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Friday, September 14, 2012

Does "It's Complicated" Describe Your Relationship With Food?

I've always had a love-hate relationship with food and still do.  It's hard to end that kind of bitter-sweet friendship.  It tastes so good, but makes you feel guilty, bloated, lethargic.....the list goes on!  Many people are like me and have that horrid love-hate relationship because there's so many things in our culture that revolve around food.  Just think about it, every celebration in life and death people link to food somehow.  We should be eating to live instead of living to eat.  So, I've been really doing some searching lately on how to do that when for the last 30 years (yep, I'm 30) I've had this kind of relationship with food that isn't simply eating to live and is more like living to eat.  But how? 

First thing is to admit you have a problem.  Don't be in denial.  Like any other addiction, sugar addictions are tough to beat and are a life-long battle.  But, I don't want my children to have the same relationship with food that I do.  Now, when I say a sugar addiction, that doesn't just mean sweets either.  We're talking a broad spectrum of sweetened drinks, carbohydrates and baked goods too!  Which, makes it even harder.  Every time you eat a candy bar, muffin or slice of bread, there's a chance of those cravings coming back!  Ugh!

Pass on the cake, eat the strawberry.
Food is not the enemy.  Food is simply food.  So, don't look to it when you're sad, bored, happy and don't relate it to feelings or events.  Just because there's wedding cake doesn't mean you have to eat it.  And, when you get past that mentality, you don't eat every slice of birthday cake, wedding cake, graduation cake, cakes at showers....often with a side of ice cream.  Think of the calories you don't consume just in this per year!  I'm not talking about a few hundred, it's more like thousands for these momentary pleasures that have a high price to pay.

Don't reward yourself with unhealthy foods.  I'm guilty of this one.  "Hey, I worked out, time for a cinnamon roll."  Not exactly the best thing.  But, it's easier to not do it if you can identify it.  I'm all about rewards, but don't make them food!  Make your reward that awesome pair of boots you told yourself you couldn't afford or a good book or magazine....whatever, as long as it's not food.

Eliminate the bad foods from your house.  This helps me a lot.  Then, if I have a weak moment, I don't reach for bad stuff.  I'm more likely to grab a handful of grapes or some veggies and dip.  Then I don't feel so bad after eating it either!  I feel great for making a good food choice when I could have made a crappy one.

Reach for these easy snacks instead:
Variety of snack optionsyogurt
apple or banana with peanut butter
veggies and dip
handful of nuts
fruit kabob
tortilla chips and salsa
kind bar
frozen yogurt with peaches and honey bunches of oats
cottage cheese
string cheese
trail mix
hard boiled egg

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