Real Relationships with Food- How Does Food Impact our Lives.

This is going to be a super honest post. I feel that there are many different types of relationships you can have with food. Food can be a coping mechanism, food can be consumed for fuel, food can be an anti-depressant, food can be a celebratory event, food can be a boredom event etc.

I focus my life on food very much. My friends can contest to that. I will purposefully not do something if I know it will steer me off my diet. I will not go somewhere or do something if I know there will be food there that I want. It’s very hard for me to not eat something if it’s staring me in the face. I have wonderful self-control when I’m not surrounded by it. I will schedule my days to hang out with friends or go out to dinner with my husband as long as it revolves around a cheat meals/day (depending on what my current goals are).

I really wanted to write this post because I just had a mini attack because of food. It’s crazy if you think about it. My husband and I were going to my friend’s house to watch the Patriots game, which was an AMAZING game. My friend is basically a chef and makes the best food ever. I know there will be food there obviously because she loves to host and I know I’m going to have a hard time being there surrounded by food. My husband and I had a huge cheat meal yesterday which included Pizza from J. Palmieri’s and dessert from The Original Italian Bakery. We both finished with stomach aches because we ate so much haha.

So this brings me to my little attack. We were at the grocery store, and of course, we want to bring something because we cant go empty handed. I basically started to think about what am I going to bring that I can even eat. I concluded there is nothing and that I will have to bring my own food that I have prepped. Then I got to the point where I was asking my husband to just choose something because at this point I wasn’t going to eat anything and didn’t care. Then my next thought was, well maybe I don’t even want to go and put myself through the torture of being around amazing food. I’m a huge snacker, and for me, this is very hard.

My husband being the reasonable one was trying to tell me, “you are not doing a competition, and you don’t need to be so strict with your diet.” But for me, it’s not just that. I work so hard at the gym, and I work so hard meal prepping and staying focused. Being healthy and working out is such a huge part of my life. I feel amazing when I am on track and that makes me feel confident inside and out.

For me, I know diet determines how our bodies will look and feel. I have to remind myself that I’m not doing a bikini competition where I need my body fat percentage to be super low. Its tough because like anything my body goes through phases. I have a more fluffy physic (usually during the holidays), my regular physic and then my bikini physic. I know my bikini physic is not maintainable 365 days of the year. I basically had no life hahaha. I would stay at home and just eat my chicken and broccoli haha. That for me is not something I would even consider doing every day. But for competition, I push myself and my body to its limits to reach certain goals that I decided was right for me. Now my fluffy phase, I usually feel a little down in the dumps and don’t feel like myself. Yes the food is amazing and I enjoy the food, but I feel lots of guilt, which I don’t want to feel. Food should not be something to feel guilty about. My regular physic is something I can maintain, where I allow myself a certain amount of cheat meals so when I do have them I don’t feel guilty. But sometimes I run into where there is a fine line of overindulging and sometimes I over think things.

I have come to the conclusion that food for me determines how I feel mentally and physically. Food always makes me feel better. When I eat dessert it takes me like 10 minutes to eat it because I enjoy every bite slowly. When I am on a specific diet I feel in control. What does happen if I over consume, what at the time feels is part of my health/fitness plan, I beat myself up. Yes, I know its crazy, and super strict. But what I do know is that many people have a very similar relationship with food. I think its very important for people to talk about it and let others know there are so many people that feel this way.

Here are some real responses to how food impacts there lives:

Julie Q. (Bikini Competitor): “So I would say like any relationship the one I have with food requires commitment and effort. I need to make the right choices 75% of the time (eating clean) and think of food as fuel so that I will not feel guilty when I eat food for pleasure 25% of the time.”

Carrie H. (Fitness Enthusiast): “My husband and I make healthy meals during the week but a habit that is hard for me to kick is my love for sweets. I sometimes find myself craving chocolate in the middle of the ight and for whatever reason, it tastes extra good when I am half asleep.”

Joe H. (Personal Trainer): “My relationship with food is of loving it with no guilt or remorse. And I don’t limit or restrict what I eat.”

Jennifer P. (Health and Fitness Enthusiast) : “I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with food. I know that I need it and when used properly, will make my body run efficiently. However, I’ve struggled with getting the right portions at the right time, due to my hectic schedule.”

Ruben G. (Health and Fitness Enthusiast): “Well my struggle with food is real, I’m an emotional eater. So eating right is ALWAYS a struggle, so I have to plan every meal. First thing I do when I wake up is drink 12oz of water, then start simple with a good healthy breakfast. It goes a long way towards increasing a good feeling of well being. It allows me to start the day off in a better frame of mind, and maintains focus and concentration. My tip is to focus on ONE-MEAL-AT-A-TIME don’t worry about your end goal. Focus on the next 4 hours. I have to because I have cookies and ice-cream.”

Mark C. (Avid Hiker and Fitness Enthusiast): “My relationship with food revolves around the nutrients. I always make sure I’m getting the proper nutrients to keep my body going and feeling good. I see and feel a big difference from a few years back when I just ate anything I could find. I think of food objectively the best I can.”

Laura F. (Bikini Competitor): “I used to be really upset whenever I cheated or drank but have learned differently now about food and that its ok to indulge once in a while.”

As you can see there are so many different relationships with food and how it affects our lives. I hope this helps you know that there are so many people out there that have the same feelings about food.

I have come to the conclusion, which I need to remind myself since I’m so stubborn ha, that food is fuel but we all have one amazing life and we deserve to enjoy it and splurge a little. We should all remind ourselves that we deserve to enjoy the small things including indulging. We deserve to not feel guilty!

-Chrissy