Does My Food Define Me?

March 8, 2013

Health

I am defined by food. I know many of my clients are too, and I have started to wonder . .
Is that a good thing, or a bad thing?
(I’ll give you my conclusion later in the post.)

What about you? Are you defining yourself by your food choices?  “I’m a Vegetarian”, “I’m a Carnivore”,   “I’m a Raw Foodist”,  “I’m a junk-food junkie”, Or is it more like,  “I’ve been so bad”,  “I am a mess”, “I’m getting so fat.  Why can’t I just leave food alone”.   So many of our definitions of self are related to food and exercise.  We feel like a failure when we’ve made a bad choice.  We feel separated from the group when we make a healthy choice.  So what do we do?

The first thing we need to do is decide who we are really. Does food decide that?  It does not.  We are much more than the food we eat.  Silence the inner critic.  Love yourself.  Make some goals.  Decide if you are okay with the label these goals might bring.  It happens.  That can be good, and it can be not so good.   For me, it’s been both.  When I announced 2 1/2 years ago that I was going sugar free (my original goal was for one year), I didn’t realize that would become my defining quality.  It was good because it kept me on track.  People would ask me how it was going.  “Are you still off sugar?”  “How’s your sugar goal coming?”  I knew I would get the questions, and it helped me follow through.
Since teaching classes and coaching people (and because I live in a small community), my “definition” has gone beyond the “no sugar” label.  People watch me at the grocery store – and tell me not to look in their cart as well.  They watch me at restaurants, picnics, parties, etc.  They call me and say things like “I noticed at the picnic, you didn’t eat the . . .  can you tell me why?”   I love teaching people.  I love teaching moments.  Add all of these little moments together and I realize I am “defined” by what I eat.

I didn’t label myself going into this – or maybe I did but didn’t realize it.  I think my big “ah ha” moment has come recently in wondering if it’s all worth it.  I’m being separated.  Is this what I want my “definition” to be?  Should I “ease up” for the sake of my relationships and have a taste of this and a taste of that to feel less “different”?

Beautiful Woman

A while back, I made a decision to be bad.  Okay, not really.  But to definitely ease up.  I had more “tastes” of food others offer me.  I made a conscious effort to not be different at gatherings.  Then something happened.   I started to realize my thoughts were more on food.  My cravings started to increase.  My inner critic started to take over.  I saw the cycle and I realized the biggest thing of all.  My definition needs to be BEING TRUE TO MYSELF.  That is much more important than a label others put on me, or the way I feel about that label.

For me, being addicted to sugar is harder than being defined by not eating it.

So what about you?  Are you ready to analyze what defines you?  Are you ready to experiment with change?  Sometimes, that is the very best way to learn.  I’ve decided I’m totally fine with my definition.  It’s connected to a lifestyle that keeps me happy and true to self.  That’s what healthy living is all about.

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4 Responses to “Does My Food Define Me?”

  1. tami Says:

    Thanks for this article.
    I have noticed that sugar makes me retain water and also gives me gas. Is that weird? I had been sugar free (not for long), when an aide at my school offered me a piece of licorice on a field trip. I took it and ate it not wanting to be rude. The rest of the day, and for the next two days, all I wanted was sugar and ate a lot of it. I’m starting to realize that I pretty much can’t even have a bite or I have to suffer the consequences.

    Reply

  2. Nicki Says:

    If it is okay, I will still watch you in social settings. I want to see what you eat and what you don’t eat. I love that you have embraced this lifestyle. I remember when you went off sugar, and then announced you were trying it for a year! I had no idea you were still off sugar. Good for you! And if it is okay, I will still be eating at the Baron and you will see me at the store most likely with more processed food in my cart than fruits and veggies. BUT…if I continue to learn and try and grow I might make more good choices than bad. Knowledge is power. And I appreciate, so much, the knowledge you are giving me. Thank you for being true to yourself so you can teach and lead me by example!

    Reply

    • conn9777 Says:

      I’d love to have you watch me. It keeps me on track! 🙂 Seriously, life without sugar has been a freedom I’ve never experienced before. I was a slave to it. Sometimes, it slips in to my diet through purchased products (hidden sugars) and I can tell because my cravings return.

      Reply

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