Wednesday, October 6, 2010

It’s Not About the Food

I just finished reading a book titled, “Women, Food, and God” by Geneen Roth and its message really hit me; it’s not about the food. After finishing the book and watching the Biggest Loser last night I have come to the conclusion that this couldn’t be truer. If you turn to my blog because you have issues with your weight and you’re looking for guidance, it’s most likely because you have an adversarial relationship with food, whether you over eat or under eat. But, why is this? Is it really just because pizza is so damn good that eating anything less than four slices would be a sin? Or, do you eat the same five to six meals week in and week out because it is the only way to maintain your weight? Where do we even come up with this stuff? When you really repeat the questions back to yourself you realize how absurd these thoughts are. Yet, every day millions of people feed themselves these lies to justify what they do or don’t eat. But, it isn’t about the food.

Our relationship with food runs so much deeper than we care to be aware of. Ten seasons of the Biggest Loser has shown this time and again. Our adversarial relationship with food stems from how we perceive ourselves. If we were truly honest with ourselves, we’d see that the reason we under or overeat is to mask pain, avoid feelings, or confirm lies that we’ve fed ourselves for so long that we actually believe they are true. During contestants’ time on the Biggest Loser ranch, they slowly begin to uncover why they’ve let themselves go. For some, loss of a loved one made them turn to food to cope, to feel loved again. For others, being teased at a young age made them equate being thin with being accepted. Whatever the reason, they always seem to uncover the real reason they have struggled for so long, and it isn’t food that has destroyed them, it is their perceptions that have destroyed them.

I could give you a million tools I use to stay on track, but if you don’t understand why you have issues with your body, none of that will matter because you’ll be using these tools out of self loathing and not out of love for your body. Geneen Roth’s book has encouraged me to really look at why I’ve had ups and downs for so long. Now, I think I understand why, and I know that my perceptions are completely absurd. But, breaking through years of absurd perceptions is no easy feat, but a necessary one if you ever want to get to a healthy place spiritually, mentally, and physically. If you relate to what I am saying, I encourage you to read “Women, Food, and God.” While it may not be new information, it forces you to take a deeper look at yourself and your relationship with food beyond what is on your plate.