Get Beyond the Food
By Liz CopelandWhat is eating about?
Beautiful tastes and textures, wonderful aromas, a pleasing plate of food?
Something to fill you up when you are hungry?
A great gift that you can share with others, while you also enjoy their company?
A list of calories, fat grams or carbohydrate grams?
A stack of guilty pleasures or healthy (less enjoyable) alternatives?
Food shouldn't be any one thing to us. We use food to give calories and nutrients to our bodies, for sure, but it is also a source of pleasure for the sheer joy of eating. It also enables us to spend time with others in a social and sharing way.
And occasionally we have to eat because we are hungry, even though we may not have time for food. Occasionally we use the food to fill in the long gaps between nothing, eating from boredom or loneliness. All of us have a composite approach to food, a mosaic of behaviors that describes our relationship with food.
But what predominates for you? And are you using food too often to fill in the gaps in the rest of your life (or to block out other things that are going on)?
In order to see how you view food, next time you eat, and for the next couple of days ask you self these questions before eating:
* Am I really physically hungry? And on a scale of 1 to 10 how hungry am I? - calibrate your eating to cope with your hunger.
* Is this predominantly a social meal that I am having with friends? -If yes you might want to spend more time talking and listening than eating.
* Am I eating from habit simply because it is a meal time? - You might want to wait half an hour or so and then re-measure your hunger (but don't let yourself get TOO hungry).
* Am I eating for emotional hunger - to fill in an emotional gap (I'm lonely or bored) or to squash too much emotion (I'm angry).
It takes courage to answer the last question (and I'll be talking more about courage in the next newsletter) but if emotional eating is your downfall you cannot deal with it purely at the level of the food, you have to address the emotions.
Sometimes just stopping and allowing yourself to feel what you are feeling can give your emotional brain the support it needs, so you can go on to REALLY enjoy your food.
Try it and see.
As a Nutrition Coach Liz Copeland shows people who find healthy eating difficult how to change their beliefs and behaviors around food so they can eat well, look good and feel great. Receive her 5-lesson mini ecourse "Conquer Emotional Eating Forever" and a complimentary subscription to her newsletter No More Rabbit Food - weight loss tips for people who love food at http://www.ConquerEmotionalEatingForever.com