The good news is that once we realize the facts behind our own relationship with food we can begin to change this in areas where it is not working productively for us. It could be we eat too much, or too little. Perhaps we eat food that is not nutritious, or is full of empty calories, rather than vitamins we need to be healthy.
The way our noshing habits are established has a lot to do with how we have been bought up to view food, and the ways we have been taught to use food. Let me explain.
As children, we learn about food from our parents or caregivers. We witness how they relate to food, and take our cues from them. Often we pick up bad habits we do not realize are unhealthy, such as eating too much fried foods, or eating our main meal late at night, rather than giving our digestive system time to do its business effectively.
By looking back to childhood, we can begin to find clues to how we have developed our eating patterns. Once we see why we relate to food in a certain way, we can see where we need to change by swapping our poor eating habits with healthier alternatives to fulfill our needs.
It could be we were rewarded for good behavior with food by our parents. Now, when we tuck into a huge tub of ice cream we may unconsciously feel we deserve to, because we have accomplished a difficult task that day. Once we understand we are using food this way, we can begin to reward ourselves with healthier alternatives, such as a bubble bath or a refreshing walk in the park.
One aspect of this subject that is becoming more recognized is the act of eating for comfort. If we feel down in the dumps, many of us find eating raises our spirits for a short while. Unfortunately, the result is weight gain, and a slump in happy, emotional side effects. This leads to a never-ending cycle where we eat more and more to relieve unhappiness.
Teaching ourselves to reach for our favorite glossy magazine, or partake in an exhilarating activity instead to get what we need, may take time and perseverance. However, once new habits are established, we can benefit from them for life.
Most of us are familiar with using food in social situations as a form of entertainment, as well as for comfort, or as a reward. We hold dinner parties where we feel by providing and partaking in eating snack foods, we are being friendly and sociable.
It could be we do this too often, and it may be better for us to learn more about providing healthier versions of what we are used to eating and serving to others.
Once we discover our intimate relationship with food, we can make it a healthy one, which is energizing and nurturing. Then we can learn to enjoy food without worrying that it is controlling us.