Creating Awareness of Our Relationship with Food
As we prepare for the 28 day Mindful Eating Challenge, we invite you to bring your awareness to your relationship with food. Consider the following questions: What is your relationship to food and eating? Is it a nourishing relationship? A love-hate relationship? An adversarial relationship? An addictive relationship? One of convenience or comfort? Does it seem strange to even be talking about our relationship with food at all?
After all food is intended to nourish the body, to provide the nutrients it needs to repair and replenish the cells for optimal functioning. Yet for many of us, food represents so much more. Many have developed an emotional connection with our food! The food we eat may be a status symbol! It may be a way of connecting with or disconnecting from others! Meals are often a gathering place for friends and family! We have food for festive events: birthdays, weddings, Thanksgiving, religious holidays.
Do you have comfort foods that make you happy? Do you ever find yourself reaching for this comfort food when you feel stressed, anxious, bored, or even excited? Have you ever used comfort food as a way NOT to feel stress, freedom, anxiety or joy? If so, what types of food are comfort foods for you? We crave certain types of foods because they can cause a release of hormones in the brain and body that causes feelings of happiness and euphoria. This can become a habitual, even addictive pattern!
Most people in this country are blessed with an abundance of food. We learn from an early age how to relate to food whether it be through our parents, our culture, TV, etc. What were you taught about food as a child or as a teenage girl or young adult? Were you taught as a child to eat all that was on your plate? Can you relate to the humorous message by Weird Al Yankovic “Eat It”?
How do we fit in meals when our schedules are so full? Can you relate to any of the following behaviors?
- Fitting meals in quickly between or during other tasks.
- Scarfing down a meal before going to an appointment because you know you will be hungry soon and won’t be able to wait until the appointment is over.
- Relying on convenient prepackaged food that can be prepared quickly or relying on fast food.
- Eating out because you don’t want to add another chore to your to do list.
Did you know that it takes our stomachs 20 minutes to communicate to our brains that we are full? So if we’re eating in a hurry, we may be eating more than our body needs. This can lead to putting on extra pounds and in some cases obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure.
We receive lots of messages about food. We see commercials on TV that are designed to make us want food. We read labels and articles on foods that tell what is healthy and unhealthy. Many of the messages are contradictory and confusing! We rarely listen to our bodies when it comes to food and eating! We invite you to join us for our 28 day Mindful Eating challenge to become aware of your relationship to food and begin to shift it to one that creates wellness. See our blog about mindful eating! By building awareness, we can gradually begin to identify what no longer works for us and begin new action that will bring us closer to our wellness goals!