Like many of you, I’ve said: Food is my friend.
Or Maybe: “But but but, food IS the holiday. It’s my comfort, support and entertainment. It’s the only way to survive – when Mom says _____________, I’m toast, and I NEED it.”
How do we recover if we fall prey to the belief that food is an emotional support?
Let’s start at the beginning. Where did the belief come from? How can a combination of sugar, flour, butter and whatever else translate to comfort? How can a potato or a block of whatever kind of cheese be so enticing?
Go get your favorite comfort food and put it right in front of you. Go on. I’ll wait.
Now, look at it – how does that look soothing? What can that do for you?
Or look at chocolate – it’s some kind of cocoa, sugar, and fat blended together. How did we make it comforting? It’s true, it is sweet – so is freon, but I wouldn’t advise tasting it.
Logically, we know food isn’t really a friend. It’s something we consume for physical nutrition. We’ve made it emotional. It’s just something we’ve come to rely on. It’s easy. It fits the culture. Is that a good thing?
We give candy to children to stop them crying, and it works. AND other distractions work just as well. It’s just that candy is easily accessible, and we utilize it for them and or ourselves. It’s an instantaneous dopamine hit. And my inner-two-year-old will pitch a fit now and again if I let her. Am I alone?
Consider how you feel after you eat for emotional reasons—what’s that like? How do you honestly feel after you’ve abandoned your promises to yourself?
Do you still feel entertained and comforted?
So is it a friend or a frenemy?
It doesn’t work long-term, does it? It’s a momentary fix. And it’s seldom the actual food that is the comforting factor – it’s the memory we attach to the food. It’s who gave it to us, who protected that 2-year-old or 10-year-old in a moment when we felt vulnerable, afraid, and in need. We’ve made it our friend. We’ve attached it to entertainment or comfort or support—but it’s just food.
AND we can unwind that.
To help, I’ll have a special offer for you between Christmas and the New Year. We’re working on it, but I know how getting a good start on goals can make a difference.
Watch this space.