Wednesday, March 31, 2010

We Are More Than Food

WE LIVE IN A GLOBAL SOCIETY CENTRALISED ON FOOD. There’s either too much of it in many regions, which has created this global obesity epidemic, or there’s not enough—aid agencies always appalled at the drastic lack, the malnutrition, and unjust imbalance of worldly wealth in terms of bodily sustenance.

Add to this, the Western world apparently throws out in scraps what the poorest countries could easily re-deploy as adequate food aid.

I want to focus here on the former side—the richer regions of the world and their apparent overuse or misuse of food and its devastating personal effects.

Food, and our use (or abuse) of it, is generally a poignant example of life for all of us. Who in the Western world has not overeaten or eaten for comfort? I know I’ve used food inappropriately, binged at the pantry and fridge, and taken stock delight in a block or two of chocolate etc.

None of us are perfect. We’ve all, I’m sure, overextended ourselves.

It seems to me there are two sides to this debate. There are those—the majority—who partake greatly in consuming food i.e. 1) they have too much of it in one sitting, or 2) the inappropriate foods with poor nutritional content are consumed, or 3) they overeat (point 1) or consume (those in point 2) too regularly, indicating a dangerous habit has formed, or 4) a combination of two or all three of these has taken shape in the person’s life. An abnormally high percentage of the population is affected.

The other side is the industry of ‘food police’ championing the fight against the problem in the first place. These people are fighting a losing battle.

What is it with food? Surely, we are more than food. Surely, we can get a handle on this and keep proper management of these tents (i.e. bodies) we’ve been given.

I’ve tried numerous methods to control my food intake—to the end of affecting to a degree all four of the problems mentioned above.

There’s the 1-2-3 Diet and my 1,000 hours ideas... and there are many more, and the only limit is our imaginations. Gaining or regaining that hungry-feel—the only way I know to truly get (and stay!) leaner—is not a hard thing to do, but to do it consistently requires focus and a plan, and some real self-discipline in the early going, indeed throughout.

From my own personal experience it takes me 2-7 days to consistently eat smaller and less portions in order that I wake hungry, or become routinely hungry before I eat again.

Note to self: I should not actually eat unless I’m actually hungry.

There is hope for you if you have a food consumption problem. Life and light beckons. All it will take is focus and a plan and persistence. If you’re truly serious about your health, acknowledge now that it might take you 2-3 years before: 1) you have your eating patterns under control, and 2) your weight has dropped enough to be satisfied with. It might seem like a long time—a tremendous journey, but you’ve really got nothing to lose.

Some might say habits can be broken in thirty or forty days. New habits can take years to implement with positive and permanent effect. This shouldn’t deter us.

Whatever you do, jettison the 5-week or 10-week diet idea! It is so unfortunate that there is still the bewildering amount of mainstream money-grabbing diets that major on the quick-fix—just about all of the ones commercially available don’t go for root cause because they skirt hardship.

Our culture hates hardship. But hardship is part of life. The quicker we accept this, the quicker we can go on to that great revelation that life was always designed to become for us.

Go for the lifestyle fix, admitting there are certain foods it’s best to abstain from if they prove impossible to control. Fit the right lifestyle fix, as far as food’s concerned, to you and your mind; the way you work. Only you can truly do this (apart from any expert help you might need). Only you can implement and sustain the choices you make.

At its most basic, the problem exists in self-honesty. Don’t deny your problems—they won’t go away by themselves or by your ignoring them.

You can change and you can succeed. The result: a more happy, at-peace, vibrant and self-empowered person will remain—and there will not be ‘too much’ of you.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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