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Food: Enemy or Friend?

By September 19, 2011freedom, HEAL

by Natalie Lynn Borton

Good morning, girls! How was everyone’s weekend? Brian and I just got back from what seemed like a month-long vacation, and strangely enough, I feel glad to be back into the routine of daily life. I loved relaxing lakeside and poolside as well as seeing friends and family, but I’ve missed being home. It’s nice to sleep in our bed, go for a walk around our neighborhood, and sip coffee on our balcony again. I love home sweet home.

Today’s post is about having a healthy relationship with food. A while back I read an article from Women’s Health Magazine called “Why We Love Food“, which shed some light on the social, cultural and biological factors that impact how we eat. At the end they share some helpful tips for befriending food again and I wanted to share it as an encouragement to any of you who have struggled with food issues in the past, or are currently struggling with them.

You can’t alter your DNA, change your cultural background, or turn back the clock and make your pregnant mother drink vegetable juice. But now that you understand how these and other factors influence the way you eat, you can work toward making each new experience with food a pleasurable one. It’s a matter of giving yourself permission to enjoy what’s on your plate instead of fretting that you’re not eating the right thing, the right amount, or the right way, says Lombardo. Here are some other tips:

Focus on your food.
You may not have time to savor every bite of every meal, but turning off the TV and sitting at a table will help you take more pleasure in your food.

But don’t be hypervigilant.
“Being too aware of what and how much you eat can turn you into a food obsessive,” says Wansink. “Not to mention that having a mind-set of ‘If I walk two miles, I can eat this many chips’ is a terrible way to live.”

Don’t tell yourself no.
Deprivation diets set you up for failure. “It’s a lot more liberating to say ‘I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want, as long as I know how much I actually want,’ ” says Wansink.

Listen to your gut.
If you like steak, order it, even if everyone else is having salad.

Don’t take on others’ emotional static.
“Repeat this mantra: ‘I choose to enjoy this food,’ ” says Lombardo. At the end of the day, each of us has to decide for ourselves if food is the enemy or a dear friend.

How does this change the way you view your food?

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