If I am honest with myself. I love food, and I love to eat. Whether pizza and pasta, or nachos and quesadillas. Fresh-made sandwiches, soups, or the never-ending options for dessert. I really enjoy eating delicious and well-prepared foods, no matter how healthy or unhealthy they may be. However, I haven’t always felt this way.
All too often, I would want a food, but I’d tell myself it wasn’t healthy, that I shouldn’t eat it. And guess what? I wouldn’t eat it. Declining what I really wanted to eat, made me feel like I was strong, and full of willpower. Which was definitely not the case. Because every time I refused to eat what I originally wanted, I inevitably ate 500 others things in order to compensate. I would try to make up or accommodate, for the fact that I wasn’t allowing myself to eat what I wanted to eat in the first place. First world problem? I know!
But, that’s exactly where the problem begins. Society seems so health, food, weight, and body conscious, that everything we put into our mouths becomes an obsession. A scrutiny. An opportunity for judgment on one’s character, values, and sense of self-love, when really it shouldn’t be. People have worth and value no matter what they put in their mouths. We need to stop making food, body, eating, and weight the benchmarks behind being a good person. Because behind the body, into the heart, is where you’ll find the actual person.
Granted, I am not saying that food has no role in how we feel. Quite the opposite. Whenever we eat something, we feel it in our bodies, physically. So, eating certain foods may lead to different physical sensations in our bodies. But that doesn’t mean we can’t eat them. What we choose to eat or not eat, changes us physically, but not always mentally, emotionally, spiritually or socially. I know many people who eat healthy and nourish their bodies physically, but are still miserable, lonely, and downright mean. I’ve also met people who eat pizza, chocolate, and fast-food quite regularly, but are blissfully happy. So, the 2 don’t always correlate. Which is why you must learn your own body, your own style of eating. And accept it. Embrace it.
I’ve been working a lot lately, to try and understand myself more. Especially when it comes to eating, food, and my body. What I’ve found so far, is that I love food and I love to eat. But I also want to make sure my body feels the same way, because in reality, our bodies know best. They know exactly what we need, if we listen. And I’ve been listening. Here is what my body has been telling me.
5 Tips to Enjoy Eating
Please eat. And enjoy what you eat. Don’t feel guilty about it. Obsess or overanalyze. Just eat. The abundance of food that you have access to is a blessing. So, take the food you have, the foods you enjoy, and the foods that make you feel good. And eat them.
Eating is not a race. It is not an Olympic event. Therefore, take your time with it. Enjoy the process, savor each and every bite. There is no need to rush or hurry. The food isn’t going anywhere. There will always be more. The dishes can wait. And your work will always be there. So, slow down.
Find Foods You Love
Yes, I want you to discover what foods you really love. The foods you are excited to eat, not the ones that you feel you should eat. And don’t worry about nutrition all the time or calories, but simply the enjoyment and pleasure of eating certain foods. What foods are those for you? Take the time to find out.
Get Rid of Rules
While I’ve been giving you suggestions, this is the best one I have. Do not follow any rules. I don’t care if it is from doctors, scientists, nutritionists (except maybe if you have particular health issues). They are not you. They are not your body. So, forget about eating at certain times, following specific portions, or limiting favorable food groups. You decide for your own body.
Have Fun with Food
Eating is something you will do your whole life, so start enjoying it. Find ways to make eating more fun. Find yummy recipes and cook books. Learn to laugh out loud at what you eat, or how you eat it. Make a mess. Break the rules. Return to childhood and look at food as an exciting adventure. New meals to try, new places to eat, and new flavors to explore.
Forget about the rules of eating, and just enjoy the experience. Don’t let food determine your worth, but find an eating path that works specifically for you.
We also have the monthly challenge of trying new things. A new way to enjoy eating could be on your list!