Food Matters

Food is Not the Enemy

Excuse just a little bit more venting.  My trainer and I were talking today and she told me about this trainer that she knows who was spouting off about how we should ‘look at food as a survival tool, nothing more.”  We both agreed that this is the stupidest thing We’ve ever heard.

It may be true that food should be less important, more neutral in our lives and that emotions attached to food can often be dangerous; however, to pretend that food should have no impact on our lives is just denying reality.

It is impossible to talk about any culture without discussing food.  Most historical events are tangled up with food.  I can’t think of a single tradition that does not involve food or food traditions.  When was the last time you saw someone blowing out a pile of rocks? No, its cake people!  Every culture that I am aware has food involved in the celebration of weddings, birthdays, Christmas, harvest etc. To pretend that this connection is unnecessary is stupid and naive.

Some may argue that we put too much of an emphasis on food, or that we don’t appreciate it enough because of our lack of farm to table produce.  To these people I would heartedly agree.  We use food as a reward too frequently and we could tone down the number and boost the quality of the food celebrations we participate in, but to pretend like  this is not a part of human nature is ridiculous.

The thing that gets my goat about is any trainer or health professional who is preaching this type of lifestyle to his or her patrons.  They are setting them up for failure.  Its like the people who push the green drink (or any other radical change diet).   Yes, you will lose weight, yes it may even be healthy but it does not work with the culture we live in.  It does not accept reality, work with it, and create a real solution.  I am so glad my trainer gets it. 

You may ask- what about my sugar fast?  Is this not denying reality?  There is some truth to that, and I have struggled with such a drastic lifestyle change (and not been perfect I might add); however, it is not a permanent fix.  We are attempting to change my habits and cravings so that when I immerse myself completely in my world I can make better choices.  I am also just trying to get through the holidays with as few cheats as possible. I have no delusions that this is a better way to live or that I would even want to keep it up for an extended period of time.

If someone was planning on doing a sugar fast long term I would strongly discourage them.  We have an entire organ in our body basically designed to taste food- all types of food.  That’s why we have sweet, salty, bitter taste buds and we should engage all of them.  Food is part of the human experience and as healthy individuals we simply have to learn to control the times we do engage and keep a healthy overall lifestyle.

Its like people that argue we should only live with the bare essentials.  If that was the case I suppose we don’t need music, art, theater, or literature to survive.  The difference between humans and animals is that we don’t just survive, we don’t act on mere instinct, but we engage socially, politically and culturally on a daily basis.  Someone like a Mozart or a Julia Child may not be necessarily for human survival but I sure am grateful for them!

Ok.  So, in conclusion- food is a real part of our lives.  To deny this fact is foolish and to teach it is irresponsible.  We must learn to work with food and create a dynamic interesting life.  It is difficult to do but with the support of loved one’s, competent trainers, health professionals and friends I am confident each of us can find that balance by enjoying food but not frequently overindulging.

There I said it! Done!

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