Hey! My name is Kate Scott and I am just your average twenty something trying to live with purpose and balance. I recently lost over 20 pounds and am so blessed to share some of my journey to healthy eating with you today. If you want to read more about my weight loss journey, running adventures, favorite recipes, deep thoughts and day-to-day life check out my blog KateMovingForward!
Why Did I Eat That?
“Why did I eat that?” If I could have a nickel for every time I have said that I would be driving a lot nicer car. Digging deep into the whys of my eating has been an important part of my weight loss journey: why am I eating and is it a healthy (mind, spirit, and body) reason?
First, is this healthy for me emotionally? The emotion I am mostly trying to silence when I eat is boredom. For others they eat out of fear or unworthiness, sadness or excitement. If I’m choosing to eat out of a lack of emotional fulfillment then I (try to) stop, ask myself “how are you feeling?”, and cope with whatever feeling I’m experiencing in a healthy way. For me, that means finding a book to read, taking a walk, getting on Pinterest or watching TV; all better ways to satisfy my boredom than eating a servings worth of breakfast cereal standing in the kitchen. I think it helps to name the feeling you are experiencing. (This is something called “I” statements that I use when I counsel children and teens—stating feelings is one of the best emotional skills you can master.) For example, “I’m feeling so sad because of the fight I had with my sister, I would like to eat four peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but I’m going to draw a bubble bath have a good cry and call her when I’m done.” Deal with your real feelings; don’t mask them with food or anything else.
Next, is this healthy for me physically? This is a target of most disordered eating—whether you are eating too many calories or too little, obese or underweight you must analyze the cost to your physical body. This was a huge piece of the puzzle for me! I was exercising 4-5 days a week and still gaining weight because I was “treating” myself 3-4 times a week to greasy burgers and cheesy enchiladas while emotionally eating out of boredom. Once I began to focus on healthy eating and tracking my eating habits, the weight came off because I was finally giving my body what it needed.
Finally, is this healthy for me spiritually? I’m not sure about you, but I know my spirit couldn’t survive if I knew I could never cut loose and celebrate! There is so much to be enjoyed in life and food is one of the things we celebrate with, fellowship over, and delight in the new experiences it brings us. I remember the first time I tried a pomegranate—I was scared and excited, the little kernels of this mystery fruit exploded in my mouth in a mixture of sweet-tart mixture that was both juicy and crunchy. I laughed out loud it was so delicious! Other times food is a way we connect with those we love—past, present, and future. As I bake Christmas cookies with my mom and sister using a recipe handed down to us from our great-grandmother I am bonded with my current family, my past relations, and my future when I will share this experience with my own children. It really isn’t about the cookies; it’s about nourishing my soul through celebrations and connections.
Evaluating my food choices by these three questions has helped me to gain balance and perspective about my eating habits. Compartmentalizing my eating habits as purely physical makes me no more than a cow chewing on grass! Recognizing and evaluating, not only my physical, but my emotional and spiritual reasons for eating has been a tremendous help to my journey towards a healthy life. I hope the next time you are staring down a container of Oreos you will consider the health of your mind, body, and soul and ask yourself “Why do I want this?”