Friday, April 29, 2011

Do something Friday

Food doesn't equal love.  McDonald's doesn't love you when they hand you your Big Mac any more than Speedway loves your car when you fill it up with gas.

Food is fuel.  A necessity.  A transaction -- your body needs fuel to run on and that is what food is.

The emotional boost we get from eating comes, not from the food, but from the feeling that we are being taken care of.  Whether it's the self-medication of eating a whole container of ice cream because we're sad or feeling loved because someone took the time to cook our favorite meal -- it isn't the food -- it's the experience of eating that makes us feel good.

Because we're lead very busy lives, we just role up the food (which you can see) with the experience (which you can feel) and we get the false impression that food is the experience.

It reminds me a story I heard a few years ago:

A friend was getting out of his car at a place of business.  As he got out of his car, the business owner's dog got hit by a car on the street in front of the business.  As the injured dog ran past on his way back to the building, he ran past my friend standing in the parking lot.  From that point on, when ever my friend visited that business, the dog would bark and growl at him.  --the dog had associated my friend with the pain of being hit my the car.  The object (my friend) had taken on the role of the experience (getting hit by a car).

This processing technique is not unique to dogs because it is the same thing we do with food and many other situations in our lives.

The great thing about uncoupling the object from the experience is that you will then be freed to soak up as much experience as you want (calorie free) and limit the amount of object (calorie dense), manage your weight, and feel more content with the food you do eat because you won't have to deal with the guilt of over-eating.

But it's going to take some mindful practice of unhooking the object from the experience to make this happen.  And that begins by being mindful of how your food really tastes (not just running on autopilot and saying it tastes good because you expect it to) and paying more attention to your experience of eating.

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