How many times have you heard that one before, or how many times have you said that before?
Weather we like it or not, or whether we want to admit it or not, food is a huge part of our everyday lives. The people around us and the atmosphere that we live in, will have a very direct effect on what we eat.
I think this goes why back to our ancestors, but because of the space allowed me here in this blog, I will just go back as far as grandma.
Did you used to go to grandma’s house when you were a kid, visit the family, see the aunts and uncles, cousins, and….eat? Yes you ate food and you ate lots of it because, that was the one thing grandma lived for, to see her whole family at her house, happy, talking, laughing, and …yes eating.
I can still remember those days. They were good times with lots of grandma’s home cooked Polish food.
My ancestors were from Poland, and like most people, we got around together and we ate. Kielbasa, ham, pierogi, stuffed cabbage, and not to mention the deserts, they were all so good, but the one thing they had in common…they were full of fat, calories, and other stuff that was not good for you.
Food is a gathering point for most Americans today. Before we finish one meal we are already trying to decide what we are going to eat for the next.
There is a difference between how we eat and what we eat today, and that has a lot to do with our very busy schedules. When we went to grandma’s house, we had all day and most of the evening to eat all that food. There was always time for a cup of coffee and another slice of homemade pie, before we hit the road for that long drive home.
Today we don’t have all that much time, so we go to places that can prepare our food fast and cheap…that’s where we get the name fast food. The one thing about fast food is that it’s made cheaply and to be eaten fast, so there is not a lot of thought put in about nutrition or healthy food.
Is it any wonder why 80% of all Americans are obese? Is it any wonder why our children are going into grade school over weight and out of shape?
I hear about, and I have participated in some different kinds of weight loss movements in the past, but as most of us have done, I’ve failed. I think the reason why we’ve failed in this so badly, is because we don’t realize how much of an emotional attachment we have to food.
I just mentioned one, with our trips to grandma’s house, but I know that there are hundreds of others that we could share.
My wife was raised in a verbally abusive home, and part of the reward she would get after being pelted with a barrage of very hurtful words, was food. Some sort of treat or guilt offering was given to her and to this day, when she gets upset over certain things, she will eat. Those same emotions, when stirred today, will draw out the very same responses that they did so many years ago.
We need to change all that. I don’t mean to change our emotional attachment to our food, I don’t think we will ever be able to do that, but we can train ourselves on what kinds of foods we are attached too.
Instead of running to the chocolate peanut butter ice cream, (my personal favorite), when I get upset, try eating an orange, or some other type of food that you like. Make it a pleasurable food, not something that you don’t like but that’s good for you.
Next, work on those emotional triggers that get your chocolate ice cream emotions flowing. 90% of who we are comes from the environment that we are in. Change your environment if you can, and your eating habits will follow.
Now I’m not saying run out and get divorced because you can’t stand your husband, or sell your kids because they are driving you nuts, but get plugged into people and friends that lift you up. Laugh together, get out and join a bowling league, or golf club, play racket ball, do something physical that will get your blood moving. It’s a great way to relieve stress.
Stay strong and don’t get caught up into putting bad things into your mouth. Learn and practice to eat good food, and don’t use food as a stress reliever. Learn to use exercise, and some sort of physical activity, to do that.
Don’t forget to exercise your mind. With the advent of internet and computer games, we have become coach potatoes. Our kids can brag about how far they went on a certain computer game, but they can’t pick up a book and read a sentence without stumbling on a word.
Read and exercise your mind. Books can take you into a totally different world, and you can be someone or do something very special that you always dreamed about. Reading expands your mind and your horizons, and when you come back to earth, you will be better able to handle that stress that leads you to using food in a very unnatural way.
You see, food is given to us so that we can live, not the other way around.