For those of us with regular 9-5 office jobs, Mondays can seem like a bit of a downer. I consider Monday the beginning of my week regardless of what the calendar says. I thought I’d kick off the week with a little motivation. And I love alliteration, so here we go!
This week’s topic: Food & Eating
A relationship with food is like a romantic relationship. Both require patience, communication, and not taking everything so seriously. Many women, myself included, have issues with food. Personally, I love food. I love to cook. I love to eat. Top Chef and Chopped are some of my favorite “background noise” shows. On the flip side, I can be very squirrely about my food choices. I’m a picky eater, but don’t much discriminate what I put into my body. I’ll be the first one to admit I fall into the junk food trap when I get home from work. I’m prone toward extreme diets (gluten free, sugar free, vegetarian, etc.) as a method of control. Moderation isn’t a frequently used word in my vocabulary. Now for the big three high points.
1. Patience – Patience is not one of my strong suits. Don’t kick yourself too hard for eating mindlessly noshing on cookies or chips after work. Goals take time. Just like with your partner, you can’t explode over every little mistake. In addition to being hurtful, it’s exhausting. In the time you wasted being mean, you could have gotten back up and figured out how to prevent the same thing happening next time. When if you mess up again, use it as another learning experience. I’m a thousand times harder on myself than anyone else could be. Boy would never, ever say anything as malicious as I say to myself. Each time, be a little kinder to yourself. The greats had to start somewhere.
2. Communication – My brain and my stomach don’t like to talk much. I tend to eat when I’m bored. I’ll finish off a bag of tortilla chips or half a pint of ice cream without a second thought. Before I get to that point, my stomach says “Stop! I’m full! Ow!”. My brain ignores those signals. I’ll be out at a nice restaurant and want to tackle a full 3 or 4 courses because I can. My stomach will only have room for half the main course, but my brain is all “Dessert! We must have dessert!”. My brain wins 95% of the time. I’m trying to learn to listen to my stomach. My brain is still really loud and obnoxious, but I’m much more aware of the cues from my stomach. I hate going to bed with a food baby. My stomach and my brain are both unhappy for totally different reasons. I need to be patient with myself while I learn to switch what cues I listen for. Also, cut down on portion sizes. I’ve started using smaller plates when I eat at home. Not only does it force me to take a smaller portion, it tricks my brain. My brain and stomach are going on their first few dates. As they get to know each other better, they’ll be more comfortable with each other. The brain will give up some of its control to compromise with the stomach.
3. Don’t take it too seriously – What is a solid relationship without some good laughs. I’m sure you’re thinking “How the hell am I going to laugh at myself after I eat twice what I intended to because my brain wanted cheesecake when my stomach was saying no?”. I like to imagine silly scenarios like my brain and stomach sparring. I put them in ridiculous outfits a la Lucha Libre. When they get tired of rolling around on the floor, they stomp off and pout. If imagery isn’t your scene, find something that will make you laugh. Whether it’s some stand up comedy, a movie, or stupid knock knock jokes, have a hearty laugh because you can. This will help with the association that overeating isn’t the end of the world. Just like when you have a fight with your partner, find the humor in the situation. Boy & I frequently have disagreements over spoilers. Silly, right? There’s always something funny to uncover even in the worst fights.
Move On Motivation: Your brain and stomach aren’t going anywhere. If they’re on the same page, everyone is happier.