Friday, April 30, 2010

Through the stomach

Is this the way to my heart? Or, my perceived happiness? Hmmm ... I have been pondering this question a lot lately.

Let me begin by saying that I always thought it weird when people would talk about their "relationship with food". I think of relationships as applying to people, God, and maybe animals - but not food. I also thought it a little weird (but less than the former) when people would talk about self-medicating with food. I mean, the food tastes good, but is it really medicating?

I do recognize that I can quite easily be a "mindless" eater. I eat when I am bored or when I am distracted by something like a tv show or movie and there is food around me. I read about this phenomenon in a book by the (oddly appropriate) name, Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink. It really is an interesting book and gave me lots of food for thought. (Yes, that pun was intentional.) I try to be more intentional with my food, but still fall victim to mindless eating sometimes. At least I am more aware of and in control of my eating than I was before reading the book.

I have recently decided that I am an "emotional" eater, too. When things are going well in my relationships with God, Steve, and the boys I am less likely to crave junk food. I also am much more likely to eat only when I am hungry and eat until I am full. So, I have been thinking more about my "relationship" with food and how I use it to "medicate" myself. The bad part of this self-analyzing is that I am aware of what I am doing while I am doing it. Sometimes I can stop myself, but sometimes I still eat the junk food and it just makes me feel even worse. One thing that has helped is not buying the junk food. I know that is a radical concept, but it was Steve's idea. I have been really good about not buying (I think). I did get some Easter treats in an after-Easter clearance. (Some were for me, and some were for the Women's Retreat.)

So, I am trying to re-train myself that the way to my heart and my well-being (at least my physical well-being) is through putting the right things in my stomach. I feel a little silly discovering this at my age, but at least it is now and not later. Sometimes it's not fun to grow up, but the end result is worth it.

Note: That picture was from my birthday in December and one of the "motivating" pictures for me to get serious about my health. Although I still like a good hamburger!

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