How Our Thinking Impacts Our Eating
I recently had a fascinating conversation with a group of women and the topic of “food scarcity” came up.
Is not that any of us was thinking “oh, I have food scarcity fears/thoughts”, no, no…
It was more something that came up casually in the context of a general conversation. Recently, in Ottawa, we had a very severe storm that left many homes without electricity anywhere from a few hours to several days.
If this scenario is not relatable, we can all think back to when the pandemia started over 2 years ago and we all went desperately to the grocery to grab whatever we could find (and some of us became terrified when the foods we needed and wanted were temporarily unavailable).
In my years practicing as a nutritionist, I’ve come to identify a very interesting connection between these deep thoughts (and even fears) around food not being available and our way of eating and relating to food, and this is what I’ve discovered…
1. not everyone has the same level of worry around food scarcity (although it is somewhat present in all of us as it relates to our survival instincts), HOWEVER 2. women who struggle in their relationship with food have a much stronger sense of fear around the unavailability of food somewhere on a conscious or unconscious level
When I ask clients to tell me more about why they have a sense of scarcity around food, there’s usually 3-5 “common” reasons they're able to identify (I’ll share 3 for now):
· some people grew up with siblings or other friends and family members who, for instance, used to take food from their plates or race them for their favorite snack and so this created a sense of alertness and worry about food not being available at some point · others asked for certain foods or treats, which were denied because these were deemed unhealthy of “bad for us” or because these foods where genuinely not available, although availability is a less common issue in regions of the world such as where we are privileged to live in and
· another very common reason why so many of us develop a sense of scarcity around food is of course because of the restrictive diets we’ve followed over the years. What’s problematic about restrictive diets is that while we may quit the plan fairly quickly, they certainly have a way to impact our relationship with food and our eating long term
and what’s important to recognize is that the way we feel about food, has a great impact on the way we show up to food, the way we eat
if you’re finding yourself in a place where you notice food occupies way too much of your day, your mental space and your energy, or you find yourself eating in a way that doesn’t support your health and/or the life you wish to live, it may be worth asking yourself... where does this sense of worry & preoccupation around food come from?
Asking this question will not only allow you to identify the root place where your current thoughts and feelings around food begun, most importantly, it will give you the chance to ask yourself further questions such as:
· Is this still true or valid today? · Am I ready to let go of these old thoughts and feelings? · How do I want to feel around food right now in this stage of my life?
These powerful questions can allow us to reframe past experiences with food that may be sabotaging us today and I invite you to explore them.
Take great care,