I was at the dinner table a few nights back and I was looking at my husband gently lifting his fork, placing the food in his mouth, and gracefully putting the fork back on his plate. It seemed effortless for him to be mindful, present and engaged with his meal.
For Ryan, it came naturally.
I asked him, “Have you always been mindful with your food?”
“Yeah.” He said. “Why wouldn’t I be?”
And there’s my exact point. I think for some eating is just another part of the day, a quick meal as fuel for our body’s to carry on to function and as a way to taste something savory without the enslaving thoughts behind it.
While others of us obsess, contemplate and highly consume our brains around thoughts about food. When we’re going to eat it, how much we’re going to eat, is it part of our plan, how many calories does it have and the list goes on. Exhausting right, but quite the norm.
What if for one day we decided NOT to allow our brains to be filled with thoughts surrounding food. Do you think we could do it, even if for as long as we can remember, we’ve obsessed about food? I think it can be done, but definitely not in one day. Some might disagree but I think in order to fully separate our thoughts from our food it takes time and a shit ton of practice.
Hence the title, does obsessing over our food actually serve a purpose?
You know, I used to think that those that were the leanest were the ones that learned how to obsess jusssst enough while not allowing it to consume their lives. You know what? I think anything goes, it’s a wild card and I think so many of us struggle with food obsession-regardless of our size and shape. Some more so than others and that’s totally okay, no judgement there, but I can tell you based on experience, that mind fuck is exhausting and downright debilitating. Just sayin’.
I hear it all the time, women constantly talking about food in the grocery store line to the dinner table and while that’s perfectly okay, I think, just like with anything else, can backfire. Too much of a good thing certainly doesn’t work in our best interest.
I think it’s safe to say that we might justify obsession around food as the norm, part of the diet process and the baggage that comes with womanhood.
But-does it serve a purpose? Absolutely. That purpose being nothing short of debilitating. Completely consuming our minds with food, not fully living life and constantly worried about every morsel that goes into our mouths. Been there done that and no thank you!
So the question might be, how do we stop obsessing about food since it doesn’t serve our highest good? It starts small and with one little adjustment at a time.
Try this: Next time you find yourself obsessing around food or what’s in front of you on that plate, ask yourself these questions:
1. “Does this food serve a purpose for me?” If the answer is no, walk away and/or create something that does. I tell my clients to focus on the color. Is their plate colorful? If so, that means they’re doing their body good and feeding it full of nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
2. “Am I really hungry for food?” I totally get it’s easy to eat when we’re unsure if we’re hungry or not, totally normal and I still have to catch myself from falling into that trap. Oh, I’m hanging out so maybe I’m hungry. Or, I’m watching TV so oh, maybe I need to eat something. If you’re really not hungry or unsure, grab some water and do something else. Call a friend, go for walk or play with your pet. Anyway to distract yourself from the situation or the food. Sometimes, all we’re really hungry for is company, companionship and/or comfort.
3. “When did I eat last?” I find this exact question helps many of us that struggle with overeating. We think we need to eat, similar to the above but when we tune in to when we ate last that can be more of a definite answer. That’s why I think food journals help a bunch with this. We’re able to track our food, see if we’re eating balanced and high quality so if we’re hungry 20 minutes after we ate, most of the time it has nothing to do with the food.
I hope these help! Make sure to check me out on Instagram and Snap at KimSchaperFitness for all my posts on ways to create healthy, quick and balanced meals!