Archives for Food
Connecting to our feelings is vital. Recently, I came across this quote from the new book The Danish Way of Parenting, which is simply spot on: “How can we know what we want when we don’t know what we feel?”
It can be really hard to process our emotions, especially if we've spent years doing anything but. Maybe you've dismissed your emotions. Maybe you've pretended they didn't exist, burying them deeper and deeper, hoping all the dirt would make them disappear.
In our society, restriction is perfection. It is beauty. Restriction is seen as a correct, desirable approach and path. We glorify it. We yearn to adhere to it. We see it everywhere. Restrict the number of calories and carbs you eat. Restrict the amount of dessert. Restrict your portions. Don't even think about having pasta, pizza or ice cream. Don't even think about eating past 7 p.m.
We fill ourselves with food. Food that we don't savor. Food that we barely even taste. We fill ourselves with alcohol. Too much alcohol. Parties. Endless gatherings and events. People who are critical, maybe even cruel. We fill ourselves with new clothes, new shoes, new trinkets, meaningless objects we don't need or even enjoy. And yet we still feel empty. Hollow. Depleted. Under-nourished. Maybe even starving or gasping for air.
In our diet-obsessed society we've been taught to view food as a necessary evil, a nuisance, the thing to blame for the scale not budging, the thing we can't have. The forbidden fruit. Or we've been taught to view food in a more neutral light: as fuel. Strictly as a source of nutrients, vitamins, protein, fiber. Fuel for our bodies to function. Fuel for our brains to create. But nothing more.
Dear Girl Who Doesn’t or Didn’t Know Her Worth, You let others treat you the way they wanted to treat you. Which often only substantiated the darkness you felt about yourself. When people did nice things, with ill intentions, you felt like you owed them something, and so you gave them gifts they never deserved.
Don't shut off your sadness. Do cry if you need to. Let it out. It will feel like a balm. Don't judge your emotions. Let them come as they come. Don't say yes because you feel pressure to say yes. Say yes because you want to, because it feels good, because it's a truly compassionate act. Do look at Mother Nature and marvel. See your surroundings as a magical gift. Don't lose that sense of wonder, even on the days it's hard to see.
I regularly see posts on social media and pieces elsewhere about food and guilt. Posts that say if you "splurge" occasionally, you have no reason to feel guilty. If you eat dessert once or twice a week, that's OK, too. Usually. If you're exercising and eating healthy, then you have no reason to feel guilty either. Most of the time. I've seen comments that say, "Yes! You're so right." And I get it: This is what we read and hear all over the place: In magazines. On TV. Maybe at the dinner table. Maybe when we're out and about.
This week I came across an article on another website that featured two dietitians sharing what they eat in a day. They mentioned eating certain foods to prevent "over-indulging" at their next meal and having such and such tea to keep them from eating more chocolate. I've seen similar articles on other websites. And I've seen similar words. Words about not exceeding calorie counts and filling up on certain foods to prevent eating entire meals (of pasta, for instance).