Day 25: Make Friends With Food

Many people agree that the world’s growing problem with obesity has to do with the vast majority of bad-for-you food options that are easily available and cheap. Yet, what if there was another element in play?
No wonder people are unhealthy! The majority of the population is more confused than ever about what the heck they are supposed to eat.

The underlying factor of obesity that no one considers

I believe that the underlying factor behind obesity that no one seems to consider is that people are relying less and less on their own body for guidance on how to nourish themselves and more and more on sources outside themselves to make this decision. We’ve become numb to what it feels like to know what our bodies are asking for. We watch television and make our nourishment decisions based on advertisements or what people on talk shows or the news are advocating. We look to other people around us or celebrities and what they are eating, comparing ourselves and hoping to get the results they seem to be getting. We feel bad when we want to eat something that we think that we aren’t supposed to eat, but then sometimes we eat it anyway and feel worse. We create bad food lists and good food lists. We deprive ourselves. We feel out of control when our bodies try to give us signals that they don’t like something we are doing. All in the name of being, feeling, and looking healthy. Irony? Perhaps at it’s finest. Why do we torture ourselves like this? Is this really a happy, healthy, and fit way to live? No. In addition to the emotional effects that this toxic relationship with food has on people, it also musthave an effect on how the body processes food too. If you believe that a particular food is bad for you and you eat it anyway…doesn't it make sense that your system isn’t going to be functioning at it's best and therefore isn’t going to digest as well as if you believed the food was going to be nourishing to you? And to take that a step further, have you ever noticed that you can eat the same food two days in a row and get an entirely different reaction from your digestive system? That's because it's your emtions that are throwing things off kilter, not the food. Emotions (i.e. stress, fear, happiness, love…) have a bigger influence on our system than most people really understand.

Making health and fitness fun

There is something very powerful in the act of praying before a meal. Even if you are not a religious person, the habit of readying yourself for eating by being thankful for the food in front of you is very positive and helpful for your body. When you treat food -- all food -- with respect it changes your relationship with it. I mention the media and food manufactures (advertisements) above, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s useless to resent or blame them. Anger and resentment toward them is only going to get you all out of whack and besides, if you learn how to listen to what your body is asking for in terms of nourishment (and you teach your children how to do this too), then why does it really matter what anyone else is saying or doing? There is no benefit in wasting your life being angry at food and scared of eating something that is going to hurt you. Today, give your body the greatest Christmas gift you could ever give it -- make peace with food. And I mean all food, even the foods on your former bad food list. Healthy, fit, and happy people don’t say I can’t eat this and I can’t eat that. They say I choose to eat this. Trust yourself and your body to make choices that will support your intention to live a healthy, fit, and happy life.
Did you enjoy today's challenge? Check out the entire Live Well 360 30-Day Challenge series.
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