What use to be one of my favorite things to do has now become one of the most dreaded – grocery shopping. I would have a list of those things that I needed to get but I also loved strolling the aisles and checking out the new items that had arrived that would challenge me to create something new and different. I would watch the cooking shows and peruse magazines or go online to find some new ideas to spice up mealtime and make it more fun and exciting. Now it is more of a matter of grabbing something that is close by and downing it while
The more that we worry about food, the more we feed ourselves in order to soothe ourselves and it becomes one big vicious circle. No wonder I hate to shop now and if you see the bad behavior exhibited by so many other people in the stores these days, it seems to me that a whole lot of other people must be feeling the same way.doing a couple of other things at the same time. What happened?
At first, I thought that it might be that I had gotten too lazy to prepare meals. After all, there are so many things that need to be done all the time that if you can get a few extra minutes to relax in the middle of the chaos by using products that are already prepared rather than starting from scratch, why not do so? Maybe the challenge of figuring out something new all the time got to be a bit overwhelming? Perhaps I had just lost interest in this activity in the same way that one loses interest in any hobby. And then it dawned on me that I had lost interest just because it wasn’t fun anymore. I had listened to too many reports about what was good and bad for you, what you should be eating and when and how and why and I had seen way too many ads pushing the ultra-thin look and all of the hype about if you didn’t fit that mold, you were such a loser.
I believed all of this propaganda as so many people pushed their individual agendas to make a dollar off of people like me who gave themselves over to those who “knew so much more than me”. One week it was to become a vegan because we were never meant to kill in order to be able to survive and be healthy. The next week it was protein, protein and more protein because that was the foundation of healthy muscles and organs and bodies. One week it was stop drinking coffee and then the following week you would see another study touting all the benefits of that drink. One week it was how certain types of sugar were okay but not other sources of the same product. And this went on and on and on for years now. I was now at the point where I hated food.
I recently stopped to think about all of this. After all, if we listened to all of these different reports or started to follow one of the latest and greatest weight loss programs, how is it that we have become a nation that has a higher than ever obesity rate? I believe that I finally understand. It all comes down to common sense. We were all taught the basic food groups and the need to have a variety of foods with reasonable serving sizes. When I give my body some sugar, it doesn’t know whether it is high fructose corn syrup or raw brown sugar, or pure cane sugar. Sugar is sugar. It used to be fun to sit down to a meal that was shared and “enjoyed” by everyone and consumed while having some light conversation. It was a social event
Now when we eat, we are so consumed with every single ingredient included in our food that we can’t begin to enjoy any of it. The anxiety over what we are eating only increases the stress and that increases the guilt. The more that we worry about food, the more we feed ourselves in order to soothe ourselves and it becomes one big vicious circle. No wonder I hate to shop now and if you see the bad behavior exhibited by so many other people in the stores these days, it seems to me that a whole lot of other people must be feeling the same way.
I think that it is time to end all of this. I was healthy and happy and active before all of the studies and hype was started. I felt good about myself before I was told I shouldn’t because I didn’t fit into a size 2. I enjoyed my meals and the conversation that surrounded them without feeling guilty if I added a little salt to my potatoes. I had fun living and laughing and enjoying an evening out without wondering whether those with me might judge my choice of a pasta dish rather than a salad like they had chosen. Food is something to be enjoyed just like so many other things in our lives and I am going to take back that enjoyment. I think that I just might have to head out to the grocery store right about now!
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.