I am a work in progress and I know I’m not perfect. But I’m OK with that.
My blog post today falls somewhere between a book review and a diary entry.
I have just started reading Busy, Stressed and Food Obsessed! by Lisa Lewtan and am working my way through the “assignments” at the end of most chapters. Rather than review the book as I usually would I thought I would share my progress as I work through the book.
Chapter III: What is my story?
I grew up in a family where we were told to “eat everything on our plate” and to “not waste food”. Growing up in a family of five siblings with not a lot of money or opportunities to eat out our main meal was the basic meat and three vegetables. Treats really were sometimes foods. And if you had something delicious (bacon, chocolate or lollies) you ate it quickly so no-one could steal it.
Fast-forward to now; I can eat what I want, when I want. The trouble is I want to eat everything all the time. I think about food often. What am I going to eat next? When am I going to eat next? I eat when I am bored, stressed, sad, happy, relaxed. I eat to reward myself. Hunger is rarely in the equation but when it is, the feeling is magnified 100 times. If you look up the word HANGRY in the dictionary there is a picture of me.
Many of us get caught in the pattern of over-scheduling our families and ourselves. Your to-do list is your map. Your cell phone is your compass. We say we hate it yet we just keep doing it. We rarely give ourselves permission to sit down and reflect, think abut our choices and our true desires and schedule our lives with our dreams and long-term goals in mind…. So we just keep going and going, getting more stressed along the way. Rather than slowing down, we turn to prescription drugs, wine and food.
Chapter IV: What is keeping me busy in my life? Is it satisfying or draining?
- Work, which comprises roughly 35% of my waking hours = Mostly unsatisfying (sorry boss)
- Household administrivia (cooking, shopping, tidying, helping my son with his homework) = Mostly unsatisfying
- Exercise and meditation = Satisfying (but only 1.5% of my waking hours)
- Obsessing over what are we / what am I going to do next = DRAINING
- Socialising with friends and family = Very satisfying (but this often revolves around food!)
Just like watching porn works to excite its viewers to want more sex, food porn excites its viewers to want more food! As a result, we are thinking, planning, and dreaming about food all day long. Is it any wonder we are all food obsessed?
Chapter V: Start paying attention. Start noticing conversations about food, pictures sent to you, billboards and commercials, and how often you find yourself thinking about food.
A snapshot of my day
Wake up: flick through social media posts from friends about meals they ate last night and recipes for cakes and chocolate. I’m thinking what am I going to eat for breakfast. Do I need to put something out to defrost for dinner tonight?
On the way to work: I’m tired. I need caffeine, I need a cup of tea.
Mid morning: Hmmm I need a break from work. Maybe a snack. No I’ll resist and have another cup of tea.
Late morning: Lunch is coming soon. I’m getting hungry. I need to make healthy choices.
Lunch time: (in the cafeteria, lots to choose from) There’s the healthy choice, a salad. Oooh no, there’s dumplings for lunch. Yum I love that. I’ll have that. Scroll through social media and see what my friends are having to eat (see below).
Mid afternoon: Hmmm I need a break from work. Maybe a snack. No I had too much for lunch. I’ll resist and have another cup of tea.
Home from work: Arrgh! I’m exhausted. But I have to start making dinner. I’ll just have a snack while I’m getting dinner ready. I’ll make it a healthy choice. Fruit! Yeah, fruit is good.
10 minutes later: I need to taste what I am making. Yum, not bad if I do say so myself. I need another taste (repeat, repeat, repeat).
After dinner: I’ve had a hard day. Scroll through social media (see below). I deserve a treat. Chocolate and a glass of wine. Some more chocolate. It’s almost all gone, I better finish it off…..
Busy, Stressed and Food Obsessed!: Calm Down, Ditch Your Inner-Critic Bitch, and Finally Figure Out What Your Body Needs to Thrive, Lisa Lewtan, Healthy, Happy, and Hip, 2015, ISBN: 978-0-692-50051-4