“macro shot of vegetable lot” by Dan Gold on Unsplash

You Really Are What You Eat

How our relationship with food can determine so much today.

We have many relationships in our lives. Some important, some not so much. But one of the most impactful relationships that we have is not with any person, but with our own food.

That even applies to cannibals too.

It’s a relationship that we honestly don’t think much about but is constantly on our mind in certain circumstances. From figuring out what we want to eat to instances that I’m in right now with losing weight. It’s during those times where we get an understanding of what we want to be eating at certain times, but also tell a lot about ourselves.

After all, you are what you eat. At least in a general sense.

Convenience foods grew rapidly in Western society because our lives have become faster paced. We don’t have time to always sit down and have a home cooked meal and instead rely on foods that are pre-made for our convenience.

Some — like my former self — eat very quickly due to various events that occurred in their lives. This feeds back into the fast-paced society that most people are in. We have to worry about time constantly and seemingly need to be at certain places at various times throughout the day. In those cases, we need to get something convenient but also finish it quickly so we’re not eating in front of our clients, or have it be in the way of what we need to do next

There are other traditions as well such as the idea we need to finish everything on our plate. This can promote over-eating as some of us don’t have the stomach to finish larger portions. But it’s also important to look at where those traditions came from. From our elders who lived through the Great Depression only to experience a massive boom economy years later to our own parents who may have passed that information from what our elders taught them. These concepts have some reflection from certain environments that we grew up in over several years.

It’s these habits that were instilled when we were younger that have led to many issues we face as adults. I had a weight problem primarily because I was eating a lot, and I was eating quickly. I was also one of the many individuals that were eating based on my mood. We often binge eat when we are bored or we have sudden cravings and dive into eating half a case of cookies.

It’s this excessiveness that pushes companies to produce goods faster and have little oversight during the whole process. It’s why farmers use various chemicals to grow crops faster and it’s common practice to inject hormones and other drugs into animals so they continue to produce whatever we need and meet our demands.

It’s also the reason why many push for organic foods because farmers who produce organic goods must avoid tampering soil, animals, and crops with any sort of chemical. Not to mention why there has been a push for grass-fed or free roam products.

These significantly healthier options came to be because those people were being more self-aware about what they were putting into their body. Furthermore, some companies were listening to those individuals.

All of the changes that we’ve seen over the years stems from an emotion or personal belief about what we should eat, and how we should eat it. It’s why more people are turning vegan or vegetarian due to animal mistreatment. This also applies to any other type of diet as most of us can connect to a particular belief behind that diet. But this also spreads again to how we eat as well.

Like I said above, many of us eat quickly so we can get back to work or do whatever we need to do. But those who eat slower are people who have been taught to pace themselves. Perhaps they didn’t get much of a chance to eat much between periods and had to learn to eat slower in order to stay full for longer. That or maybe they used meal times as a social activity and was one of the few people who talked for extended periods of time at the dinner table.

This all connects to our relationship with food because so many of us see food as simply fuel to consume as quickly as possible or something that we need to savour and enjoy.

Understanding all of this is key if you ever want to lose weight or change the way that you’re eating.

To combat cravings it comes down to understanding what your body needs at that time. Here’s a quick article to help with what to do in those situations.

It also pays a lot to know what your beliefs about food are.

Are you someone who eats when they're bored? Perhaps it’s time to be looking at why you’re bored as opposed to suppressing it with food.

Do you watch a lot of TV? Find a habit that limits the amount of time you watch TV and provides the same satisfaction.

In the end, we are what we eat and if we want to be healthier individuals I think it’s important for us to place ourselves in situations where we are forced to have a mental shift and attitude about everything to do with our health. From calorie intake, all the way down to the habits that we have over the day. Everything is important.