They say we are what we eat, but what exactly are we eating?
It is clear that there is a close relationship between our desires and what is going on in our lives. On the one hand, the act of eating responds to the physiological need for hunger. But, in another light, eating may be used as a means to force thoughts out of our minds.
Thus, in reality, we do not feed only on the nutritional object that causes pleasure or takes away hunger, but, together with these foods, we also eat ideas, feelings, values, and affections.
The truth is that, almost without realizing it, we use many metaphors related to the action of eating. For example: “Eating the world”, “feeling an emptiness in our stomach”, ” a knot in our stomach”, or “a lump in the throat”.
Thus, we reveal that close relationship between our brain and our stomach; recently confirmed by science, and we express it with our language.
In short, the biological aspect of food is covered with a social and psychological meaning, which is experienced in a more or less conscious way.
That said, it is worth reflecting on how what we eat shapes us: what exactly are you hungry for when you eat? Why do you eat? To satisfy hunger? To nourish yourself? Or due to simple routine, just because, without even savoring what you eat? What do you put in your mouth? Or, perhaps, are you doing it with the intention of ignoring something else?
What we eat and how we do it is actually a reflection of our behavior in the world .
Although, perhaps the most convenient question is the one related to why we eat what we eat, and if we can change our habits.
“Generally speaking, we eat what we were taught to eat. We eat our memories, the most seasoned of the rites that marked our childhood » Leo Moulin
That is, we eat the ideas, values, beliefs (etc.) that have taught us. But we can relearn them if some are causing us a stomachache.
Years ago, the famous poet and mathematician Lewis Carroll said these very accurate words in his conference entitled “Feeding the mind”:
“From very early on we learn what we should and what we should not do with the body and it is not difficult for us to reject the pudding associated in our memory with a terrifying indigestion. However, it takes us a long time to convince ourselves of how indigestible some things we give to our mind are, that they bring us the usual existential boredom. If the consequences of neglecting the body can be clearly visible and felt, it would be nice if those of the mind were equally visible and tangible, that we could, say, take them to the doctor and point to the issue. We should be concerned with supplying the mind with its own kind of food. “
The importance of this is within changing eating habits.
If these aspects are not observed, the attempt to change eating habits will fail. It is not at all trivial to analyze this social substratum of eating. We know that many eating disorders mask other psychological problems in their behaviors, for example, vomiting or uncontrolled eating. Disorders such as anorexia or bulimia, among others, reflect that the true intentions that prevail when eating are not only nutritional, but also psychological, sentimental, and cultural.
We must understand the context conditions these habits, since the reality is that the rules of eating habits work as social stabilizers, and many foods, rather than to nourish, are consumed to heal invisible wounds.
Serena recommends you the following in Serenmind:
- Psychotherapeutic program «Emotional eating»
- Tool «With what emotion am I eating?»
- Audio «Learning to manage my emotions»