Redefining Your Relationship With Food

fight_eating_disorders_a IIFor the reader who is looking for direction to improve one’s quality of life without sacrificing enjoyable food choices, this article may offer tangible realistic options. For the reader that uses the phrases, “but, I don’t like…” or “but, I don’t want to…”, this article will add little to no value. The word COMPROMISE must be clearly accepted for lifelong changes to become a reality. The motivating factors that make compromise more appealing include:

  1. improved physical abilities to perform desired tasks (ex. physical, recreational and social) that previously were unachievable

  2. fewer sick days

  3. fewer (if any) prescription medications

  4. better clarity (less brain fog)

  5. better overall health with reduced risks for life threatening maladies at an earlier age

Eating “clean” is NOT synonymous with tasteless boring foods. Conversely, balanced eating isn’t synonymous with unlimited fast food, processed food, and other “food like” substances. Redefining one’s relationship with food requires a new paradigm.

  1. We can no longer “live to eat” AND be healthy UNLESS we have the time to research healthy delicious recipes and prepare them.

  2. We have to realize that “eating out” must become a minority in our eating patterns. Packing home prepared meals for lunch and eating home prepared meals for dinner must become the new normal. Few people can eat out on a regular basis and maintain a healthy diet.

  3. One method to reduce damaging effects from restaurant selections is viewing the restaurant’s menu online before driving to the restaurant. This helps reduce the emotional component and improves the typical choices. This also helps satisfy the need to eat out socially without compromising one’s health.

  4. Grocery shopping must be based on a list prepared PRIOR to going grocery shopping. Grocery stores are designed to maximize the consumer’s spending per visit. A grocery list will give the consumer the edge by predetermining their food selection as well as controlling budgetary allowances.

  5. When having a meal, EAT HEALTHY FIRST. This is one of the easiest and best solutions for people with eating issues. If a healthy high fiber meal is consumed FIRST, the quantity of junk eating that would follow would likely dramatically reduce. Since the consumer would be full they would be more inclined to eat less (less nutritious) food WITHOUT feelings of deprivation. Pushing unhealthy food away based on choice is a major stepping stone in battling weight issues. This also helps create a better sense of self control.

Food is essential for life; it isn’t essential for happiness. It certainly can be a component of happiness, but needs to primarily be viewed as information the body uses to function. As we replace the void that food temporarily fills with Substantive Living, our relationship with food dramatically alters.

By incorporating the suggestions in this article, many people have gained a new perspective on food and eating. These ideas have increased the rate of success for most people willing and wanting to live a healthier life. It is important to remember that SUCCESS can be measured by good health and a new positive outlook on life. Weight changes simply become the end result rather than the goal. It is NOT MEASURED by the following picture.

thin

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27 comments

  1. This post really resonates with me. I think it’s easy (relatively speaking) to workout for an hour a day. It’s the remaining 23 hours when I need to decide what to eat that causes me the most grief. I am one of those people who spends hours (literally) scouring the internet and cookbooks to find healthy food that actually tastes good. Of course, it’s not going to taste as good as the processed junk that most of us love, but it can still be delicious, satisfying, and actually give us health benefits through consumption as opposed to health risks.

    One rule that I follow is never grocery shop when you’re hungry. I am known to get hangry (when hunger meets anger, watch out), so I will buy whatever I want at that point. If I go in prepared with my list based off my weekly meal plan (and after I’ve already eaten!), then I am setting myself up for success. Preparation really makes all the difference. It really is a lot of work to eat healthy and sometimes it can be exhausting. However, I really am finding that it’s worth it. If my health isn’t worth spending some extra time on, then what is?

    Yesterday was a perfect example of incorporating tip #5 from your list (before even reading the list, go me!). I was eating an incredibly healthy, meatless, vegetable dish and to be honest, it really wasn’t doing it for him. I kept craving something delicious so I told myself that if I ate my entire healthy dinner and STILL wanted my delicious something, then I could have it. Well, my healthy dinner was so filling that there was simply no room for junk. It’s an entirely different kind of “full” when you’ve eaten well as opposed to eaten crap (figuratively, of course).

    My husband and I always bring our lunch to work and we always cook at home. I can’t even think of the last time that we ate out because we simply don’t. It’s not something we enjoy anymore because we have no clue what’s being put in the food. It’s just not worth it to us anymore. It’s so helpful when your partner is on the same page as you. If my husband wanted to eat out all the time, then it would be very hard for me to say no (I would do my best, but hey, I’m human, temptation gets the better of me sometimes). We also surround ourselves with other healthy people who would rather take turns hosting dinner parties then meet at a restaurant.

    It’s good to see you back! I’ve missed your posts and comments 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I can’t begin to tell you how far ahead of the average person you are. You have amazing self awareness, self respect and an incredibly dynamic personality. Your lifestyle is one that will likely lead to a beneficial outcome. As you age, you will see people around you unable to pursue desired activities in life due to a lifestyle that created limitations that (in many cases) were self imposed. Most people need to touch, taste, feel or see benefit before accepting responsibility to change unhealthy patterns. You recognize on a cognitive level the importance of a healthy lifestyle. I am happy for you as well as thankful for your willingness to share your beliefs and actions. They energize me!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Great new word: hangry.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post! With eating out I would also add to try not to be swayed by the “deals” because sometimes it encourages you to have an appetizer, entree, and a dessert when you would have been fine with just one of those things.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Great suggestion. Let’s see, Deal and Devil both start with “D”, coincidence? 🙂 Seriously, you’re absolutely correct. Consumers like “value” for their dollar. We need to realize that medications, surgeries and various incapacities resulting from “value” meals does NOT offer such great value. It also adds to our lack of ability to be in control of our behavior. Pre-planning places us back in control and provides room for indulgences. It’s all about REASONABLE compromises.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Couldn’t have put it better myself!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Howto$tuffYourPig · · Reply

    My favorite tip is number 5 where you recommend people “eat healthy first”. As you pointed out, not only do you end up eating a nutritious meal to start the day, but it also helps to set a positive mindset. I know with me personally, on days where I start off with something like a croissant, I end up with the mindset of thinking I might as well eat what I want because the damage is already done. Eating healthy at the first meal corrects that mindset. Another great post!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think the same way and I try to change my mindset. One bad choice does not have to equal a bad day! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Absolutely. One bad choice is just that, one bad choice. Beating oneself up doesn’t undo the event, therefore, moving forward with renewed determination is a better choice. Life is NOT a straight line. There are ebbs and flows. The trick is establishing balance where happiness, fulfillment and good health are achieved.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Welcome back Jonathan. I hope you and your family are doing okay. Eating well like exercise, has been a big commitment for me. It takes time to buy and cook the right food choices for ourselves but the results are exaclty what you say. They do make my life so much easier physically and mentally. Great post.

    Like

    1. Nice to be back, but will not truly be back until October. I am trying to stay in contact as much as possible.
      It is so nice to see a person who practices a lifestyle I have so much faith and belief in. Good health is NOT easy. It requires effort, time, and patience. It requires as much effort as relationships and careers. Most people just take good health for granted. If people truly understood and respected the fact that our 1 body over a lifetime can be a blessing (unlimited potential) or a curse (prison) our treatment of this magnificent structure might change. I hope these words resonate enough to help people rethink their lifestyles before it is too late.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I usually eat pretty healthy and I totally agree that food can be delicious AND good for you. My problem is eating out as I really enjoy it; both the food and social aspects of it. I do tend to pick healthier menu items but it’s really difficult to not stray, especially with warm bread being served and a dessert menu to die for. I like your idea of checking out the menu before hand on line.

    Like

    1. I have found when people are full, their cravings are reduced. Eating 2-3 cups of fresh or frozen vegetables and drinking 1-2 glasses of water prior to eating out will help reduce the quantity of food consumed at the restaurant (without feeling deprived). You will likely have enough left over for another meal. One of the compromises in eating out could be deciding between bread OR dessert (rather than both.) If you want both, eat half the quantity of each. Since you are not overweight, these recommendations are based on consumption of lower quality foods rather than calorie intake. The good news is these compromises provide better health outcomes without sacrificing social activities.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Forgot to mention the picture, is it real? My God it’s disturbing!

    Like

    1. Yes. That is why I included the picture. People think thin = good health. NOT TRUE! Good health = good health. A healthy weight is simply the result (NOT GOAL) of good health. The reason I highlight “not goal” is because when and if people achieve goals, they commonly lose motivation. Good health is a LIFETIME goal and therefore requires a lifelong effort. This helps keep people balanced.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. “Good health is a lifetime goal.” I like that a lot!

        Liked by 2 people

  7. Great list! I’m practicing the art of ordering off menu. Glad you’re back, I missed reading your posts in the morning. They have become my daily vitamin of health information!

    Like

    1. I’ll be spotty until October, but will do my best to participate.
      Always love to read about your new additions in changing lifestyle patterns. You are one diligent and persistent person working hard to find a good balance. That is so important. Each day of pursuit is another day of success. A choice of food may be good or bad, but your overall attitude and drive will help you achieve your desired goals in life. Keep up the great work.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. In my line of work, we have meetings at least once a week where we eat out for lunch or dinner. I’m a salad hound and always order salads. I find that if I ask for dressing on the side or lowfat dressing, I can limit my fat intake….no croutons, as well.

    Nice to read your post and hear from you again. Missed you much!

    Like

  9. Here is a quick trick for the salad dressing. If you like the full fat flavor better, order it in a side ramekin. Dip your fork in the dressing (without bending the wrist- NO SCOOPING) and then into the salad. You will get all the flavor you’re looking for without consuming much of the dressing. People are amazed at how well this works without compromising flavor.
    Feel free to add salmon, chicken or Tofu (if vegetarian or if you simply like it) to add some nice protein to the salad in place of the croutons.
    Now I expect your friends to ask, “why are you smiling?” at the table. I hope your answer is, “just tried out Doc’s recommended salad, protein and FULL FAT DRESSING, and I’ll be darn, it’s good!” Hope you enjoy. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  10. hello….great post….we have a tablet on the counter and we try to always have a grocery list when we shop….it helps that I hate to shop in any story except whole foods….hide my money…LOL when we do go out for dinner or lunch, I always ask for a to go container before my meal arrives, before I take a bite, 1/2 goes into the container for either later of the next day, depending where I am with my calorie quota…and I always check out there menus on line…in fact I was just at a Chinese restaurant and the on line menu was totally different than the one they handed me…I pulled up the PDF on my phone to show them, and they had to cook what was on my menu….LOL they said they had no idea no one had been updating the menu on line, and first they tried to tell me that it was just an out line to what they offered…I pointed out it stated it was the menu being offered…loved it !! but we will never go back…shouldn’t have to fight to get better food…my husband and I have also been only buying food that has 3 or less ingredients, makes a difference…we have a few exceptions, but I can read and know what the ingredient list is….

    You and your family have been present in my mind…I send you energy and peace….kathy

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you so much for all your energy and thoughts.
    When I write a post and see so many people reply that they have been using the suggested recommendations for some time, it places a big smile on my face. It means more and more people are taking responsibility and making the necessary changes for a healthier lifestyle. I’ll also bet you have seen some wonderful changes in the quality of your life. Own this new lifestyle and you won’t regret it. Keep up the great work!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Absolutely spot on!!! Wonderful post

    Liked by 1 person

  13. It’s been way too long. Hope life has been treating you well. Glad you liked the article. You are a wonderful example and model of balanced living. Your humorous and heartwarming posts add quality to people’s lives. You have been greatly missed.

    Post funeral responsibilities are going to keep me spotty with blogging until the first week in October. I hope everyone stays healthy and happy in the meantime.

    Like

  14. Bridgette's Digits · · Reply

    That last picture is so scary! Now these tips, I can apply daily. Thanks 4 sharing. ~Bridgette

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your response. One of the most important comments I look for is, “I can do this.” I try to create a realistic approach to help people attain whatever goals they set for themselves. When I see comments like yours, it provides me with greater confidence that my suggestions will be able to help others. Thank you again.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Bridgette's Digits · · Reply

        NO… thank you for delivering/posting such value/practical approach driven content. ~Bridgette

        Liked by 1 person

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