Your Relationship With Food- A Series

Do any of the following scenarios ring familiar?

-You say you are “being good” because you didn’t order french fries with your meal at the local fast food restaurant but you slipped ten of them into your mouth from your kids’ trays when they were in the kiddie playground.  Then the mental self flagellation begins as you feel your jeans immediately getting tighter.

-It’s the end of the day and you’re fried from all the frustrations.  (I don’t have to name them.  You know what they are.)  After putting the kids to bed you plop down on the couch to watch your favorite TV show and mindlessly nosh on potato chips only to find the bag empty and not quite being able to recall at what point in the show you got to the bottom of the bag.  You go to bed a  little nauseous and say, “I’ll do better tomorrow.”

-All day you promise yourself that you will fit a walk in today but just as you are about to go out the door, “darling child” is complaining about how she needs you to help her with her homework that she put off all afternoon to watch TV.  Another day passes without any exercise (or fresh air for that matter.)  You feel guilty so you eat a pint of ice cream.  ( Somehow it makes sense when you’re doing it but not when you read it.  Go figure.)

-It’s a week before the big party and suddenly the jeans that make your butt look good  can’t be slid over one leg, let alone two.  You vow to eat 600 calories a day so you can fit in those jeans by the time the party rolls around.

-Breakfast, lunch and dinner were eaten standing at the kitchen counter, at your desk while doing paper work, and in the car on the way to your kid’s soccer practice.

-You get on the scale, wonder how the pounds got there, sigh, and get out your favorite “Bikini Body in Thirty Days” video and take everything out of your refrigerator except the grapefruit juice.

My hope for you this January is that you will start the New Year committed to eating healthy and begin integrating fitness into your daily life.

 Before you embark on that journey though I think it is important to take some time to think about the mindset you have toward food.  Is it deeply embedded by thoughts of deprivation, mental, physical and emotional abuse….a belief that food is the enemy?

You might think the word “abuse” is harsh but give it some thought.  How is it not abuse when you compare your body to those of 20-year-old models who are paid to focus completely on their appearance, deprive yourself of food groups so you can fit in clothes in less than two weeks, expect a physically unfit body to be able to run a mile on the first day of activity?

 How is it not abuse when you can’t eat dessert without hating yourself for wanting it?  How else would you describe not allowing yourself to swim with your kids because you don’t want people to see you in a bathing suit?

Women can be so mean to themselves.  I know because I am guilty of my own versions of the previously mentioned scenarios.  Sadly, the clock is ticking and we are missing out on wonderful experiences and perhaps robbing ourselves of longer lives because we won’t stop the vicious cycle.

So what are you going to do about it?

One of the things with which I want you to go into the New Year is having begun a discussion with yourself about how you relate to food.

To get rolling I want to share a couple of thoughts from a book I will be referring to in this discussion, “French Women Don’t Get Fat” by Mireille Guiliano.

In her introduction she states:

French women take pleasure in staying thin by eating well, while Americans typically see it as a conflict and obsess over it.  French women don’t skip meals or substitute slimming shakes for them….How do they do it? …One hint: They eat with their heads, and they do not leave the table feeling stuffed or guilty.” (p.8 )

Guilt free eating.  Doesn’t that sound sublime?

She goes on to share some statistics about American eating.  One is that Americans eat at least 10 to 30 percent more than needed.  Why?  To satisfy psychological hunger.  (Wow, that thought alone is something to mull over for a couple of days.)

According to Mireille, the trick in changing your relationship to eating is to “manage and gratify your appetites, while determining how, when, and what to reduce…It’s all a matter of learning the most basic of French rules: Fool yourself.”(p. 9)

In short, “cultivate a new (eating) intuition.” 

Intriguing isn’t it? 

Meet me here again tomorrow to further discuss your relationship with food.  Au revoir!


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Christy on November 16, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Thank you for tackling this issue. I have a great relationship with working out but I have a bad relationship with food. I know solving this is the key to taking off the last 15 lbs. I love the new blog and all the new posts!


  2. Hey Christy,
    Thanks for being transparent. A number of people have shared with me that this is their personal struggle as well. I hope that this blog can create a community of people who help one another win this battle, cheering one another on. Thank you for the encouragement regarding the blog….it is challenging me to keep learning, be accountable to everyone, and showing me how little I know about the computer- ha, ha. There is always room to improve and I am learning to humble myself and admit it. We can do it together!


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