Several years ago, I was sharing my struggles with eating healthy with a friend. She looked at me and very calmly said, "It's just food." My reaction was immediate and ballistic. While I did not respond out loud, everything in me was yelling, "How can you say that? It's not just food! You don't understand!"
My internal reaction to this simple phrase startled me. Was I really attached to my food for more than just nourishment? I definitely was! Food, especially sweets, treats and other less than healthy options, was my companion when I was lonely, happy, angry, forgotten, overwhelmed, excited, celebrating, depressed... you get the picture. But was it really?
After I spent time indulging my emotions through food, I usually did not feel better, more confident, satisfied or healthier. If I was honest, the pleasure lasted but a few short seconds and the after effects lasted much longer. If food was my companion, it was one that often betrayed me. I usually felt guilty, discouraged, achy, tired, frustrated and heavier after indulging.
My friend's comment made me consider that maybe I had mixed up the role of food, which is simply to nourish me, especially if I am eating wholesome, fresh and unprocessed foods. To meet my need for celebration, consolation, companionship, I can turn to people - friends, family, all who support my life.
I am getting better at going to an event, like a family gathering, and focusing on creating positive memories and enjoying myself by simply focusing on the people. If I choose to eat, my goal is hopefully to nourish my body. My focus has been shifting from self-indulgence and self-satisfaction, to enjoying the people I am with or taking time to let God love, comfort, and affirm me. Food is shifting to its proper place - as nourishment and a means to better health. Of course, I still enjoy what I eat and I can create masterpieces of taste and nourishment, but I am not expecting food to do more for me than it can possibly do.
Does anyone else relate?