We talk a lot about relationships on Mukoko and those are by far the most popular posts with the blog readers. Along those lines, the question today is: Do you have a healthy / unhealthy relationship with food?
I generally dislike having conversations about diet, food choices and weight loss. I get really self-conscious when someone says something like “Are you going to have another biscuit?”, I don’t have to look at them to know that they have a disapproving expression on their face. December turns out to be one of my favourite and least favourite times of the year. You know the drill, mother takes you visiting and the relatives have a go at you:
“Ah, sidlula! Udlani sweety, ifatiliza?” // “Ah, fatty! What are you eating sweety, fertiliser?”
“Heh, are you competing with your mom? Well, you’re doing well!”
*high five* *guffaw*
I have mastered the art of the awkward silence when they ask those questions and my mom’s always at hand to step in and change the subject.
Not every woman has an unhealthy relationship with food but many of us do. Which one of these Miley Cyrus songs describes your relationship with food?:
1. Wrecking ball.
“On a typical day, I eat normal portions of food but when a craving hits me, I’m in that kitchen like a wrecking ball.”
Sometimes the craving hits because you are in genuine need of some kind of nutrient in your body (like whatever nutrient Coca Cola has) but a lot of the time it is just because you are feeling bored, sad, stressed or food is your procrastination tool! I have a friend who admitted that when she is stressed, particularly during exam season, she struggles to regulate what she is eating and how much and she is too lazy to go to the gym. To make matters worse the pressure of work often means that she is up really late, which makes her a midnight snacker.
2. We can’t stop.
“I hate to see food go to waste, once I’m on a roll, I can’t stop! I can’t help but think of all those starving kids in Africa so I eat everything given to me.”
This is the classic line that a good friend dished out to me (have you noticed how it is always a friend and not me??). Your restaurant of choice is whichever one has the all-you-can-eat special. You heart breaks when you see food thrown out. You are called the “garbage can” because every leftover comes to you.
3. Party in the USA.
“I’ve lost my appetite hey, at a party in the USA.”
Okay, so maybe that song has nothing to do with this kind of eater, my bad! PIUSAs are better described as non-eaters because, given a choice, they would be more than happy living off water and oxygen. I have friends that don’t particularly like eating and they consider food a necessary evil. Their meals are quick and bland and a non-event!
4. Fly on the wall.
Just that image has put me off talking about food altogether. Eew.
The healthy choice.
Sometimes the choices you make about food say a lot about what is happening in your heart. Other times they do not. It is good not to over-think things but it is good to be introspective. Whereas over-spiritualising your food issues is unhealthy, it is very healthy to ask yourself the question: Do I have an healthy or an unhealthy relationship with food?
“Those who live there make their bellies their gods; belches are their praise; all they can think of is their appetites. But there’s far more to life for us… We’re waiting for the arrival of the Master Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthly bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He’ll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be under and around him. Philipians 4: 19,21
What does your relationship status with food have to do with being a successful woman? For some of us, it is evidence of an underlying issue. Many women who overeat struggle to process their emotions and stuff down food like they stuff down their anger or sadness. Some women hate their bodies and feel driven to gain or lose weight. Still, some of us are too lazy or undisciplined to watch what we are eating.
All those things: low emotional intelligence; an unhealthy self image and the lack of discipline, will hinder your success in life. But it does not have to be that way.
If you think that you may have a heart issue underlying your food issue, the next questions to answer are:
Do you allow your appetites to run your life?
Have you brought the underlying issue to Christ and sought help from a qualified person about it?
I enjoy your comments so much, keep them coming!