From: Echo ( -188.8.131.52)
Subject: Food for thought
Date: August 14, 2009 at 3:53 pm PST
Received this in a newsletter from Jim Katsoulis
For anyone struggling with weight and/or food issues
I thought this might be helpful. I know hearing stuff
like this helps me make better choices.
Let me know what you think -
When Food Stops Being Food...
Food is fuel. That doesn't sound like
a revelation, does it? I mean, we all
know food is fuel, it's what keeps us
going through the day, builds muscles,
powers our brains.
But think of it again. Food is fuel.
If that's all that food is, why do we
obsess about it? Why do we eat too
much of it? Why do we put in types of
fuel that our body neither wants nor needs?
Imagine if you did that to your car
- can you picture yourself at the gas station,
filling up, and then when the tank is full,
you just keep on pumping, so that it flows
out all over the forecourt. People would
think you were crazy.
Or imagine taking your nice shiny sedan
out to a farm and filling it up with thick,
sludgy farm diesel - it would ruin the engine.
Yet that is what we do to our bodies when we
overeat, when we cram in junk food with no
What has happened is that over the past 100
years our attitude towards food has been
profoundly changed, mostly by the advertising
industry. It is estimated that the average
American is bombarded with up to 1500 food
related ads per day, each of which is dedicated
to the message that food is so much more than fuel.
Food is now a lifestyle choice, a status symbol,
a reward, a pleasure, a comfort, a celebration,
and it is, above and beyond anything else,
an emotional experience.
So what happens if instead, you go back to
believing that food is fuel? Two consequences
run from that. The first is that you naturally
stop overeating. The second is that the quality
of the food that you're going to choose will
naturally improve. We'll look at each of these
Overeating is something that we have learned.
We learned it because we long ago forgot that
food was fuel, and just like your car's gas tank,
we need to stop before we overfill it.
Thus we learned to clear out plate, regardless
of how we felt. We learned to eat our school
lunch quickly, because we were in a hurry.
We learned to sit and stuff our faces while
watching TV, because that's what everyone else does.
But when you realize once again that food is
primarily fuel for your body, you start to
ask different questions - such as what are
the best foods that are going to fuel your
body and give you energy, and how much of
them should you eat?
Are the foods you are eating giving you the
energy that you deserve? Are they giving you
the energy that you need to live the life that
you want to lead?
When looked at in this light, you start to make
very different decisions about food. It's not
about what you have to give up or do without,
it's now about what do you choose to eat to be
the person you want to be.
So when you begin thinking about food as fuel,
it's not about beating yourself up over the
things you have to stop eating, it's about
making new decisions about
-How good you want to feel?
-How much energy you want to experience?
-How alive you want to be?
When this happens, controlling your
weight becomes a lot easier.
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