I titled it that way on purpose because for me, food has always been something to deal with more than anything else. It's always seemed to be a force controlling me.
I’m not a foodie.
Foodie: A person having an avid interest in the latest food fads.
I’m not always thinking about gourmet foods, or planning my trips around food. I don’t particularly enjoy trying new foods.
I’m more naturally a food-aholic.
Food has been more like a place for me to go, or to retreat to. It’s been a source of comfort; an ever present companion; a stress-reliever; and more. And yet, it’s really been none of those things. It’s actually been the opposite.
Instead of comfort, it’s actually made me uncomfortable with my body and self-image. It’s made it hard to move and do simple bodily things. And its made me physically uncomfortable because I’ve been a pro at eating more than I needed, leaving me feeling bloated and in pain.
Instead of a companion, it’s been an enemy that stayed closer than a friend. Always saying “yes” and “more.” Never saying, “that’s enough,” or “you ought not eat that.”
Instead of relieving stress, its filled my body with processed chemicals and fake nutrients that drove my stress and anxiety up.
So, as I said, it’s always been something for me to deal with.
A Different Perspective
Several years ago, when I started my health overhaul, I learned real quick that if I was going to have success in dieting, exercising, and health for the long haul, it would only come if I changed my understanding of, and relationship to food.
Crash diets wouldn't work.
Having someone else tell me what to eat and when to eat wouldn't work.
I needed to understand how God had made food, and what He had made it to do in and for my body.
That has been revolutionary for me.
More on that later…
But, here are a few rules from a health and fitness account (Food, Fitness, and Faith) I follow that synthesizes a helpful approach to actual, healthy eating.
1 - Eat enough Real Food.
Healthy Proteins (Chicken, fish, pork, eggs, some red meats; legumes);
Healthy Fats (Egg yolks, avocados, fish, peanuts, etc);
Healthy Carbs (Veggies, Oats, Fruits)
2 - Remove Mental Restrictions.
-This has been really helpful for me. As soon as I say, “I’m not eating _________,” the only thing I want is that thing.
Or, if you decide to cut some things out of your normal eating diet, like heavily processed sugar, it’s okay to indulge occassionally. Just don’t over do it.
A healthy relationship with food should be the goal, not absolute avoidance of everything that tastes good.
“The more restrictions you create around food, the more control the food has over you”
Amen to that.
-So, for the most part, I'm eating clean, healthy, nourishing food. And every so often, I have a big Five-guys burger and fries. And I don't feel bad when I do...
3 - Understand Processed Foods.
“Processed foods (like chips, crackers, cookies) are made by big food companies that employ food scientists whose job it is to make these foods taste irresistible by being hyperpalatable (taste incredibly good)…they are designed to make you overeat.”
Have you ever wondered why the Pringles jingle is true? “Once you pop you just can’t….stop.”
-This has been really helpful in my own journey. Understanding that companies engineer food to taste a certain way, and that engineered taste makes me eat more of it, more than I should — And as Dr. Joan Ifland notes, that engineered taste actually creates an addiction to that fake food.
4 - Learn to Eat Slowly and Intentionally.
Food really isn't that complicated. God really did give it for our nourishment and our enjoyment. There is a reason why friends and families often gather around food. It has a fellowship quality to it.
We shouldn't look to food to do more than God created it to do.
We shouldn’t abuse food.
We should understand it, and treat it with respect.
We should enjoy food.