How many healthy meals did you eat last week?
“Well, what do you define as healthy?”… And now you see why so many of us can’t get our act together when it comes to food.
I contend that after education, language is the next-largest hurdle to jump to make meaningful change in our lives through food.
The problem with “Eating healthy” lies in the language we use. “Healthy” to one person may mean a steak salad with home-made dressing and veggies from their garden. To another person, “healthy” means a 6-inch sandwich from Subway.
Rather than healthy or not healthy, name your food and label your relationship with that food. It’s like dating. We ask questions and want to know things about the person sitting across from us. “Who are you, and what are your plans for me?”
That’s what I want you to ask your food.
So, what are your foods plans for you? There are three main types of food relationships: nutrition, entertainment, and addiction.
Nutrition is simple. Eat clean proteins, fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and little to no processing. It’s the steak salad from above. The refinement can be a store-bought dressing.
Entertainment is born out of situations and eating for pleasure. Are you eating out for lunch every day at work or having a couple of handfuls of popcorn at a movie? Entertainment. Making lasagna for a family dinner or having a couple frozen Reese’s cups after a productive week? Entertainment.
Addiction is eating a whole bag of popcorn at the movies, or a few packages of Reese’s cups. I’m not calling you an addict. You weren’t born with a disease or an addictive personality. I’m only saying that things have inherent addictive qualities.
*Guys, I’m addicted to breathing. I can’t seem to stop.*
See what I mean? You’re not an addict.
We eat some food because we weren’t prepared and had to make do with the best we could. Convenience food goes into the entertainment category.
When you eat your food, label it. Label what you’re doing. Don’t put narratives on it or judge yourself. That’s counter-productive. Just name it. When humans start doing this, they start changing their language. “I ate six healthy meals last week” becomes “I had two meals for their nutrition, six entertainment meals, and three meals that were honestly me eating because of stress.
After changing the language, we’ll see our relationship with food more clearly. Then, a great thing happens. People start re-wiring what their average week of food looks like and making different decisions, not because they HAVE to, but because they have clarity on what’s been going on.
I’m not asking you to build a new relationship with food, only to reveal your current one.