown amount. I stop eating before I explode.  I stop planning to have “eating pants” at holiday meals, I choose wisely.

I have chosen to treat most food as fuel.  I am still human, nobody can resist pie. But it is a treat, and a small piece when I eat it slowly tastes way better than eating to the extreme.

  • Spend some time thinking about how you think about food.  
  • What foods stir up emotions; good or bad
  • Do you eat even when you are not hungry
  • Have you ever even considered that food is fuel

Your eating habits will change dramatically when you have a better relationship with food.

 

Fast food is popular because it's convenient, it's cheap, and it tastes good. But the real cost of eating fast food never appears on the menu. Eric Schlosser

 

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