WEIRD FASCINATION SERIES - FOOD - I Eat All the Wrong Things!
Listed Under: Blog
I find this is a really common apprehension when I talk to many of my clients about their foodie habits. It’s actually quite rare that they have no healthy choices at all in some of their mealtimes even if their snacking habits need a little tweak here and there.
Why is it in life we can tell you to the absolute minutiae all of the things we do wrong, but spend little or no time shining a spotlight on what we do well? That inner critic is having a field day with us again, trampling all over anything we are doing alright with and shouting about the other stuff through the world’s biggest megaphone! We need to redress the balance here and find that compassionate inner voice who reminds us to lighten up, give ourselves and break and stop bashing ourselves with a big stick!
Eating rubbish, or only being interested in eating the wrong things, is not a trait reserved for the stressed, overworked and the “far too busy to even think about cooking” brigade. It’s something we are seeing increasingly in children and young people, with obesity statistics scattered through the media on a regular basis, amongst the cries for food manufacturers to reduce the fat, salt and sugar in some of the nation’s favourite go-to foods.
We are forever being told to eat less of this, cut back on that, take this out of our diet completely, switch to dairy-free, carb-free, fat-free, joy-free options! I don’t know about you, but it does my head in! Who wants to be told what they are doing wrong all the time?!
Time to #changeonething.
Let’s stop focussing on all that we are doing wrong; all those things that shouldn’t be in our cupboard or fridge; what we shouldn’t have chosen when we went out for dinner last night; what we shouldn’t have put in the trolley at the supermarket this afternoon….Let’s shove the shouldn’ts up their own a**e! They are not helpful, nor kind, nor constructive to making any changes we might be striving for. So STOP IT!
Right, let’s focus on what we are doing well. Snatch that megaphone off Dorothy, or whatever that crabby old critic in you is called, and pass it over to the kinder voice who is about to remind you to GIVE YOURSELF A BLOODY BREAK MAN! If we spend our time focussed on what we cannot have and must not eat, and all that is “bad for us”, we very quickly suck all the joy from life.
I bloody love food! I love the smell, taste, texture, social aspect, shopping, creating, cooking, the whole shebang! I appreciate not everyone does, but I’ll be damned if I’m gonna let anyone suck the joy out of my foodie existence!
I love chocolate, crisps, cake, puddings, chips, wine, and frankly could eat cheese and crackers all night long in the right company. Do I eat these things all the time? No. Can I go days and dare I even say weeks without falling face first into 500g of Dairy Milk? Yes. Do I drink a bottle of wine, in the house, by myself every night? No. Do I like to share a bottle with a friend or put the world to rights with my Dad over a nice red? Too bloody right I do!
Is any of that wrong? Unhealthy? Damaging? I really don’t believe so. Because do you know what? I also love almost every fruit and vegetable that there is to enjoy. I am passionate about eating a rainbow of colours on my plate each and every day that I can. I love wholegrains, nuts, seeds, eggs, dairy, I eat meat - just about every food group, and above all, am interested in what I eat. This is where I think the battle begins. What can we control? Where can we make some smart choices?
When I work with young people, I often hear their parents saying “Ooooh, they won’t eat that, all they eat is this and I can’t get them to go near an apple!” I totally understand the frustration. The exasperation at times when you just want to put one meal down in front of the family without the constant “What’s that?”… “Do I like it?”…”Can’t I have that with ketchup?”…”Is there anything else?”…Aaarggghh!!!! However, let’s flip it. What WILL they eat? What DO they enjoy? What positives are there, however small, that we can build on? Ask yourself the same questions if this is your own struggle.
OK, so you don’t like apples. Well what fruit DO you like? Pears? Oranges? Pineapple? Great! Your child hates broccoli. OK, what do they like instead? Green beans? Courgettes? Peas and Sweetcorn? Get imaginative. Try some new things as a family. Keep a chart of the foods that are popular throughout the household and use these when you are working out what to make for tea.
Be proud of the positive steps you or your children make every day. Congratulate yourself for the good choices you make and just put that stick you’ve been beating yourself with down for a while. Switching to a more positive approach about the things you do right will encourage further open-mindedness about trying new things and making positive changes. It’s true, really it is!
Think back to the classroom…did you respond better to praise and positive attention or to a good telling off?
Go on….#changeonething…….give yourself a break.