Some people have a love-love relationship with food. Others have a hate-hate relationship with food. Still others have a love-hate relationship, and many people even have a hate-love relationship with food. Those with good, healthy regard toward food know that food is good for them. It is good to eat. But there are many people who do not “know” that food is good.
When we talk about the importance of eating and eating well, there are several factors we must consider:
- Is food really good?
- Can I eat anything I want?
- Can I eat however much I want?
- Do I have to feel guilty about eating certain foods?
So let’s start with this as an answer to each question about food and go from there: If it hurts me, I need to avoid it. If it helps me, I need to embrace it.
Let us now define the word “food” in a different way. This has, is, and will continue to help me. And I hope you can use this trick as well. We all need to separate food from faux (pronounced “foe”, like an enemy). I have many faux’s. Sugar hurts me and I know it. It feeds the bad bacteria that I am always trying to get rid of. It spikes my adrenal glands and overworks them, making me tired and sick. Lactose in dairy products makes me very uncomfortable, ultimately, throwing up – obviously, it hurts me. Gluten makes me tired if I have too much of it, so I watch out not to have it every day. What are your foods? Separate them from faux. Know that they will include protein, veggies, & good carbs. Know that you need some fat – you can’t absorb some vitamins without it.
So, number 1: Is food really good? Yes. Real food is good. Any nutritionist, any psychologist, any doctor, will tell you that you need food to survive. Really, anyone with common sense will tell you that you need to eat to live. And you cannot just cut out foods willy-nilly. You can’t just stop eating or eat very little and have good health. I, personally, have to remind myself that food is good.
Number 2: Can I eat anything I want? Define what your “food” is because what is good for you may be hurtful to me and vice versa. Note your “faux”s as well. Eat what is good for you, not what is your enemy. Sugar is probably your enemy as well as mine. That’s a good place to start.
Here is 3: Can I eat however much I want? You need to eat until you’re satisfied. And you need to not go hungry. In Julia Ross’s books, The Mood Cure and The Diet Cure, she reiterates that when we do not eat enough, we begin malnutrition. And this is where many diets go wrong. You don’t eat enough. Your body either wants to binge to make it up or if you continue on without binging, your metabolism messes up and you gain weight. You need to eat – not to under-eat and not to overeat.
And, lastly, but very tricky indeed is 4: Do I have to continue feel guilty about eating certain foods? No. No, no, no! Guilt is one of the major enemies of well-being. If you must feel guilt to change, then feel is for a moment – but only if you need it for change. If you eat something that hurts you, move on. If you accidentally pick up something sugary (with or without thinking) during “No Sugar September”, then life goes on. Do not get down because you ate cake on your birthday. Live a little. But never allow guilt to dominate your relationship with food. Food is not in charge. You are.