I eat food. I make food. I obsess over food. I workout so I can have more food. I eat food so I can live. I live so I can eat food. Food is divisive (carbs or low-carb? fats or fat-free? organic or not? gluten or none?). Food is unifying (have you ever attended a foodless party?). Food is as emotional as me at my ficklest female moment.
Have you ever stopped to consider what your worldview is, as relates to food? Whether in binging on chocolate and wallowing in the post-overdose guilt that plagued me, or refusing to attend a party because of a chance I might eat too much food, my foodview consumed my social life and dictated my emotional health. Ultimately, my foodview excluded me from the wholesome fun in enjoying that God created our nourishment to come in delicious variety.
Do I ultimately, fully believe that my wholeness and wellness will come from Christ? Or do I expect that it will come from food, a diet, and smaller number on the scale, a proof of self-control?
For several years, I lived under the false ideal that I am what I eat and that the amount of food or type of food had the power to negatively affect my opinion of myself. It started with the Freshman 30 — yup, I doubled the statistical normal (I blame the white chocolate macademia nut cookies from the kitchen staff that year) — and successful journey to get back to a normal/healthy/pre-college weight after a scarring conversation about my double chin with my sophomore-year crush.
But then it became an obsession. A calorie-counter, gym-rat, self-defeating obsession. The scale had to tell me a certain number or my day (week?) would be ruined, a thick cloud of Ben & Jerry’s would defeat my week, and I would struggle back to confidence with a hard-core gym sweat.
In the years since college (mostly in my own kitchen, delightfully in charge of crafting my own meals), the healing has been gradual. I still love the gym (endorphins are a blessed boost to my energy and mood), but it’s no longer my post-binge escape or my pre-binge justification. Instead, I have six questions that help me gauge whether a proper foodview is intact.
Why do I eat? Am I grabbing food for comfort, as a temporary numbing of an emotional struggle? Or am I eating for nourishment because I’m legitimately hungry?
How do I eat? Binging is not an acceptable emotional escape for me and neither is excessive calorie counting. Either one can lead me to that negative foodview that says “eat strategically to be able to get as much food with as few calories as possible.”
When do I eat? Am I eating to celebrate an emotional high? Is it to wallow in an emotional low? Am I skipping a meal in a way that encourages me to overeat later in the day?
Who do I eat with? Am I afraid to eat with company? Am I only eating alone? Why am I eating alone? (Some reasons are acceptable, others arent!)
Where do in I eat? Am I sitting at the table eating a proper meal or grabbing a plate to take to my desk? Do I eat comfort food as a way to “sneak” the emotional eating into a normal meal?
What do I eat? Am I focusing on eating nutritionally rich foods, or letting myself fall into routine patterns of comfort foods lacking in nutrition? Do I let a fad diet dictate what is acceptable for me to consume, or am I focusing on the health benefits of a balanced diet?
I still struggle with where I eat (as an entrepreneur, I love a good multi-tasking meal — unfortunately, the desk-and-plate routine is mine) and assume inward judgment when someone tells me about their “even more healthy” or “more whole-foods” diet (I feel like I should comply, or feel like a flake when I don’t), but my fooodview has stabilized and flourished by applying these thought processes to my world.
What’s your foodview?