Our Longest and Often Most Challenging Relationship

by Patti McDougall

Our relationship with food can be a metaphor for our relationships in general. It is said that we do food like we do life. Think about this for a minute and ask yourself how you do food.

Are you left feeling unsatisfied, always looking for more, more, more? Do you look at food like the enemy—a tiger that needs to be tamed? Do you have a healthy respect for your body, and give it what it needs?

We may know someone who eats quickly and is finished before she even gets to pay attention to what was on her plate. She would rather cut her own arm off than prepare food for herself. These behaviors are a perfect mirror to how she does life. She is most likely not one to give nurturance to herself and is not often conscious of the nurturance around her.

Or we may know a man who, when asked the same question, realizes that he often eats the leftovers, whether he is really wanting them or not, because he hates to waste. Similarly, in life, he often takes the “leftovers”, putting others’ needs before his own.

Folks who eat junk don’t think they are worth the time and effort to take care of themselves. Women who cook what the family likes then feel they need to eat poorly, based on the demands of a 5-year-old. People who eat on the fly because “it’s just me”, so cooking a nice meal does not seem worth it.

So ask yourself, “How do I do food?” The answer may be enlightening.

Patti McDougall is an RN health coach at Medicine in Balance, in Langhorne. Connect with her at 215-741-1600 or Patti@MedicineInBalance.com. February 2015.

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