Why We Eat – Understanding Your Diabetes Relationship with Food

by | Jan 28, 2019 | Blog, Dealingwithyourdiabetes, Ownership | 0 comments

Eating defines almost every relationship we have on some level.  Moments after we are born,  a breast or bottle begins our lifelong relationship with food.  Our basic sense of trust develops as we learn to rely on those who feed us.   We pacify emotions and soothe anxiety when food fills up an empty space inside us.  The momentary pleasure of a pleasant taste or sensation distracts us from painful trials and events.  Loneliness fades when we share a meal with someone.  Expressions of religion involve shared and sacrificed food.  Life’s celebrations center around favorite dishes, sweet treats, and refreshing drinks.  Our saddest moments, untouchable by words, become bearable by the fundamental act of eating together.

There is connection in food.

The consumption of food far exceeds our need to fuel our bodies.  It is connection itself.  Sharing a meal is an intimate experience where our guard is naturally down.  You can’t battle and eat at the same time.  It is a vulnerable place where other people get a peek into your personal preference and habits.  The world gets to see what you like to eat, what you don’t, if you chew with your mouth open or closed, if you are neat and napkin-minded or a gritty and wipe-it-on-your-sleeve type.  Who you share your table with says a lot about who you are as a person.  Sharing food is an expression of preference, even among animals.  As a culture we are in love with food and by association food can emulate feelings of love.  As we ingest the nutrition that keeps us alive, we are creating bonds with others, with ourselves, and with our maker.

Restricting Food Hurts

Since food is so deeply rooted to our senses of attachment, comfort and love, when it is restricted, it is painful.  Restriction from anything, only makes you want it more.  If you are the only one who can’t partake you feel left out and disconnected.  It is truly painful and isolating.  Unfortunately, a diabetes life winds and twists in an intricate dance with food.  We must have it, but only in certain amounts and certain times.  those times when diabetes takes a back burner and we choose to partake like everyone else, we are judged and the object of side-long glances.  Our hopes and wishes it were different only magnify the isolation and depression we feel.  In these low times, as we search for comfort deep within in us,  food is our preferred panacea.

A New Relationship with Food

In order to change how we eat, simply wanting to do it differently or willing yourself to “be better” is a recipe for failure.  We are so hard-wired to connect with others and comfort ourselves with food, that it requires an entirely new way of thinking.  You see, we do what we believe.   From our first breath, we construct our belief system by the events of our life.  We learn over a lifetime of experiences which become the lens through which we view everything.  The only hope of lasting change in your relationship with food is a new perspective and radically new beliefs.  It sounds impossible but sometimes it happens in an instant.  An “A-Ha” moment. You see something differently or you find the rules you have created for yourself are no longer serving you.  You make a new choice, have a new experience and your lens changes ever so slightly.

It doesn’t happen on its own.  It is a series of many small steps.  But isn’t that how one gets to the top of a mountain?

Here’s to climbing in the direction you want to go.

Let me know if you need a guide!




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