‘Food glorious food…’
I’m not one of those people that doesn’t like certain things, like sweet stuff, or chocolate, or seafood, or meat. I eat it all baby. I have a huge appetite and a bottomless pit of a stomach. I love to shop for food, I love to put it in the fridge when I get home and I love to prepare it. If you want to see me really upset then take me out for a bad meal.
Those of you that know me will know that food is one of my favourite things. And you will also know this – I generally have a pretty good relationship with it. We are friends the food and I.
I was alarmed to learn when I saw a preview of a certain documentary I am presenting in March that in the USA an estimated 65% of women have an eating disorder. I was astounded by that figure (pun intended). In Australia the prevalence of eating disorders is much lower, with about 1 million or 4% of Australians (note, including men) having experienced Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Obesity or Binge Eating Disorder.
I wondered how these stats could be so high and it reminded me of some new material I have been learning about lately which essentially bins the whole notion of diet per se but talks much more about our relationship with food and what and how we think about it. UK meditation guru Andy Puddicombe has even written a book called ‘The Headspace Diet’ which explores the meaning and benefits of mindful eating.
Here’s some crackerjack tips I go by in my love affair with food:
1. If I don’t want to be tempted to eat it, I don’t have it in the house. This tends to be problematic after Easter when I raid the kids’ egg stash.
2. Eat when you are hungry.
3. Eat fresh,preferably organic/biodynamic/free range where possible.
4. Eat without distraction (so not while reading, walking, driving) and concentrate on the sounds, smells, textures and flavours of what you’re eating. You will be amazed at both how quickly you’ll feel full and how good food can taste when you give it your undivided attention.
5. Labelling food as ‘healthy’ versus ‘unhealthy’ can leave us feeling guilty when we splurge. Replace these labels with ‘everyday’ and ‘sometimes’. Feeling guilty only makes matters worse as we can feel like failures.
Melbourne’s Dr. Rick Kausman has a great slideshow from his ‘If Not Dieting Then What‘ site that goes into detail about being mindful when eating too. Check it out and let me know, which is your favourite empowerment card and why?
*I’m endorsing Andy and Rick’s work because it makes more sense to me than dieting which is increasingly being shown as an ineffective way to maintain desired weight loss. No personal gain is being made from these endorsements.