In today’s age of social media we are bombarded with nutrition and health messages – don’t eat this, eat that, reduce this and my personal LEAST favourites “clean eating” and referring to any type of food as “toxic”. Unfortunately all of these seemingly “best” attempts to improve our health have created complete disconnect in our relationship with food. Food and eating now take up more of our emotional energy than ever before, because in our privileged society of plenty, we are constantly attempting to restrict ourselves. And as chronic food restrictors, food now becomes the enemy – “if I eat this I’ll gain weight” or “that has wayyy too many calories/too much sugar/too much fat” – and by eating in this way it leads to two main things:
1. Overeating – It’s an interesting paradox that restricting the food that we actually enjoy the taste/texture/smell of means that eventually we consume far more of that specific food. Overeating isn’t a horrible thing, its our reaction and subsequent cycling of restriction that creates feelings of guilt, shame and absolute fear around food. Because suddenly you feel totally out of control with your eating. Why? We are hard wired for satisfaction.
Which leads me to my next point.
2. Enjoyment – There is very little joy in the way we eat today. Food and eating has simply become a means to an end, a tool that individuals use to exert control over their lives and their body. To put it bluntly – eating has become down right boring. Therein lies the fear that if we eat what we enjoy, we become greedy gluttons who are unable to stop eating. Is that a reality? If we are eating what satisfies our bodies, doesn’t that mean we would no longer have the drive to continue to eat past being comfortably full?
So, what if it’s not so much about what we eat, but HOW we eat that has the biggest influence on taking care of our health?
During this National Nutrition Week see if there is still some joy left in your eating:
Are you paying attention to your appetite?
Are you making feeding yourself a priority?
Are you restricting or depriving yourself of great tasting food experiences?
See if you can re-discover the joy, give yourself permission to eat and satisfy your hunger as an act of self-care and watch as you begin to experience a sense on calm with food and eating.
For more information visit www.mindfulloffood.com.au or to book an appointment with Rhea, call the practice on 1300 556 766