One piece of chocolate led to 2, which led to 3. No one was around at the time, nor did they know I had bought the chocolate. Heck, I was cycling 20-30 hours per week, the 900 calories would be ‘worked off’ in no time.
The problem with this, quite common equation, is not the consumption of the calories, nor was it the macronutrient profile of those calories. Yes, my body would go through the strenuous hormonal task of integrating near-record levels of sugar into my body, causing massive energy & mood fluctuations, but this was the secondary issue. The real issue was why on Earth did I just plough through something that I know was not close to being nutritious and in such a large quantity? What was I looking to achieve? What was I dulling or magnifying? What was I avoiding?
Biologically we are wired to gain enjoyment from food. For thousands of years it has been a relatively useful rule of thumb, that if it tastes good then we should eat it. Jump forward to the age of manufacturing and big business, suddenly the rule that has served us so well is now working to our detriment. The foods that ‘light up’ our taste buds are often the ones that we must restrict in our lives. They lift our mood temporarily but unfortunately dig us further into an emotional and habitual whole. We have taken our superior habit-making ability and combined it with a senseless, pleasure-seeking appetite for foods that were meant to be a gift of technological advancement. We’ve turned Snow White in Frankenstein’s monster of addiction.
As a society, we tend to be intolerant of drugs and its addiction as any part of healthy living, but why exactly? Is it simply through its illegality? Or because of its horrific health consequences? I would have thought the latter, but it could very well be argued that food addiction has an equal, if not bigger negative impact on our health and life. However, food addiction is easily laughed off, because it has become so normalized in our western society. But we need to fight back and bring back the connection that food brings to our lives.
It sustains us, and for as long as history itself, it has brought families, friends and communities together to celebrate love and friendship. We need to use it as the accompaniment to a happy life not the main course of it. Just like in any habit-breaking ritual we need to take baby steps.
- Become aware of what your relationship is with food and the emotion surrounding it
- Identify your bad and good habits & your everyday/week indulgent foods
- Begin slowly swapping out the ‘bad’ stuff for the ‘good’
- Try new recipes that feel like a treat but are infinitely better for you (see below)
- Begin mindful eating and meditation
- Get out into nature away from technology
- Reward yourself for ‘good’ behaviour…with something other than food!
So, if emotional eating and mindlessness has firmly planted its flag in your life without likely reprieve, seek support, not just more information. We at Empowermums and 313FIT have a fitness and nutrition workshop just for you, on March 11th that will address all your mindset and nutritional issues and provide any ongoing support you need.
Simply go to www.eventbrite.com.au and search for: optimal living
Berries are jam-packed with antioxidants and phytochemicals that improve brain function. Walnuts & flaxseeds are also known for their high omega 3s and antioxidant properties. Top them off with a nice hit of cacao and you have yourself a tasty smoothie that will work wonders on memory and cognitive function.
Blend the following ingredients until smooth and dust with cacao powder:
1 cup coconut milk (available instore)
½ frozen banana
1 cup blueberries
½ cup strawberries
½ cup raspberries
¼ cup raw walnuts (available instore)
1 teaspoon flaxseeds (available instore)
Name: Chris Zerbe
Profession: Health & Success Coach
Facebook: 313 FIT
My name is Chris Zerbe and I am the founder of 313FIT & 313 Optimal Living. We provide Health & Success Coaching to individuals and businesses in the local Ashgrove area. Previous to my coaching career I spent 8 years the corporate environment before moving into my passion to inspire others to lead happier, healthier and more successful lives. It is my absolute pleasure to be able to contribute to The Produce community and I hope I can help guide you to a better you.