Sunday, July 31, 2005

My tricky relationship with food...

I have a tricky love/hate relationship with food, as I suspect many of us do. Over the past couple of weeks I have been doing the Paul McKenna mind programming for weight loss.

I came to the conclusion even before I read his book that diets just don't work in the long term. The trouble is you have to eat. Alcoholics can give up alcohol and smokers can give up fags, that's ok once you have got through the hard bit - you don't need alcohol or drugs to survive. Yes they are addictive and all the rest but your body doesn't actually need them. It does need food though - and there's the rub, if you could just give up food and never have to eat again, just imagine how easy life would be. But eat you must, the body needs sustenace - the hard bit is eating the right things and knowing when to stop.

I am not a huge eater. I eat regular and healthy meals. I do not binge in the evenings on chocolate or cereal. I sometimes eat cake and pudding, but my real downfall seems to be knowing when I am full up. Many of us were programmed at an early age to finish up every morsel on our plates. Indeed I have a clear and painful memory of being made to sit for an entire hour at first school before a plate of powdery liver that I could not bear to eat.

Well here's a revelation, if you learn to listen to your body it actually tells you what you need to eat and what not to. It's tricky though. I was going leaps and bounds with it the first week and now a bit of torpor is creeping back in. I also realised that eating in front of the tv is not great for me as I tend to not be mindful of what I am eating (ie I just shovel it in!). It also means you don't have to give things up, except maybe guilt and I am struggling with that one. I eat something like a biscuit, feel guilty and then immediately feel like another, how dim is that?

I think the trick is that no food is a sin, but now I have had my biscuit (and enjoyed it!) I won't eat again until I am actually hungry, and when I do eat I will eat something nutritious. Phew....

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