Food is not the enemy.
I think it is sometimes important to remember this and commit it to memory. Food, on its own, didn't make us fat and it isn't what's keeping us from being thin.
Food sometimes feels like the bad guy in our lives; the evil villain twirling his mustache and tying us to the train tracks. We are regimented by it, sculpted by it. We fill our day with plans and schedules about what we will eat and when and then we fill our day with guilty feelings and excuses when we don't stick to the plan, when we veer dramatically off of it. Food tempts us, appealing to our base desires and passions. We become weak-kneed at the scent of warm white chocolate, we've got it bad for the sodium-rich textures of asian food and filling comfort of the Italian pastas and robust sauces. We are barred from these food by our obsession with food and the regimentation and our desperate need to lose weight. Food is not our enemy. We have no tangible enemy. It's abstract, which is why it's so hard to fight against it.
We need food to survive. It makes our body move and act. It makes us move faster and work longer. When we feel fatigued we know that eating something will perk us up, even if temporarily. We turn to certain foods when we are sick to aid in the healing process. Soda crackers for upset stomachs, juice for hydration, toast and warm ginger ale for infections and flu, piping hot chicken noodle soup when we ache and swell all over. From childhood we attribute our getting well to the food our mothers gave us, not the medications.
Why do you think we eat so much when we are stressed, anxious, sad or depressed? Food releases chemicals in our brain (dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin) which makes us calm, more concentrated, relaxed, happy; let alone how much pleasure we feel when we taste things that taste good. Food makes us feel better and sometimes we all need that.
After a really terrible morning, with tears and apologies and embarressment, I couldn't do any real work. I couldn't concentrate on my homework and I didn't want anyone to talk to me. After I had breakfast- an omelette made from eggbeaters with veggies- I could feel my brain lightening up. That sounds weird but it's true. I didn't feel so abrasive and my concentration increased. It was like my head was wrapped in gauze and I could feel it eing unwrapped. When it relieved the unpleasentness, without resorting to comfort foods, it reminded me about how much we take food for granted in its positive aspects. Since this revelation made me feel better about myself and about my diet, I thought I'd share it with you too.