Joy and overeating have an interesting relationship.
Most people think overeating has something to do with pleasure – or joy.
“It tastes good.”
“I don’t want to stop.”
“I couldn’t say no – I didn’t want to be deprived.”
A part of our brain tells us that overeating is about enjoying tasty food, satisfying a craving, giving ourselves something that we really want.
The truth is, we eat a lot of food that doesn’t bring us joy.
Think back to your last bout of overeating – a time when you ate more than you wish you had – and ask yourself a few questions:
- The food that I ate – on a scale of 1 to 10 – how much did I love it?
- What percentage of the food that I ate did I truly, one hundred percent, fully experience, taste, experience, and savor?
If you’re like most people, you may or may not be eating food that you truly love. You might have eaten something you thought you’d love, but in reality, it wasn’t all that fabulous. Or maybe it was.
It’s even more likely that, no matter how wonderful that thing you ate was, you didn’t taste and enjoy and savor every single bite.
In fact, I often ask people how much less they’d eat if they stopped eating when they stopped savoring.
The answers are often dramatic.
Would you eat less if you stopped eating when you stopped savoring?
We eat a lot of food that we don’t really taste or enjoy.
We also use food to replace joy we’re missing in our lives.
Because we’re busy, or tired, or because we buy into a belief that we have to “deserve it” or “earn it” or only do great things for ourselves after all the other things are done (are they ever?).
Food is easy, food is accessible, and food doesn’t have to take up the space of something else in our life. We can multitask while we eat.
Problem is, we then find ourselves eating for joy and not enjoying our eating.
Food is something that we can experience with all our senses. Fully savoring what we eat means experiencing the taste, the texture, the smell, the appearance – and even the crunch of our food.
Food is meant to be enjoyed.
Food isn’t meant to be our only joy or our lifeline to joy when the day doesn’t contain enough of it. Peace with food requires a better balance. We deserve a better balance.
Joy and eating – joy and overeating. What’s the relationship between these experiences in your life? How’s the balance?
What one step could you take this week to add more joy – more real, savored joy – to your life?
Take good care,