What if the only thoughts you had about food were positive—if food was a source of pleasure, nourishment, and nutrients rather than stress and confusion?
What if your thoughts about food were simply Wow, this soup is phenomenal! or Andrea would love this colorful plant-powered bowl; I’ll have to send her a link after dinner!
Sounds amazing (and stress-free!), doesn't it? The truth is, most of us think about what to eat … or not eat … far too often. In a 2013 study, researchers found that women typically thought about food 12 times a day; those under 25 had it on their minds twice as much as those over 55.
Unfortunately, those thoughts aren’t always positive. They're often full of anxiety and stress, worry that we ate too much fat or not enough protein, unkind things about our bodies or weight, guilt about the choices we make, or confusion.
Frankly, it’s exhausting! I get it because I lived with my own running dialogue for years. The chatter was accompanied by a lot of food rules, shoulds, food guilt, and impossibly high standards. Not fun!
These negative patterns can affect our overall self-esteem, our relationships, and even how we spend our time and energy. When we devote mental space to food-related fretting, we have less of it for the people we love, the vacations we’re planning, and the exciting projects we’re undertaking.
Changing our thought patterns about food and our bodies can be a lifelong process, but there are some easy steps that we can take today.
We can quiet the “food noise” that inundates our daily lives. And when we turn down the volume, we tune into our bodies and start to trust our intuitions instead, taking food from stressful to satisfying.