Thursday, May 1, 2008

Morals of Food

For me personally, before losing the weight, food played a very emotional role. Whether I was happy or sad I ate. Goodness for me was measured by what I ate. As a child, I like many children was rewarded with food. As an obese adult I continued to reward myself with food. The message changed the older I got and the more I desired to lose weight. The message I was now telling myself and the message society was telling me was far different than that of my childhood. If I were “good”, I ate the salad. If I was “bad” or indulgent, I would eat the cake. As a fit, healthy adult, the pendulum continues to swing and I am learning to view food entirely differently again. Food is not to be seen as “good” or “bad” but merely as fuel to my body. After the weight loss, food was my enemy. I was afraid to eat anything that was labeled as “bad” and adhered strictly to safe “good” food. Clearly cake, cookies and pizza were out of the question because after all those were “bad” foods that got me into trouble in the first place.

When I look at the message and language attached to food in advertising, it conveys to me that some foods are “bad”, “sinful” and “naughty” while other foods are labeled as “pure”, “good”, “virtuous”. I’m not entirely convinced that attaching labels to food is necessarily always a bad thing. But I can see how we (I) translate this message to our own self worth when eating these foods. I am spending my adult life unlearning these messages.

Today I am developing a healthy relationship towards food and nutrition in general. I've learned the importance of nutrient timing and know that there is a time and place for all foods that enjoy. In my attempt to foster this relationship, I hold myself to the following:

A healthy relationship with food:
· Is not setting some impossible-to-achieve goal of dietary perfection for myself, which is a
recipe for failure
· It is realizing there is place for "unclean" foods in moderation in my diet, even when
following the fitness lifestyle
· Not feeling guilty when I eat "unclean" foods
· Leaving room for "unclean" foods in my macros (10% meals/snacks)
· Not letting food have power over you
· Not indulging in compensatory behaviours when I've eaten something "unclean"
(endless cardio)

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