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Don't Demonize Your Food (Pt. 2)

October 13, 2014

 

Food nourishes us, fuels us, and sustains our every physical need. We create memories with it, and sometimes it brings memories back to us. From the time we were babies, food meant relationship because of who we received it from. Our mothers, fathers, grandparents, and caregivers loved us and so they fed us food, physical care, attention, discipline for undesirable behaviour, and rewards for good behaviour. Take a minute to think about how your mind has been conditioned by the world and by nature to view food in light of the meanings of the following words: celebration, reward, discipline, patience, self-control.

A lot of the foods that seem irresistible to you are either chemically composed to make you feel that way, or have an emotional tone to their provision, or both. Our bodies have evolved to appreciate and desire foods higher in energy in order to survive long periods of famine. Foods that are more concentrated in energy (sugary or fatty foods) cause a cascade of reactions in your body, releasing more of the hormones that produce a sense of satisfaction. The same kind of satisfaction comes from eating foods to which you have an emotional tie if they were provided with care or comfort when you were a child. When we try to seek control over these cravings or having second helpings of these foods, we are directly opposing this physiological desire for comfort. Therefore, it may be of greater help to try adjusting which foods you consciously take pleasure in eating (try a bouquet of fresh leafs, fruit, seeds and nuts, or a nice hearty fresh bread with a touch of olive oil and balsamic vinegar), than to keep the focus on resisting a conditioned response to high calorie foods.

For those of us who want a healthier relationship with our food, perhaps you might consider that the relationship you seek is not with your food, but with yourself and how you perceive your body’s own needs. I cannot have a relationship (outside of mere physicality or biology) with something that cannot like and love me back. But oddly enough, I can have a relationship with myself - the "me" that is inside me can love and appreciate and be grateful for the body that contains it, and nourish it accordingly.

 

 

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