In the struggle so many of us have with food and eating, we might look at food as if it is our enemy. We hate to love it, and go to all kinds of manipulative ends, powering our wills to resist one more bite of something we often view as ‘bad’.
Food is only that – food. It is meant as fuel for our bodies. When we see it as anything else, we have somehow gotten our perspective skewed by outside messages. We learn to abuse it, to use it for something other than what it was intended.
- pleasing others – I made this just for you. Have some, just a taste. You’ll hurt my feelings if you don’t. It’s really good – just try it.
- body image – You don’t want to eat that – you’ll get fat. Once on the lips, forever on the hips. Fashion and models.
- comfort – Well, it’s called ‘comfort food’ for a reason. Don’t want to feel the pain? Eat. Lonely, bored, unhappy? Eat. Don’t cry – let’s go get some ice cream, have a cookie, here’s a sucker, you’ll feel better.
- reward – We did so good on that project, let’s treat ourselves to something decadent.
- guilt – Think of all the starving children who would love to have that food. I spent all day over a hot stove.
- spite – This usually goes under the heading ‘mommy/daddy’ issues.
You can probably come up with a few of your own as well.
What and how much you eat are only under your control if you get rid of those underlying messages that have corrupted and distorted your perception of food and eating. It’s not you that has failed. It’s what you’ve been taught that has failed you.