You are what you eat + [what you think and feel about it]
The great poet Rumi once said, “The satiated man and the hungry man do not see the same thing when they look upon a loaf of bread.”
It’s true. We all come to the table with different perspectives and life stories. I like to think of this as a direct reflection of how everybody’s metabolism functions differently. No two people will metabolize a slice of pizza in the same way. One person may see the pizza as a delicious treat while another who feels insecure about her body may look at it with fear and guilt. The former will metabolize the food completely while the latter’s body will struggle to process it.
“The brain doesn’t distinguish between a real stressor or an imagined one…Any guilt about food, shame about the body, or judgment about health are considered stressors by the brain and are immediately transduced into their electrochemical equivalents in the body. You could eat the healthiest meal on the planet, but if you’re thinking toxic thoughts the digestion of your food goes down and your fat storage metabolism can go up. Likewise, you could be eating a nutritionally challenged meal, but if your head and heart are in the right place, the nutritive power of your food will be increased.” (Source)
The power belongs to our minds.
In my studies to become a Mind Body Nutrition Coach, I learned about an fascinating medical study that took place in 1983 to test a new chemotherapy treatment. One group of cancer patients were given the actual drug while another group was given a placebo, a standard way to test whether a drug is effective or not.
About 75% of the patients lost their hair. This wasn’t a big surprise to the researchers. What WAS a big surprise was the fact that 31% of the patients who received a placebo ALSO lost their hair. Why? Because they expected to lose their hair. Like many, they associated chemotherapy with hair loss.
So, how healthy is your mindset? Are you empowering your metabolism or putting strain on it?
Toss aside that old saying “you are what you eat”.
Instead, you are also what you think and feel about what you eat.
My work as an dynamic eating psychology coach emphasizes exploring your unique thoughts, feelings and beliefs about food (and your body). Often we need to re-train our brains to have a happy and healthy relationship with food. And when we make a commitment to improve this relationship, we can feel more relaxed around food and our bodies and re-purpose this energy to give our unique gifts to the world!
I’d love to hear about your unique beliefs about food and body and how they’ve impacted your life.