Hey everyone, it’s been a minute since I last wrote something for us. My last post was dealing with WHY we eat, so I think it’s only natural to follow that up with HOW we should eat.
My first thought was that this should be super simple. Just eat spinach and stay away from jelly beans. So easy right? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that most of us know what we shouldn’t be eating, but then why does it feel so hard to follow through?
As I’m typing this I have a jar of jelly beans (the starburst kind) staring at me. I know that it’s not a good use of my calories, yet as I’m dealing with writer’s block, the sugar is speaking to me. And don’t get me wrong, we do need sugar in our diets, just not the kind these delicious jellies promise to give.
I touched on this in my last post: not all food is created equal.
I know this is true, but I still find myself either not caring or choosing to ignore that fact. It’s been worse recently and it got me thinking a little bit.
“I wonder if it’s easy to eat well when life is going well and there’s no emotional or spiritual baggage that we’re dealing with?”
I’ve been sorting through some things for the past couple of months and now I can see how that directly impacted my eating patterns. On some level we all have an eating disorder. Whether its eating (or not eating) when we’re stressed, looking for comfort in a bowl of ice cream after a tough day at the office, or, as in my case, straight apathy towards everything. We all have a relationship with food and how we treat that relationship is what will dictate its health.
I think it really just comes down to one specific focus: a focus on our relationship with the Father. It’s really just valuing that above literally everything. It’s what everything always comes back to. I mean if we do that one thing it should fall into place right? Sometimes that’s easier said than done, I realize this, but I believe it is what we should be striving for.
The Father only wants good for us. He created us and we get to walk with Him, but we don't always make that easy on ourselves.
Often when we place our relationship with food higher than Him.
Often we’re so wrapped up in our own things that we turn to pizza before Abba.
Often we neglect the very thing that He created.
Guys, food is a vice for many of us. It’s so acceptable in our society, even celebrated. I would say these days it’s glorified. It’s what everyone does. Food brings us delight. Food makes us happy. Food gives us peace. All of these things I’ve heard people say (mostly to rationalize whatever binging pattern they’re about to embark on) to me and it’s so sad. I don't think there’s anything wrong with liking the food that you eat, but there’s a line that’s been crossed here. And yes, sometimes people are joking, but isn’t there always a little truth to every joke?
How we eat affects everything. But does it have to? Why can’t eating just be the effect of us continuing to live. It’s become so much more than that and I think just being aware of it will help to change that. If we can just learn to use it as energy and not some emotional fix then we will be so much better off. Plus, we will be caring for one of God’s creation. Amazing!
Okay, so after all of that I do have some quick practical ways we can work on the “how” of eating. A lot of these are what I use for my work clients, so just bear with me here:
Whenever you feel stressed, just take a second and breathe. Deeply in through your nose and then back out your mouth. Sometimes it just helps to get those feelings out right away and not let them fester and influence your thought life.
Another thing that helps is to just make it a point of getting three different colors in with every meal. We eat a lot of brown things, so first of all this helps to actually make the meal look appetizing and secondly there are loads of different nutrients in each color group. So this also just helps to get a healthy balance of everything and provide you with variety because that’s key.
I think eating well has a lot to do with our thought lives. Like I said earlier, if everything is going well it’s easier to keep lining up. On the flip side, when things aren’t going well I feel like that is the most impactful time for us to reform our thoughts and work on these unhealthy connections and triggers. Maybe one day we will all be able to escape this way of eating. I think part of it is just how America is infatuated with surplus. I mean a lot of us were raised to LOVE food, and that’s a hard thing to break. But I remain hopeful. Again, just being aware helps more than you know on your journey with food.