“Gosh, I really wants a burger, but then what will my friends think of me.”
“He ordered two desserts for himself?”
“I love bread, but carbs are bad.”
“I am on a diet. I don’t eat candy anymore.”—quote from 7-year old son.
From an early age, we are taught to be hyperaware of food. We are taught to feel guilty when consuming “bad” food, judge others for either being unhealthy or even healthy, and worse food is constantly around us.
In my opinion, I think the issue with hyperawareness of food is because food is easily available, but most of it isn’t real food.
Our grocery stores have grown in size over the decades. The largest part of a grocery store is the center aisle and they are stocked with processed, convenient food.
By the way, as a kid, my favorite aisle was the cereal aisle. All the bright cartoon boxes with games on the back, filled with sugary tiny bites of goodness. Then you take home the cereal and add my sugar to it, because that makes it even better.
Why have these products places a shadow on the natural food from our planet?
Answer: fats, sugars and salt
Dopamine is realesed into our system when we eat things high in sugar, salt or fat. Thus we experience the “happy chemicals” that create a pathway in our brain, resulting in a habit that leads to addiction. Hence why we usual crave chips over an apple.
There is a show on the Food Network Channel called The Best Thing I Ever Ate. I’ve watched that show a few times, I cannot recall them talking about a bowl of fruit or vegetables as their favoriate food.
Now think about the best thing you ever ate? What is it?
My item was fruit crisp: apples, blueberries and pomegranates, topped with a buttery, salty oatmeal crumble and then topped with homemade maple ice cream. Sure it had fruit in it, but the fruit wasn’t what makes it stand out in my mind. It was the perfect mixture of salt, fat and sugar that left an impact in my memory.
I am a sucker for good french fries—Lose all self-control and ordered a second batch of those greasy, salty crunchy yumminess. French fries are my addiction. I want them all to myself, but I also want to share my joyful experience with you by ordering your own.
Can I describe an apple like that or what about broccoli? I would’t suggest someone to order the side of broccoli because it would blow your mind. It just doesn’t release that same immense pleasure I have recalling those indulgences.
This is because I have an addiction. We all do. Our addiction is to fake food, sweet food, fatty food and salty food.
The worst part is how we support or promote each others addiction. Have you ever felt pressured to eat something by other people or the media? I have! Lets be honest, no one wants to indulge in their addiction alone.
We are in epidmic, but how society views correct treatment isn’t helping.
Dieting-that’s the word used daily to talk about how to solve our food addictions. I loathe the word diet.
The “dieting” industry continues to make billions and new “diets” are constantly circulating, because “dieting” is only allowing yourself to stay focused on the judgmental aspects of food.
Instead of dieting, how about we focus on mindful eating.
Compare the words associated with dieting vs. mindful eating:
Willpower, cultural conformity, external cues, weight loss, avoidance, rigid, counting calories, deprivation, quick fixes, fight food, trapped
Trust, individual empowerment, internal cures, health enhancement, acceptance, quality calories, flexible, satisfaction, lifestyle, celebrate food, liberation
Now compare how we treat ourselves when dieting vs. mindful eating.
Dieting mindset: wants a cookie. Eats a cookie. Feels guilty for eating a “bad” food.
Mindful eating mindset: wants a cookie. Eats a cookies. Feels happy and satisfied.
The issue is that we need to learn to take back control. To realize that our hormones and our brain is against us. You hate eating healthy because your brain says it taste disgusting or its too bland.
However the first step is to replace our wording and outlook about food. Find your missing inner control over food. Start slow with learning to satisfy ourselves but sticking to a small amount. Teaching yourself the internal cues that you’ve had enough. Learning that you ARE in control.
You want that small piece of chocolate, okay have a small piece. Enjoy that first bite that causing the full of the rush of dopamine. However remember that you’re in control and eating more chocolate doesn’t release more dopamine, and lets be honest, the first bite is always to best.
Let’s stop this judgmental mindset towards food and thus others.
Girl, enjoy that salad! Don’t allow others to judge you for being too healthy or nor partaking in the junk food.
BUT enjoy that ice cream and don’t ever judge yourself or feel quilty for it either.
Learn to love whole foods and the beauty in how our Earth provides our body with the nutrition it needs to survive. Learn to love yourself and find your inner badass to overcome our addiction and find your path of mindful eating.
You are worthy of a body you love, you deserve a healthy life, you are enough.