Confronting our problem foods – How to wake up and embrace the foods that haunt us
We all have them – those foods that are our personal “problems.”
Maybe we can’t help ourselves from wolfing down a few slices of cake or a muffin every morning or a plate of fries or bag of chips. How do we know a food is a problem? Because we say it is!
We know when our pants are so tight that we have that nasty red line when we disrobe at night and know that last weekend’s fry and beer binge was the culprit. When our skin breaks out or our cholesterol levels rise or we look in the mirror and are horrified. You get it.
So, what to do? Face our demons. We can confront our problem foods and make our peace.
It’s funny how when we ask someone to identify their problem foods, they often mention something they find exceptionally delicious. Chocolate. Potatoes. Pastry. The list goes on. Every so often someone will actually name a food that can cause them medical problems, such as peanuts or shellfish, but mostly it’s foods they openly and happily enjoy.
We need to ask ourselves, why this is so. Why do we associate pleasure with our problems? Usually, a problem means something bad – a broken exhaust system or a chair that makes our back hurt. Yet, when we’re talking about food, we very often equate “problem” with “tasty.” What does this mean for changing our habits?
To figure out how to “fix” the “problem,” the first step is to decide why we consider the food problematic. Is it because it contains ingredients that will harm our health? Is it because when we eat that food, we eat too much of it? Is it because we do not like the food’s side effects or is it simply that the food tends to make us too fat for our own liking? Sometimes we will find that there’s more than one reason we consider a food a problem.
Whatever it is, once we realize what the problem is, we can start to address it.
Here are some questions to ask to help you figure out “What’s Your Problem?”
Before I eat it, I feel ____________ and I think that ______________.
While I am eating it, I feel __________ and think that _____________.
After I’ve eaten it, I feel __________ and I think that ______________.
When I consider never eating it again in the future, I feel ____________ and think that _________.
When I think I’ll always be able to eat it in the future, I feel __________ and think that _________.
There are no right answers. The goal is to learn about our food problems since only once we face them, can we fix them. In our next installment, we’ll discuss ways to respond to fix the problems.