By Lori Hanson
Do you eat only when you’re hungry? Is food simply fuel for your body? Is it easy for you to ignore that cookie, beer or piece of cheesecake? Do you give your body premium high-grade fuel to run on or do you exist on low-octane fuel that leaves you sluggish and in need of maintenance?
I’ve heard recently that as many as 75% of women admit to having an unhealthy relationship with food! (I’ll bet the percentage of men with issues is around 50%). Not everyone that has an issue with food has an eating disorder, but many people have dis-ordered eating. I know many people who fantasize about food or use “comfort food” when they’ve had a bad day. Disordered eating includes any type of issues with food, many people go from one diet to the next or have other rituals they use to control their intake or weight gain in an effort to feel better about their bodies. Do you know any woman who loves everything about herself? I didn’t think so…
Society casts a shadow on those of us who suffer(ed) from eating disorders, yet most people I know have some way of numbing out. Too much food, alcohol, drugs, sex, TV, exercise, internet and self-harm all achieve the same result. Are you even aware of what you do to avoid dealing with a situation when life gets stressful? The point is, life has gotten so busy and we don’t take time to slow down and tune in to what we need. Cell phones, iPods, laptops…in our society we’re being trained to be “on” and reachable 24×7. If we don’t stop to listen and feed our soul, we often respond to the hunger with unhealthy habits. What happens when you can’t handle what life’s throwing at you?
The typical American diet is hugely lacking in what our bodies need and deserve. I am appalled by the amount of soda and fast food most people consume. This feeds into the issues America has with weight as the quality of food is so poor. And the food consumed causes chemical imbalances which make people want more junk instead of food with good nutritional value.
As a vegan and someone who recovered from bulimia I get lots of comments about my diet. People are “so impressed” with my eating habits and think they couldn’t possibly give up their soda, meat or chocolate. After spending many years abusing my body by inhaling vast quantities of “white foods” (pizza, pasta, ice cream, and candy) I now choose to treat my body with respect and give it what it needs. When you eat to provide fuel to your body vs. rewarding yourself with an oversized portion of a high-fat, high sodium meal it isn’t difficult to make good choices. My body rewards me with the energy and vitality I need…and my weight isn’t an issue.
In peace and health!
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