How’s Your Relationship with Food?

Do you love your food?

Yeah? How much?

Maybe it’s all good, or maybe it could use improvement.

Just remember, past relationships may not have worked out, but they serve to make us the people we are today.

Is your current relationship with food serving you?

Food is Fuel.

Coming directly from a bodybuilding tradition, I firmly learned that “food is fuel.”

Every food had a particular code for the nutrients it provided, and I have them all memorized.

Chicken breast and white fish provided lean protein (about 25g per 100g serving!). Both were easy to calculate and digest. I liked the taste of both, although secondary to the comfort that I was “gettin’ my protein in.”

This mindset was valuable because it helped me understand how the food I put in my body shaped how it looked, felt, thought, and performed.

However, as I developed stronger relationships with my body, my self, my life and my world, so developed my relationship with the food I ate.

Slowly I began to notice how much more nuanced this daily interaction was – especially when my “food is fuel” mindset had directly alienated me from many of my friends during that time.

While my body may have been getting the nutrients it needed, my soul still craved foods that provided little nutritional value just because they tasted good. Not a ton, but this desire never completely went away. It wanted to feel included with others and to eat the foods that were shared with friends and family.

I mean, how do you measure the fuel efficiency of joy and community shared with you from your friend’s favorite recipe? The product of years of tradition, passed down through the generations, given to her on her birthday of earliest memory, and shared amongst her closest friends and family in celebration of accomplishments and unity?

My food scale measures grams and ounces, but I must have missed out on that upgrade.

So food was fuel, and fuel is a utility.
Do you harbor any emotional attachment to the gasoline you fill your car with?

“Healthy? I Just Love Food Too Much!”

Let’s flip the coin over.

As a fitness coach, I’ve seen people turn a blind eye to their health, hiding behind flimsy excuses like “I just love food too much,” as if giving up food were a prerequisite to building their health when more realistically, it’s the complete opposite.

I’ve also seen people struggle with food addiction, where they seem to love food SO much that they can no longer control themselves around it. Food has caused them great pain to the point of degrading their health and the relationships around them.

Certainly their love of food would be a detriment, right?

What is love?

Let’s begin with a question:

 
Ideally, what do you do with things you truly love?
 
You’re mindful of them.
 
You try to learn about every facet of them, every nook and cranny, every idiosyncrasy, nuance, and feature. You give them your full attention.
 
You spend quality time with them.
 
You don’t rush through hanging out with them. You enjoy each moment as it unfolds.
 
You respect them.
 
You don’t take advantage of them.
You recognize their importance and don’t try to find shortcuts or cheap substitutes.
 
You’re flexible and open to them.
 
You’re not rigid, restricting, or controlling.
You allow yourself to move, grow, develop, and change along with the things you love.
 
You’re authentic and fully integrated with body, mind, and spirit.
You express your values and ideals through those things you love.
You come closer to what is deeply important and meaningful in life.
And all your systems — physical, mental, and emotional — work together harmoniously when you’re with the things you truly love.
 
Huh.

So, how much do you really love your food?

[inspired by the wonderful teachings of PrecisionNutrition]