A double-edged sword

A few thoughts about food – 

It’s everywhere. It’s what we need to survive. It is something we are around every single day. We live on it. Sometimes we live for it. We need it in order to live. We need it in order to thrive and survive. It’s a fine line. It’s a comfort. It’s a coping mechanism. It’s everything sometimes. It’s a double-edged sword. 

Do you remember as a kid being told that if you were good you would get a treat? If your mom was going to take you with to the store to get groceries, you were told that if you were good, you would get a treat. If you weren’t good you weren’t getting any candy. In order to get candy or a treat, you had to have the behavior expected. 

It’s been that way forever. Why are we rewarded with food? Why is our behavior centered around food? Why can’t we just enjoy food and eat food and be normal around food? It’s no wonder so many of us have so many issues with food. 

We are conditioning our kids that their behaviors are rewarded with food. Look what you are teaching them. Really take a step back and look at what you are doing. When we are sad, we have food. When we are good, we have food. When we are happy we have food. Everything is about food. I hate it. 

Have you ever had a bad day? Well, duh. Everyone has bad days. Exactly. Have you ever heard of anyone having a crap day and texting her friend to help her make her feel better? What does that consist of? Drinks and food is what it consists of. I bet 90 percent of the time it consists of drinks and food. How about text your friend and tell her you had a terrible day and ask her is she will take a walk with you and talk about things. 

Ever heard the phrase, “eat your feelings?” How many times have you done that? How many times have you gotten home from work and just needed to have a little hit of alcohol to take off the edge? Well, the edge usually gets sharper and then you start to eat and eat and eat. It isn’t usually the most healthy food either. It’s usually chips and crackers. Sometimes it’s loads of fat-laden foods. Or sometimes you don’t even eat at all, you just drink your feelings and your supper. 

When did this start happening to us as a society? Has it always been this way? I can remember my mom leaving the house and when we asked her where she was going, she responded, “Crazy.” I wonder where she went. I don’t think she really drowned her feelings in food. It was mostly coffee and cigarettes for her.

I think ultimately it is a less than optimal behavior that we are accustomed to. It’s usually over eating, or over drinking. And yet, on the other hand, when we do something great, we reward ourselves with food! I got a promotion, let’s celebrate. Drinks and dinner. Why can’t we just be? Maybe reward yourself with something that doesn’t involve food. We really need to change how we think about food. 

If you have young kids and want to teach them anything about health, teach them to enjoy food, but not to use food as a reward. Teach them how food helps their bodies to perform optimally. Teach them about nutrition and teach them about their feelings! When they do something great, buy them a book, or a new shirt or something like that. Stop rewarding with food. Stop feeding their pain. Stop feeding their accomplishments. 

This year when you are buying easter presents for your kids or even for your grandkids, try buying non-food items. Just try. Why do they need all that candy. They don’t.

Chew on that. 

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