Some people get really upset when statements are made like, “Food is fuel,” or, “Food is not entertainment,” and I understand why, truly I do.
The problem, especially for food/sugar addicts like myself, with viewing food as anything other than fuel, is that we hold on to an unhealthy obsession with food. I understand it is a process. I really do. I still battle the food obsession monster now and then, even at being keto 2 1/2 years. We don’t just turn around a lifelong obsession overnight.
I was definitely one of those people who got really excited about food. I drove down highways and responded out loud to food billboards with “Oooohhh, look at that! I need to try that!” more than my fair share of times. I see new keto desserts or really delicious keto meals pop up on my Facebook feed and sometimes still I find myself saying out loud, “Oooooh, look at that! I need to try that!” I can be totally satiated, or I could have just finished eating; and just seeing a picture makes those words come out of my mouth.
When I find myself thinking about what I am going to eat next, I have to stop and ask myself what is going on. Am I stressed about something? Am I bored? I honestly don’t want to be controlled by food. I don’t want my day dictated by what food is going to go in my mouth next. I only want to think about food when I am hungry.
Some things you can do to break the emotional ties with food are:
- Keep your food simple
- Eat when hungry, not by a clock
- Don’t scour the Internet for new recipes because you get “bored” with your food
- Re-train your brain to see food for what it is
Eat whole foods, not elaborate recipes, not keto junk food – just eat real, whole foods. Basics like bacon and eggs, steak and avocado with butter, bunless burgers, steak salads with full fat dressing. Eat the skin on the chicken. Keep.It.Simple. You may very well love cooking, thrive on complicated recipes, but that may not be the best thing for your body.
Society loves to dictate when we eat. How many times have we heard, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” It is such a lie. The most important meals are the ones you are truly hungry for.
I daresay boredom with your food can be a good thing. It can be the start of ending the obsession. Does it taste good? Does it physically satisfy? Yes? Then good. No? Then don’t eat it again. Those are the questions that matter.
It is fuel. It is what we need to keep going everyday and not die and wither away. It is not a reward for jobs well done. It is not entertainment because we are bored. It is not comfort for when we feel down. Food does not fix problems we have with our car, our family, our friends or our job. Eating because of stress, anger, frustration etc is not the purpose of food. The purpose of food is to give us energy, to keep us alive.
I am not saying should not enjoy your food.
Honestly, I won’t eat anything I don’t enjoy the taste of and I don’t expect anyone else to either.
I am just saying that to continue to view food as anything other than fuel, is a slippery slope that can lead to a slip in our thinking and cause us to mistakenly believe we somehow will be normal one day. Getting to goal weight does not fix us. We do not get to goal weight and then magically we can return to what made us fat and sick and somehow the results will be different this time.
Staying obsessed with food and constantly thinking about the next keto meal does not free us mentally. We may no longer feel hangry or experience cravings, but if all our thoughts still revolve around food, then we still have some work to do.
But what about all those family get togethers?!?! Food is part of the celebration!
So? Is there some reason we can’t get together with friends and family and only have a good time if we eat? It is unhealthy thinking that we can’t have a good time unless we eat. I can be with friends and family and not eat. I can go to the movies and not eat. I can go to a restaurant with others and not eat. I still have a great time! Those get togethers are about the relationships, the conversations, the memories – not the food.
I have had people tell me it is unhealthy to not get happy about food and that my relationship is still dysfunctional because I think “negatively” about food. I am not saying food is bad and there is nothing negative about not wanting to be obsessed with food or not wanting to derive happiness from it. I much rather enjoy being obsessed with health, with things that are good for me.
Make one of your goals to not be in bondage to food.
Realize that food is not the boss of you.