I wrote the other day about us at the Public Health Department having a weight loss competition. This kind of competition helps motivate me to get my weight right where I want it to be. Motivation however does not take care of all of the challenges to weight loss. My biggest challenge is that I love to eat tasty foods.
As I have gotten older food has played an even bigger role in my life. I love a large variety of foods and my palate is much more sophisticated. My cooking skills have improved through lots of practice, experimenting and the influence of the Food Network. I experience cooking as a fun way to be creative.
The other weight-loss challenge is really that food is a great source of self-soothing. In my stressful work of counseling those with addictions, trauma and often serious mental health issues, I have a number of coping mechanism. Snacking at work is one of the ways I sooth myself.
When I feel too much of the suffering of those I am trying to help, when I get angry at those who harmed my clients when they were young and vulnerable, and when the frustration of all the paperwork gets to me, I eat. I also do many other things like workout daily, mindfulness and other stress reducers. Food however is quick way to self-nurture. Unfortunately eating only works some of the time and not for long.
Good tastes and frustrating workdays make getting to my healthiest weight a challenge. My strategy for the 10 weeks of the competition is to workout more (I love working out), use a number of helpful nutritional ideas I have been studying, and to eliminate sugar. The sugar thing is so prevalent in my (our) world where sweeteners are added to almost all foods. Also there is something about dark chocolate that is especially self-soothing and in a stressful world food that is self-soothing is a hot commodity.
My wife said the other day that when I talk about past situations, I usual mentioned what we were eating or some other food highlight. I didn’t even know that about myself as a life traveler of food experiences (new awareness) more than events, people or places.
Yes I love to eat and how about you? How can we self-sooth in healthy ways? Dieting is something that happens best with less stress, with a solid program of nutrition, supplements and exercise. It seems everybody has written a diet book but they don't work that well because diet is about you taking care of yourself in the way that works for you.