Eating Food is More Than Just Fueling Our Bodies
It should be simple, right? You get hungry, you eat. You get full, you stop. But food is so much more than fuel for your body. While animals eat solely for survival, humans eat for pleasure, for comfort, to mark an occasion, to partake in a culture, and many other reasons besides simple nourishment. It makes sense, then, that eating is more than a metabolic “transaction.” We are truly in a relationship with food.
What’s that relationship like for you? It’s worthwhile to ask that question if you’d like to grow in health, balance, and overall well-being. But it’s a big question. To break it down into small-sized bites (yes, that is a food metaphor!), try this exercise.
Get a pen and paper and write down five to ten things that come to mind when you think about food. They can be feelings or phrases, specific or general. Don’t analyze them or judge them. Just let them come to the surface and write them down.
Now, reflect on what you wrote. Where did they come from? For example, perhaps the phrase “eat just enough” came to mind. This may have come from watching family members constantly diet when you grew up. Or, it may have surfaced because of previous or current food shortages in your household. There are various reasons why we relate to food the way we do, and it’s helpful to look deeper into the context behind your list of words to understand them.
Summarize the list by defining your relationship with food in one or two sentences. How does what you’ve written make you feel?
Now, write down five to ten words or phrases that describe the relationship you want to have with food going forward. Spend a few minutes envisioning your life with this improved relationship. What would you do differently? How would you feel on a daily basis?
Food Can Become Our Friend
Changing complicated feelings and behaviors around eating takes time. But the good news is that you can! We’d encourage you to consider mindful eating as one strategy to move towards the ideal relationship with food you envisioned above. Mindfulness can teach us how to be more aware of the thoughts, reactions, and feelings inside of us and to approach them with less judgment. It’s incredibly empowering and has helped many people who have a toxic relationship with food change it to one that is more joyful and balanced. We’ve found Headspace’s mindful eating resources very helpful in this area. Also, we’d love for you to join Oats Overnight’s online community as we journey together towards a healthy embrace of delicious, nourishing food that empowers you to reach your goals. Remember: you’re not alone. And there is hope.
Food For Thought
At Oats Overnight we don’t sell magic remedies for weight loss or instant body transformation. We create premium, nutritious food that helps our customers reach attainable goals, one morning at a time. Join us as we journey together towards greater health, success, and joy.