Have you ever thought about how much time you actually spend eating? Let’s say you spend 20 minutes eating breakfast, 30 minutes at lunch, 20 minutes on snacks, and 60 minutes at dinner. Let’s be as thorough as possible and assume you spend another 60 minutes of food prep on the average day.
Total time: 3 hours and 15 minutes
That’s it. Contrast that to the other 12 hours and 45 minutes you are awake, assuming you sleep about eight hours a night. (Wouldn’t that much sleep be nice?)
I don’t know about you, but when I was obese, I thought about food a lot more than just the times I was eating or prepping the food.
One of my first thoughts in the morning was about what food I was going to eat that day. Would I eat the rest of the brownies I had made the night before, would I make cookies, would I be going out to a fast food restaurant for a quick milkshake later in the day? Even while I was eating breakfast (which may have been those brownies), I was thinking about what foods came next.
I continued in this vein throughout the rest of my day. I’d think about food while working with the kids on their schoolwork, think about food while they were napping, and think about food while I was doing chores around the house.
Even in my obesity and dysfunctional relationship with food I knew this was not a healthy way to live.
Mentally – it was hard for me to imagine making healthy changes in my life with regards to food because I thought about it so often throughout the day. It was also hard mentally because I often felt very guilty after I overate. Very guilty.
Physically – it was difficult for me to constantly think about food because I expended a lot of energy on preparing food, going to get the foods I was craving, and eating the food. Not only would I hope in the car on a moment’s notice to go to a fast food restaurant, but I would also make extra trips to the grocery store to buy the foods I “needed” for certain dishes or desserts I wanted to make.
When I look back on those 10 years of morbid obesity I can still feel the frustration brought about by that lifestyle and that way of thinking.
The sad thing is that losing 150 pounds did not “cure” me of thinking of food more often than the average person likely does. It’s taken a lot of years past reaching my goal weight to get to that point. I don’t know that I took any conscious steps to think less often about food, but rather it was a process that happened to me as I learned new habits, stopped using food as an emotional crutch, and made healthy eating part of my life.
How often do you think about food? Do you ever wonder whether or not people who struggle with their weight think about food more often than people who do not struggle with food or weight? Diane
If you are interested in seasonal eating and visiting Farmer’s markets, I’m talking about it here.