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Stop Fixing on Food

In this culture, it’s hard not to get fixated on food (never mind weight), from ongoing bombardment of TV advertisements, supermarkets circulars, magazine recipes, and doctors’ advice. What really can get you hooked is how we seem to be talking food all the time (I know it really isn’t all the time, but it sometimes feels that way). Recently, I’ve started to pay extra attention to how often the subject comes up.
Please don’t take this blog the wrong way. Some of you have had secrets about eating issues for decades and have finally come out of the closet and begun to talk about bingeing, starving, purging, and night eating. Please continue to share and learn from one another other. But I do think we’re influenced by culture and, to become healthy, we must be careful not to fall into the trap of spending our lives focused on food and eating.
Think about it: how often when you’re dining with others do you just eat? Usually, people have something (or lots) to say about what they’re eating or not eating: it tastes good or bad, contains X calories or fat grams, they’ve had better, they shouldn’t be eating it but can’t help themselves, they’re eating it because it’s nutritious not because they like it, they’d like to eat it but can’t because they’re allergic, they used to eat it but don’t because it’s not good for their cholesterol or triglycerides, they wish they could eat what you’re eating. And if people aren’t talking about the current meal, they’re reminiscing about previous meals or musing about where they’ll be eating or what they’ll be cooking in the future.
It’s a wonder there’s time to talk about anything else! Food talk also raises its head when we’re not eating. People share their feelings about being stuffed or starving in great detail; it’s no longer a personal matter but a public broadcast. They describe in detail what they can’t wait to eat hours from now or what they ate yesterday or last week. They explain how to make foods even if you don’t ask for the recipe. They give you a comprehensive account of what their children or spouse eats or doesn’t eat. They lecture you on eating vegan, macrobiotic, going Weight Watcher, or switching to a raw food diet. Whatever happened to small talk, current events, politics, or just plain gossip?
Again, for those of you struggling with food issues, say what you need to work on recovery, but please also realize that focusing on things other than food can help you grow you healthier. It’s a fine balance between opening up and exploring food issues and knowing when to stop (like eating!). Enjoy food, but also enjoy the other yummy aspects of life.