food is fuel NOT your friend…
The more and more I talk to different people and start to analyze their behavior I discover how much their emotions are wrapped up in their food. Food should be looked at as a source of fuel not as a source of comfort. It should be the stuff we put in our body so that we can keep up with our busy lives. It is just like putting gas in the car. But unfortunately, I know that it is not perceived by most as a source of fuel for our bodies.
I have always known that to some extent or another we use food for comfort. It is my perception that food can be just as addicting if not more addicting than alcohol or drugs. And the difference is that we can get away without really being judged or labeled as an “addict” because it is food and we do need food to live.
I have a client who tells me that food is her only friend. She hides aways from people because she does not want them to judge her because of her weight so her only alternative is to find friendship in food. My advice to anyone who does this is to STOP. I know it is easier said then done, but you have to start taking a step in the right direction. And every day if you continue down that road all of those little steps will add up to big changes. Start by doing some of these things:
- Don’t be afraid to change. Obviously it is always easier to stick to what you know so start with small baby steps.
- Set realistic expectations. Like they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day. It may take years to break some of your habits and create new ones so don’t give up if you are not seeing results quickly. Be patient.
- Make a list of all the things you like to do other than eat and put it somewhere visible. When you get the urge to eat when you shouldn’t be pull out that list and find something else to do.
- Make a list of all the things that you would like to do, but have been afraid to try because you are hiding from the world. i.e. go for a bike ride, take a zumba class, join a book club, etc. Use them as rewards for every milestone. We don’t want to reward ourselves with food so use this list to help you reward your accomplishments.
- Make an appointment with a Registered Dietitian to help you start making better food choices and create healthy menu plans.
- Make an appointment with a Therapist to help you understand why food is your friend and not just fuel. Understanding the “why” really helps you to start making changes that will last.
My final words for now are don’t be lazy. You deserve better. Everyone does. So start making change and improve your life. And if I can be of help I am here.