"I'LL START TOMORROW"
Many of us who fall into temptation over a tempting bowl of ice cream, colorful pastries or other fattening foods will justify this act with excuses. Fact is, it's okay to have them IF you have the right perspective. The problem lies in our own selves- where quitting anything cold turkey is known to often collapse and the very idea of "diets" just never work! To kick-start a healthy lifestyle starts with an upgrade in SELF-RESPECT.
"ILLEGALIZE THE BIRTHDAY CAKE"
I would associate acts of binging and reaching for things that our logical brain identifies as 'bad for us' with depression. Terms like LIFE TRAPS arise where we tend to play a broken record with bad habits that often lead to self-destructive behavior. If you ever felt "blue" and had the impulse to reach for "fun foods" or "comfort foods" (sweets being a popular one), it seems to be a common pattern that the very things we want to make us feel better are those that have been PRE-PROGRAMMED in us since childhood that now have repercussions to bring harm. A sugar addiction expert once told me jokingly about her "wish" to ban the birthday cake from kiddie parties because this very childhood brain conditioning creates the psychological foundation for sugar habits in adults.
COMFORT FOOD! I blame this term for much of why we are attracted to some of the worst crap out there. Processed foods like RICE, WHITE BREADs and PASTA for example have made their way as popular staples but have nothing good to offer our bodies except filling up you and tricking your system to a false-sense of fulfillment. Comfort Food is defined as a "treat" or anything that's familiar to eat- while giving a false sense of self-love. In the end, emotion-inspired eating is the start of a negative lifestyle.
What makes food a powerful industry in the U.S. is mostly because the buying power is in US. All the store owner has to do is to put it out there on a shelf, a display or on a menu and the visuals will speak for themselves. There are signals and triggers in our heads that will (1) kick in recognition and personal connection and (2) self-convincing in the decision making process as to why "I want this now". You're smart enough to know this is greasy junk- but both sides of your brain are doing its' job to actually surrender to temptation.
Make no mistake. These foods are NASTY and provide you no sustenance- only that feeling that you about to have something that will fill a void. We will often lie to ourselves while eating but the truth will come out when your body has one of a number of negative reactions from gas pains, bloating, energy loss - and not to mention the long term effects.
But again, NONE of this will make a bit of difference if you DO NOT LOVE YOURSELF.
Dr. Marla Friedman, (recognized North Shore psychologist) published the book "Love, Freedom, and Wellness: A Guide To Living an Empowered Life" and she expresses this very idea to drive the entire program to change your diet by changing your life. Everything is connected and our actions to choose what to eat stems from how we feel about ourselves.
CONVENIENCE & THE MARKETING DRIVE
Marketers have designed the heck out of the food industry to make things cheaper, faster, more appealing, portable and accessible. Many food sources are now open 24 hours to bring an "anytime-access" of your favorite foods.
From the overload of commercials to pumping hormones in chickens to celebrities pushing caffeine drinks that have been proven to instigate heart condition- Americans are constantly prompted to "celebrate" the power to consume... and consume... and consume more.
Here are just a few (among thousands) of man-made food prompts that keep us from a healthier lifestyle upgrade:
- The invention of the drive through: you don't need to leave your car because walking is a pain
- Fast food: the idea of the no-wait food speaking to the lazy & the impatient in us all.
- Supersize: the greed factor in us says "more" for less $$
- Ice cold drinks: we are programmed to believe cold beverage is glamour and luxury
- The soda (sugared drinks): we are programmed since childhood that soda is home
- The hamburger: fits in your hand, easy to eat while you work or drive, meat tickles our carnivorous nature (another psychology spin right there)
- Colorful packaging: just walk down any cereal or snacks aisle in your local supermarket, try to resist those primary colors and shiny packaging!
We can keep going with this article, but the message of LOVING YOURSELF FIRST (I believe) is the one true solution in overcoming the battle against unhealthy eating. I welcome your thoughts on this article so please comment below.