What is it about food that keeps us coming back, already full, feeling content and satisfied and yet, in creeps that little voice saying, “You need to eat, you are hungry.” Why is it that we cannot avoid, ignore, stop, slow down or simply satisfy that little voice that keeps telling us we are hungry and still feel the need to eat, no matter how uncomfortable, full, heavy, tired or lethargic that last unnecessary mouthful may make us feel?
Don’t get me wrong… I am not saying we do not need to eat. I am simply suggesting that possibly we eat more than what we actually need, and that there could be an underlying reason why we eat as much as often as we do.
Perhaps there are issues, feelings, emotions that we feel, observe or see around and within us that we simply do not want to feel. Or could it be that we feel so amazing that we cannot handle just how awesome we are, so we instead opt to take the edge off, dulling ourselves just enough that we no longer feel that which we are possibly trying to avoid?
Food for me has been used in many ways: yes the obvious, we need to eat to survive, but I know for absolute certainty that I eat much more than I actually need. More often than not, it is at times where I am avoiding wanting to feel something that is going on around me – a situation, confrontation or emotion that I just do not want to deal with – so a snack is a great way to take my mind off it. Or that life is going so incredibly well, I am feeling so amazing, that rather than allow myself to truly appreciate and observe this, I dive into some roasted almonds, make some nut butter or decide to do some baking so I can lick the bowl. Better yet, cook a whole heap of food so it keeps me so busy that I totally forget what I am trying to avoid or ignore in the first place.
Again, don’t get me wrong, cooking is a lot of fun; I love it and I love to cook and share meals with others, but it can be something I choose to use as a distraction, rather than something that is done to support, nurture and nourish me.
Whatever the reason, you name it – food has it covered: it is so often our go to, all rounder, good-for-every-occasion best friend and companion. Not to mention conversation piece.
So why is food such a touchy subject? Why is it that everyone at one time or another uses food as a go to, a comforting agent? Yet to truly admit we have addictions with and towards food (well, there is your touchy subject!) is something we avoid looking at. I know I have in the past!
To really go there and look at the how, why and what we eat can be very exposing and bring up a lot, especially when we need to eat to survive. So how crazy is it to question our eating patterns, really? Though I’m beginning to ask, how crazy is it to not question them?
So, I am doing just that. I am questioning the ‘how,’ ‘why,’ ‘what’ and ‘when’ of eating. Yes, it is uncomfortable, and at times I really would rather not go there. Since really getting to the nitty gritty of it, boy oh boy, have those old eating habits wanted to march back in. As soon as I even attempt to avoid something or not appreciate anything, in comes the voice, a Jiminy Cricket you could say, chanting, “Go on, eat it!”
So the challenge begins when my body feels amazing, light, vital – and in comes the avoidance, the tension of, “Oh no! Life! I have to deal with all of this,” or “I cannot be this amazing,” – and the little voice says “Quick! Grab some food or better yet, even though you already cannot breathe after a huge meal, go back and have a second serve.”
It’s crazy that, even though we can be so uncomfortable that our body is screaming, “No more, you need to fast for a week after that outburst,” the tension is so great we often override it and lash out time and time again, each time saying, “Never again.”
Food and alcohol, – are they really any different, or is it that we see food as a necessity and therefore dare not question it? Could the drive behind how, why, and what we eat actually be coming from a thought, a mindset that is not actually our own?
Do we avoid ourselves so much that filling ourselves up with food is a better option than allowing ourselves to truly feel just how amazing we are? I am understanding that it does not matter what anyone else thinks of us; it is what and how we feel about ourselves that matters most.
By Nicole Serafin, Age 45yrs, Tintenbar, NSW