From the age of 17-39, I was a chronic dieter. I succumbed to every fad and gimmick made available to me. I experienced success and failure, but inevitably I ended right back where I started every time.
Finally, at 39 years old, I realized that my inability to lose weight and keep it off, had little to do with willpower and cravings, and everything to do with who I WANTED to be.
In other words, although I did not want to be overweight and unhealthy for the rest of my life, I did not want to be an obsessive, calorie counting dieting junkie either. I did not like myself in either of those roles. So, it was no wonder that I had failed, because I did not really want to be the person I thought I had to be in order to be thin.
Ask yourself the same question. Do you want to be overweight and unhealthy for the rest of your life? Do you want to be counting calories and on a diet for the rest of your life? I bet the answer to both of those questions is an emphatic “NO!”
Our relationship with food defines us in more ways than we realize. Many of us believe there are only two ways to relate to food. Let me give you an analogy.
Having a relationship with crappy food, I am talking the Standard American Diet of highly processed foods and animal products is like having a relationship with that guy who sits around the house drinking beer all day, with his hand down his pants. The guy that disrespects you and makes you feel like shit. The guy who manipulates you with emotional highs and lows. The guy who starves you of love and life. The guy who will never be capable of a loving relationship because he is devoid of substance, character, and emotional well-being.
Being on a diet is like having a relationship with a guy that makes you feel like you have to act a certain way, and look a certain way in order to get his love. There is still no respect, only attention when you get results. Your life is rigid, obsessive, and everything must be done in a certain way in order for you to feel worthy. You feel like he controls you. You feel like he steals your energy and your joy. You still feel like you are starving for love and life, but at least you look good, and from the outside all seems perfect. But you don’t feel whole…
For 22 years I jumped back and forth between these two relationships with food. Honestly, I thought they were my only options. But I was wrong.
Having a relationship with healthy food is like being with the guy that finds you sacred. There is a deep mutual respect, and you feel nourished of body, mind, and soul. He makes you feel alive, and he supports and brings out the best version of you. He heightens all of your senses- taste, touch, smell, sight, and sound. Literally, you experience the world differently with him. He gives you energy, and he brightens your soul. Your relationship is synergistic, your breathe life into one another. You have a deep spiritual connection.
In actuality, these relationships have nothing to do with men, and everything to do with the relationship we have with ourselves. Still, very few realize that how we treat our bodies, and how we feed ourselves is the foundation for all of our relationships. How we eat is a direct reflection of how we live.
In America we eat what is fast, cheap, easy, and convenient. We eat from boxes, bags, drive throughs and microwaves. In our cars, on our laps and with our hands. We pay no attention to where our food comes from, how it was produced, and how it affects our energy or our health. When we get sick, we take a pill or blame our genetics. Rarely do people make the connection between what we eat and how we feel. This is not only how we identify with food, it is how we do everything.
Are you living in the moment? Are you living intentionally? Are you nourishing and respecting your body? Are you connecting intimately with friends and family? Do you feel energetic, joyful and fulfilled?
You see, what I never realized was that learning how to eat was really about learning how to live. In the moment, with all my senses, connecting to myself, my loved ones and my environment. It was about slowing down and making deliberate choices that nourished me, and that respected my body, mind, and soul.
I would like you all to sit back and reflect on your eating habits and your life. Do you see the correlation between how you eat, and how you are living?
Great blog and this really makes me think about everything. Even being a guy. Thank you for being so candid and helping the world be a better place.
Thank you Chris!