FOOD ANXIETY

Posted on May 20, 2022 · Posted in Blog, General, Memo Plus Gold, Personal

We have the burden of choice and the burden of often conflicting information. From here, reflection can turn to chronic, tiring or even oppressive deliberation – hence, the anxiety, the excessive worry or unease about the outcome or impact of what should just be a simple food choice.

Is it any wonder we may feel so much apprehension with the call to make every choice smart, informed (and then re-informed), socially-conscious, environmentally conscious, fair trade provided, humanely sourced, forward-thinking, allergy-friendly, coupon savvy, good fat proportioned, antioxidant rich and lean tissue supporting, pesticide-free, hormone-free, and additive-free, etc.? Unless we are farming, raising and foraging our own with Grok standards in mind, we are bound to screw it up on at least a few levels.

So, what then would sanity look like in this scenario? How do we recover enough mental space to feel some degree of ease, not to mention the pleasure in eating again? Try a few of these modest proposals.

1. Reclaim eating for sustenance.

It is common to talk about “eating to lose weight,” “eating to fight illness,” “eating to gain muscle,” “eating to prevent aging.” Let’s put the truth back in that, shall we?

You are eating to live – to survive, to allow your body enough nutrient and energy input to keep you alive and functioning. Each day, that is your main goal. Very simple in fact. That said, you can eat toward nourishing ongoing physical vitality as your primary goal. You can eat with a nutritional emphasis on building muscle mass. You can eat in such a way that prioritizes optimum metabolic functioning and fat burning.

2. Do not politicize every choice you make.

The morality of eating these days can careen a decently sensitive and conscientious person off a cliff. How many labels and certifications does it take to satisfy a healthy standard? From what I can tell, the number keeps growing.

Do I understand the usefulness of these standards? You bet. Organic and pastured offer in most cases substantive health benefit. Heritage breeds of produce and livestock may be more nutrient-rich.

3. Dump the idea of perfection.

Food is important. Good food choices can help you claim good health and lifelong vitality but parsing out those exact choices, structuring intakes with precision, giving yourself no room for choice in the moment, adhering to the principles with exactitude sounds like a miserable way to live.

4. Do not dramatize your missteps.

In truth, some days people leave the “20” of the 80/20 principle in the dust. Maybe it started out as a well-intended gesture toward moderation. Cheats (if we are going to call them that) are not catastrophic. Long-term, repetitive behaviours are.

5. Scrutinize your motives.

Plenty of people over the years lose themselves in anxiety over their eating because they put their identities in their choices. Maybe they feel invested in a self-righteousness or perfectionist compulsion that goes back psychic decades. They impose excessive control and experience emotional anxiety with food while some other part of life feels wholly overwhelming. It is a coping mechanism, a grounding means to feel security or authority in their lives. This is no way to live. Clean eating is a great action step and real vitality feels great.

6. Get back to the actual experience.

Forget the health story of what is in front of you. Forget its sourcing. Forget what your coworkers or mother-in-law would say about it. Cut off all language and just be with your food the way a young child is.

Exchange words for sensation. Forgo judgment for mindfulness. Give yourself over to the sensory experience of what you are putting in your body. Smell it. Feel the texture. Take it in visually. Get in your own body’s responses to it.

7. Be grateful for every bite you take.

It is not a huge step from mindfully experiencing your food to being grateful for it in the moment. When we drop the story about something, we can finally be present with it. There is a lightness to the moment. We are open to the enjoyment of it. How could we not be grateful for the chance to nourish our bodies?

As usual, we remind you to take your Memo Plus Gold daily. It will help to keep you alert and mentally sharp.Natural memory enhancer