Passionate about understanding the human mind and improving it.

Changing Your Relationship With Food

Let's say that your current struggle is your diet and eating habits. You went to McDonald's for the fourth time this week and you ate two whole sleeves from those Oreos that you keep underneath your bed. Who cares right? Everyone does it! Wrong. Not everyone does that and neither should you. I once had a conversation with an old friend about how I am able to eat well and how I keep my figure. I told her that's it's really not that difficult for me. I enjoy eating nutritious foods and exercising. You know what she said? "Ugh, I just LOVE food though!" I stared at her blankly until a lightbulb lit up in my head.

You see, most people are in a toxic relationship with food. They aren't picky when choosing the ones to consume and they tend to have too much of it. Think of a time that you settled on a significant other simply because they were good looking. You noticed the red flags yet you continued on. As time passes, you realize you spend every waking hour with that person and now you find yourself fighting all the time. Eventually you break up because you have exhausted all of your energy on this dead end relationship and staying with this person means you might end up killing them (not literally but you know what I mean). The same thing happens with food.

You get to a restaurant and you see the fattiest, greasiest item on the menu with its 1,500+ calories in fine print. You think to yourself, "Ah, I reallllly shouldn't" but you end up ordering it anyway because it looks good. You find yourself doing this every time you eat. Each and everyday you feel lethargic, unmotivated, unhappy etc. but you keep doing it. The unhealthy relationship with food is the most difficult one to end so you stay in it with all its baggage ( the weight that you put on from processed foods). Why is this? Why do you love food more than you love your health?

I know, I know, it just tastes so DAMN good. Trust me, I've dated shitty food too. But I realized that we didn't quite see eye to eye. See, I wanted to feel and look good but like a controlling partner, food was holding me back. Similar to dropping a toxic partner, I dropped shitty food.

We live in a world where we expect instant gratification. Those yummy foods taste good now so I'm going to eat them. Except, what about in about 10 years when you're sitting at the doctors office barely able to walk, terrible eyesight, diabetes or whatever it is that you have developed and now you're creating a GoFundme account for your medical bills. Look, I know that seems harsh but that's what I do. I like to envision future Denise and how I will feel based off my current decisions. Most people don't think that far ahead and I think that's part of the problem.

Living in the moment doesn't mean that you should sacrifice a a more healthy and better you. Make decisions today that your future self with thank you for. I like to think of future Denise and current me as two different people. Denise in the future depends on what I decide to do today. So decide, who do you want to be? Do you want to be the person who is always in and out of the doctors office because of things that could have easily been prevented? Or do you want to be a healthy and fulfilled individual who can still outrun a teenager at sixty years old? It's up to you.

Drop the need for instant gratification. Sure that 20th Oreo will taste good but it surely won't feel good in about five minutes. I can't tell you how many times in the past I've almost eaten an entire box of Oreos in one sitting. What I can tell you is how many times I've hated myself for it after. Wanna know why? Have you ever tried being a productive human in society after eating that many damn cookies? It's fucking hard. Damn near impossible. Instead, I just plop my bloated self on that couch and binge watch Dexter until my body forgives me for the disservice. It's ok to eat junk food every once in a while but everything should be done in moderation. Eat 2 cookies instead of 20.

Listen, your body is your friend. It's time to start treating it that way and not a dumpster to dispose of anything in sight. Wanna know how your body thanks you when you choose whole and nutritious foods? It gives you a clear and positive mind, it keeps you slim, gives you clear skin, and it fights off illnesses and diseases so your doctor doesn't have to. Isn't that amazing? What a friend!! That's the healthiest freaking relationship. Just because your body can't vocalize its appreciation for your healthy food choices, doesn't mean that you should stop doing it.

Consider for a moment a relationship with a partner that you have or had. Everyone has different love languages and ways of communicating their appreciation. Let's say you do so much for your partner and always openly express your love for them but they are not someone who vocalizes their love, instead they shower you with affection and gifts. Would you break up with them because of their lack of vocalizing love? NO! At least I hope you answered no. If they didn't show you love in any way then yes, you should end it. Your body will always reciprocate when it's treated well. So treat it well. It's the only place you have to live.

Think about your home for a second. Let's say you find some mold and you realize that you must do something about it or else you will get sick. So you take action. You fix the problem. Since you can't always see what's going on in your body, try to imagine it. Think of your arteries clogging as mold. You wouldn't let mold build in your home so why do that to your body? It doesn't make sense and yet half of the population in America does it. The excuse that you were so hungry and McDonald's is so convenient is shit. Don't fucking eat until you can eat healthy food. You won't die from lack of food for five hours. If Gandhi can do it, so can you.

What has helped me is to keep track of the foods I'd eaten on a given day and how they have made me feel. I also experimented and still do with certain foods. For instance, I used to LOVE carbs. I ate bread or a ton of rice with every meal because it just tasted so good. Here's the thing though, I felt like my stomach might explode from how bloated I'd feel after eating it. I always felt uncomfortably full and had to unbutton my pants every time I'd eat. For the longest time I thought this was normal until I eliminated excess carbs and noticed a dramatic difference.

Our problem as humans is that sometimes we don't want to face the issue at hand. We'd rather keep doing what we are used to and not make any changes. But change is necessary. In the words of Charles Darwin, "It is not the strongest of the species that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change." We live in a world that is ever changing so why wouldn't we do the same?

It takes approximately 21 days to break a habit and remember you can survive without food for that same amount of time, so don't eat! Totally kidding, please eat. But don't eat shitty food. And don't eat too much. Worship your body, not food.

I like to think of my body has a separate entity. It's important to view our bodies as something or someone that we need to take care of just as you would your child or your dog. You wouldn't give your dog or infant soda everyday because, "No way, that would kill them!" Yet, you will drink it religiously. Most people take care of other things and people better than they do themselves. It's the most illogical thing to do. Your body is your vehicle that takes you places except you can't just go out and buy a new one once it's broken down from poor maintenance. You only get one body in this life so it's time you start acting like it. Eat healthy food.

My favorite food documentary and the book