Getting to the core of who we are as beings, ultimately comes down to what sustains us. Of course, food is key to that. I see animals grazing all day long. They eat, they sleep, they move, they play, they create a home, they protect themselves and their young. Sometimes they thrive, sometimes they die. They live in harsh environments. They have to be aware of predators.
We have it "easy" as humans--most of us don't have to worry about another being eating us. We can relatively easily protect our children from the elements and deadly injury. We worry about complex social constructs rather than basic survival. Yet, we still graze all day long--or we forget to eat because we are grazing on information and stress. Then, we are racked with hunger when we realize we haven't been fed. We pick up what's available and put it in our bodies.
We have guilt around food. We have control issues around food. We take comfort in food. We want food to be convenient. We want it to satisfy our cravings. We want it to give us energy. We don't want to feel awful after we've eaten. We want to be good to our bodies but doing that can seem like sacrificing taste or satisfaction, or convenience.
We have entire industries devoted to satisfying our cravings. They use psychology to prey on our deteriorated will to be healthy--the trade-offs we make, to just live a "normal" life.
I am a capable human being, just like you, able to make choices based on the information I have--to determine what's most important to me, in any given situation, but sometimes the values I hold dear end up mightily competing with each other, given the choices we have in our current society.
For instance...I value my nourishing my children's bodies. I value nourishing my body. I value my children's experience to "be children" before having to experience the worries of adulthood. I value fun. I value cleanliness. I value simplicity. I value showing others you care about them. I value understanding roots causes of results. I value understanding our own brains, and the instinctual versus the intellectual. I value self-examination. I value helping others get past their imagined limitations. I value independence.
The choices we have with which to occupy our time, as humans, versus the choices animals have is mind boggling. How could we all have the same basic needs, but choose to occupy our time so differently from one another? Some may say that the further distanced we are from our own basic needs, the harder it is to make decisions that benefit our bodies and our nourishment.
What helps me with all these competing thoughts is to remember the REAL reason we eat. We eat to give our bodies the energy to operate effectively. So, the question becomes, how do you want to operate? How do you want to feel as you go about your day? What is maddening, is that we often feel like "comfort food" will help us feel better--but so often, it only makes our mouth feel better, and the rest of our body is still left feeling icky. So, remember, we can make our whole body feel better for the longer term, by being more thoughtful about how we eat.
I use a plan that helps me understand what types of foods I need in a day to feel optimal in my whole body. If you'd like to learn more about this plan and whether it could work for you, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!