You are what you eat - or so they say. I love food that is not really all that nutritious, and I have an addictive personality, so when I love something, I really love it. I never used to have multiple breakfast cereals - just the one, all the time. When I got tired of it, I would choose another one, never two. If I eat boring, does that make me boring?
We can get into the habit of eating certain things, long after we stopped enjoying the taste, or long after we stopped needing it. I notice that when there is a food that I really like, I know all the places where I can get it, and I fit in trips to those locations, just so I can buy my current favorite food.
When I started to change my diet, I suddenly become aware of how often I would snack on my favorite food. When I organised all the food I planned to eat into handy snack size packs in my handbag, I realized how often I was reminding myself that I didn't need to buy whatever it was that I was thinking about buying. It become clear that I was often eating out of habit.
Changing our eating habits is often as much a mental battle as a physical battle. We are used to eating certain things, we feel comfortable when we eat those foods, and we seek out a repetition of what we know because that in itself is comforting.
One of the first things I had to do when I started changing my eating habits was to recognize how I felt NOW when I ate the food that was part of my previous habits. Often I hadn't realized that I wasn't even enjoying the food anymore, I was just eating out of habit.
This month is 'Choose Nutrition' month for my blog. I'm looking at things we eat, how to choose more wisely, some ideas on cooking, and some of the problems associated with not eating well. 'Choose Nutrition' is on of my five pillars to good health.
Before you start saying 'No' to lots of foods, start listening to your body after you eat some of those 'not so healthy' options, and identify whether you are actually enjoying it, or eating it out of habit. Being fully present and aware of how you feel when you eat different foods is one good step towards eating what makes you feel good. Saying 'I don't like this anymore' is so much better than saying 'I can't have this anymore'.
One day I realized that hot chips and gravy were no longer my favorite foods - I was just eating it out of habit. Time to find a new favorite. Finding new favorite foods can be fun.