A client of mine who recently went through the 21-day Simply Human Reset was led to make a pretty profound realization about food and how we think about it (I guess the Reset worked…ha).
The recognition was specifically this — that events and parties and social gatherings should not be driven by the FOOD which will be served. Those get-togethers became traditions and are things we should look forward to because of the PEOPLE we are surrounded by.
That has changed.
Birthdays. Relationship anniversaries. Work anniversaries. Holidays. Going-away parties. House warmings. A Dallas Cowboys victory. The list has gotten pretty long.
Today, many of us have become so used to getting cake and ice cream and “treats” at the myriad of special events throughout the year, that the “treat” is what we end up looking forward to and why we get excited about going.
Yet another way that our current industrialized food culture has completely altered our food reward systems negatively and used the all-powerful and wonderful Dopamine hormone against us.
Am I saying that I think we need to ban cake and cookies from all birthday parties and holidays for the rest of time?
Am I saying that if those things WERE taken out of the equation that I would be upset about that or that my experience at those parties would be lessened?
Ask yourself these questions: would you be outraged if you went to a party and there was no ice cream…just a karaoke machine and some bottled water? would your attitude change from one of festive partier to a disappointed shoulder slumper? Would you tell yourself, “well I’m never coming to one of HIS parties again” and put a flaming bag of poop on his front porch?
If you can honestly answer those questions, and the answer was ‘no’ across the board, then you are showing signs of having a healthy grasp on how food should be viewed by humans.
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of them, maybe it’s time you re-think how you think about food and where it is in your symbolic life car — is it packed up in bags in the backseat (reusable bags of course)? Or is it DRIVING YOUR CAR?
So many people today have wrapped up their self worth and their self control in yummy stuff they put in their mouths because of the food system that we are all living in.
If you are someone who wants to become a healthier version of yourself, and if we want our kids to live longer than we are going to — that must change.
We need to get back to enjoying parties for the reasons we as humans enjoyed them in the first place — because of the relationships we share with the people in our lives.
Enjoy the heck out of food. Have a treat once in a while. Go to the State Fair of Texas and eat some deep fried twinkies!
But make sure that food isn’t sitting in the driver’s seat while you are reclined in the passenger seat with your top button unbuttoned asleep and dreaming about the next ice cream bar you’re going to eat or the next “Paleo Cake” you’re going to make.
Dopamine is no joke. Many lives have been destroyed by the way it chemically alters your brain. But it can be controlled and enjoyed in ways which it was designed. You just have to want to control it and kick FOOD out of your driver’s seat.