Unwritten rules that say that unhealthy food is fun, and is necessary for social gatherings. They say that unhealthy food is awesome, and if you aren’t eating it, you are dieting, and limiting yourself – even depriving yourself.
Please understand this: These are LIES.
Eating unhealthy food is NOT a necessary part to any social gathering.
Eating unhealthy food is NOT fun – in fact, it can sometimes make you feel worse physically (a few minutes after consumption, sweets or other insulin-spiking foods can make you feel pretty crappy) as well as psychologically (these foods can wreck HAVOC on your hormone balance, leading to negative thoughts and decreased brain vitality).
Choosing to abstain from unhealthy food is NOT depriving yourself. You are instead doing the opposite – choosing to live a healthier lifestyle. Physiologically, you are literally choosing not to deprive yourself – eating healthy food is a million times better for your body in terms of nutritional needs. Psychologically, you are making a decision that will make it easier to make that next decision against these foods.
So next time you go hang with friends, and they order pizza, observe what I like to call the “pizza hangover effect” – they will move much less, and become more lethargic and sluggish. You will especially notice this if you chose to not partake of the pizza – you will feel much more energetic than they if you decide to skip the pizza and go for the carrot sticks. Food is NOT supposed to make you tired! Food is supposed to fuel your body with calories – energy!
With all this said, I personally do let up a bit on my eating preferences occasionally. For example, my family celebrates Christmas with a huge spread of food that my mother takes a large amount of love and time to make. Some of that food contains things I normally do not eat – for example, sugar. So, for a few days of the year, I choose to not alienate myself or hurt anyone’s feelings and partake of these foods. And I enjoy them, and I do not feel guilty that I ate them. I know that a few desserts are not the end of my health. In fact, I make the most of it. As a scientist from birth, I observe my own reactions to newly introduced food, in terms of physiological and psychological changes. For instance – I have a huge sugar-hangover headache from the trifle I ate earlier. I observed yesterday that I was unable to stop eating sweets once I started, out of the compulsive eating disorder that I struggle with, made worse by the addictive substance of sugar. These observations, made in varying environments with relatively controlled variables can teach me very valuable lessons about myself. I can also use this as training ground for honing my “eating skills” – eating richer foods at Christmas helps me to further learn how to enjoy the taste of food without wolfing it down.
I will probably write more on this topic, as I have a lot to say – so stay tuned!
I have a question for all of you – what are your struggles when it comes to food & social events?
Until next time~
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