Something more valuable than food


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I had a realization yesterday.....I've gotten responses from friends to my way of eating now such as 'wow, I couldn't deprive myself like that.' or 'I could never give up _____'.  You know, the typical 'crazy things people say' stuff.


But yesterday I realized that if you have something in your life that is more valuable or enjoyable than food, then controlling what you put in your mouth is much easier.


I know that it is common for people to celebrate with food, use food to comfort us, use food as a reward, even use food to entertain us.  But if food is the only fun or enjoyable thing in your life, it is a lot harder to restrict what you eat.  I know that sounds really unrealistic that someone may not have anything more fun or enjoyable than food in their life.  But think about it.  If your idea of a nice afternoon is curling up with a box of girl scout cookies....maybe it applies?


I know when I did my whole30, I had to make a conscious effort to reward or take care of myself in non-food related ways.  It really changed my perspective.  Instead of reaching for a beer and sitting on the couch as a way to unwind after a long week at work, I scheduled a massage or went shoe shopping.  I had gotten in the habit of using food/drink as a reward.  It was easy and convenient (and probably cheaper!)  But restricting the foods that I used to use as rewards, showed me that I wasn't rewarding myself in other ways.  I needed to break the food-reward link.


If you are feeling cheated or deprived on your whole30, take a look to see what you are using for rewards or what you are doing to take care of yourself.  If it used to be eating food, make sure that you have replaced it with something equally enjoyable.  


Just my two cents....



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I agree in so many ways, AND I feel like the way I'm eating now IS actual self care. AND it tastes better than the junk that used to pass for a "reward." :D


There is zero deprivation happening in my world while on a Whole30.


"I realized that if you have something in your life that is more valuable or enjoyable than food, then controlling what you put in your mouth is much easier."--LOVE this.

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And to add to the thoughts above...given my husband's improvement in health, there really is something more valuable than food....your health!  It's SO easy for us to exclude certain foods now because we can see what a direct impact some foods have on his health.

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I love this!  Absolutely love this because you found out something so important about yourself and your life that you might not have discovered otherwise. 


Your comment "If you are feeling cheated or deprived on your Whole30...." is so accurate, so bang on!  Not having cookies isn't being cheated....unless that is the way you pay homage to yourself or hard work or happiness....then of course it's being cheated but on an emotional level.


I really think this is an excellent post!

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Thanks :)  When you think about it, there are many reasons to eat.  However, just one is 'we eat because we are hungry and need to nourish ourselves.'  Then all the other millions of reasons are basically emotional (party, feeling sad, PMSing, stress etc etc).


Years ago I read a book by Geneen Roth called 'Breaking away from compulsive eating.'  I don't know if it's still in print.  But it really opened my eyes to all the non-sustaining reasons I was eating.  I ate because I was bored, sad, lonely, food tastes good, stress etc etc.  Very rarely did I actually eat because I had to fuel my body.  Of course, I was overweight and unhappy...which was another reason to eat.


After reading that book, it really helped me get my compulsive, emotional eating manageable. I realized when I was standing in front of the fridge looking for something to eat there was another issue that I was not addressing.  Typically it was stress.  Once I took a few actions to help reduce that stress, then the 'need' to eat went away.  It took a lot of introspection to get to the point where I could step outside myself and say 'what is going on in your life that makes you want to polish off a whole box of girl scout cookies??'


I've seen a lot of posts on this forum from people who 'fell off the wagon' during their whole 30.  And a lot of the slip ups are from emotional eating.  I can totally relate.  It took me a long time to be able to honestly self assess.  It's painful and sometimes I just wanted to eat that box of cookies even though I _knew_ it was totally emotional eating.  But alas, I put my big girl panties on and sucked it up.  I learned to be my own best friend and be firm but gentle.  Instead of stuffing my face, I learned to address the trigger to help alleviate the cause of the desire to eat.  (And to be honest, it took a long time to get to that point!)  And I also learned to reward myself with non-food treats.


Anyways, I think I'm starting to ramble.  My overall point (or advice) is to be mindful of the non-fueling reasons we eat. Being able to figure out why you want to eat will really help guide you to more healthy eating choices.

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