If you followed along the last Nourishment for Your Body post, From Oranges to Awareness, you are probably wondering when I will get to talking again about the food journal. Every time I sat down to write the seemingly simple next step, a different slant kept coming to mind. What has to happen before I explain how to evaluate what you eat, is a discussion of the approach to eating that I promote.
I do not promote dieting or a strict meal plan. I do encourage eating that is in response to your body’s cues and needs, most of the time. It is a way of ensuring adequate nutrition rather than counting something negative like calories or fat. I.e. looking for what is positive in your diet rather than what is negative. We will eventually talk about what particular foods can do for you and what is too much of a yummy thing but let’s first build on what you are doing well.
Quick, when you look at a red pepper why should you eat it?
Your answer can tell you a lot about your orientation towards food. What’s the first thing that pops into your head?
Was your answer along the lines of, its fat-free or its low in carbs? It will fill me up so I don’t eat other higher calorie foods?
Or were they, it is good for me, it has lots of vitamins, I want to eat more colourful vegetables? [I know. Idealistic. But you get what I mean.]
What’s the difference? Both are healthy approaches aren’t they? There is a big difference.
The former is all about your weight. The latter is all about your health. The big difference lies in how much mental energy you use and that eating for health is positive. Thinking about weight when ever you eat is hard on the mind and nibbles peace from your soul. When I switched from seeking to limit ‘bad’ foods to looking at what food could do for me, it was liberating. The strong hold food had over me started to loosen.
Pull out your food journal and look it over. Were you concerned what was in the food because it might make you gain weight? Were there any bright moments that you purposely chose some foods because you knew what they would do for you rather than what they wouldn’t?
I know this is a big switch for many. If you are a woman, you can relate to what I am talking about. It is next to impossible to avoid society’s pressures in this area. Some of this can be so ingrained we can convince ourselves we are eating for health when it’s actually a mask for a weight control.
Your task this week is to reflect on how you approach eating. For weight or for health? . And sometimes the answer is simply “I like it!” and nothing more. Seek out those times when there is an ulterior motive and ask yourself what makes me choose this food over another? If your answer is to control my weight start to tweak your thinking to look for the goodness in food and what it can do for you. It will likely seem silly at first but stick with it. This isn’t a forever thing, but a step on the way. Remember the over all goal is to make food a non-issue while at the same time eating healthily.