Ever since birth, our cries of “I’m hungry” have been heard. First by our mother and then by our family. It’s a fundamental feeling deep inside of us that we can never run away from. Slowly as we begin to grow, the response to “I’m hungry” evolves. From eating what was given to us as a newborn, we now begin to say no to things we do not like.
What foods we like are what make us happy. They make us feel full. We learn to follow this routine before we even enter our first grade in school. They taste good and fill us up. We enjoy eating them. Saying no to things that don’t do anything for us.
But then our response changes when we become adults. What foods that are convenient and quick become our new foods. We learn that hunger can be delayed by snacking on whatever is around us. Our jobs and busy lives leave us no time to seek even the foods that we like and what makes us happy. We begin to associate foods with events: the football party, Friday night out, a baseball game, the movies, etc….. We always want more of what tastes good and makes us happy. Many times one of something is never enough.
Filling the first 30 years of our life with a misleading understanding of food that is embedded deep within the bones of our bodies. Hidden from us are the subconcsious stories we tell ourselves about food. Knowing very little of what foods might be good for our bodies or even why that might be important to know.
You see our stories and beliefs around food and hunger are built on: instant gratification, comfort, liking what we choose, convenience, tasting good, events and is it quick to prepare. I have never seen a biology book talk about these things when talking about the cells within our body.
Between the ages of 30-50, life begins to change for us. We begin to put on weight. Our clothes no longer fit the way they did. Health issues start popping up. The stress of our lives begin to take a toll on us. Then something magically happens. We read a short story about a food that has tremendous health benefits. Cinnamon, ginger, acai berries, nuts and so on.
With enthusiasm, we embrace our new knowledge and begin consuming the super food we discovered. Eating it regularly and in large quantities. Feeling proud that we are now eating healthier. Sadly we do this together with the foods that give us instant gratification, comfort, liking what we choose, convenience and are quick to prepare. Sadly, running in place. With no changes in our weight or health issues that now are a part of our lives. Silently taking the pills we are now given to help us continue with our lives.
As I have learned recently through my weight loss journey, eating and metabolism are very complicated subjects. My friends have heard about my journey. its many steps and new understandings. They have shared with me the superfoods that they think they know. Yet strangely, they still choose the foods that give them instant gratification, comfort and convenience. For with candor, they say that these are the foods that I enjoy and make me happy. I simply can’t give them up.
What I have learned is that it is not about the diet or keto or paleo or whatever that produces life long changes in one’s food and nutrition. The war and the struggle for each of us lies exactly around whether or not we are we willing to trade our innate response of “these are the foods that I enjoy and make me happy” to the more intentional statement “that having good health and an abundance of energy makes me happy”. Then using different food choices to help get you there.
Sometimes awareness is a worthy substitute for a solution. This is the best I can offer anyone at this time. With certainty that this is the roadblock that keeps all of us from better health and more energy as we age.