Food... It's all weird, wonderful and a little bit complicated.
Week 30 : Eat when hungry
Ha… What a challenge to come back on! Like a high percentage of the population, I have my own weird and complex relationship with food. I probably know more than most about the rules of nutrition, food choices, portion control and emotional eating triggers due to the numerous conversations I have had with nutritionists and dietitians, but when it comes down to it, I just can’t seem to practice what has been preached. If I were to view my relationship with food as an honest and objective outsider, the reality would be that it seems that I just ‘don’t want to’ practice what I know, at least for any significant period of time.
My relationship with food is predominately emotive and is linked to a lack of control in this area or more honestly, a lack of desire to really moderate/control it. In most other areas of my life, I try to be what I imagine I should be, it doesn't always work but you keep at it, so I suppose to balance it out, something has to give and for me that is food. I am told I have a excuse for everything but for food, I don't need one. I eat because it is there, and I can and more importantly I want to, and I resent the need to deny myself that extra helping or piece of cake or handful of grapes. I eat until I am full and then I go a bit further, just because. A bit like a prehistoric human, living out his ‘feast’ days in fear of the famine with the only difference being I know there is no immediate famine around the corner. I know it’s not healthy and that it sets me up for failure when it comes to my numerous diet plans and ‘life style’ changes but it’s a hard one to tackle and so it goes on.
So… this week has obviously not been a success in the conventional sense of these challenges. However, I'm back on it with the Wake-up challenges, which is good and if nothing else this week, it has made me really think again about my relationship with food and realise that it does need tweaking, if only not to pass down my own, slightly neurotic behaviour onto my kids. So going ahead, I will be repeating the mantra of ‘only eat when hungry’ to myself and working on the points below.
- Keep a food diary – This has helped in the past and gets me over my selective memory issue when I think I have only eaten two biscuits and an apple as a snack when in fact it was half a packet of Ritz, and apple and two mini-chocolates. Oh yeah… and maybe a few haribo!
- Understand what is driving the need to eat and if not hunger practice distraction – If bored, do an activity, if sad, figure out what will help the situation and if all else fails have a glass of water or an apple first.
- Just say ‘No’. Grow-up, practice some self-restraint and set a healthy eating example for my kids if nothing else.