BLOG 299 MEANING OF FOOD
We live in a food centered society that’s for sure. Every street is lined with food locations; commercials bombard our televisions; cooking is a hobby; and at least 3 times per day we think about eating. Let’s face it, we like to eat and it makes us feel good. Food has many symbolic meanings as well. This blog is even difficult to write as my stomach growls waiting for my next meal.
We know that food fuels our bodies, but it means so much more than that. Socially, food is shared and meals are eaten together. Check out this synopsis: “Food is almost always shared; people eat together; mealtimes are events when the whole family or settlement or village comes together. Food is also an occasion for sharing, for distributing and giving, for the expression of altruism, whether from parents to children, children to in-laws, or anyone to visitors and strangers. Food is the most important thing a mother gives a child; it is the substance of her own body, and in most parts of the world mother’s milk is still the only safe food for infants. Thus, food becomes not just a symbol of, but the reality of, love and security” (http://www.sirc.org/publik/food_and_eating_1.html).
We associate food with celebration and have acquired certain meals to symbolize these holidays and events. The most obvious would be the courses Thanksgiving is composed of, but think about birthday cake, hot dogs at baseball games, pizza for any occasion (haha), potlucks at work, Cinco De Mayo or St. Patrick’s Day, the list goes on and on. When I got straight A’s in school, Baskin Robbins ice cream was the reward to celebrate. A lot of these ties relate back to religious customs that most of us aren’t even aware of.
Food means prosperity. Having an extravagant feast is how kings and queens showed their affluence. The same holds true today in that we are able to impress others with the spread of choices or which location to meet and dine at. Being the host with the most holds value. So yes, even class can come into play with food. We even tend to associate eating organic as fancy compared to pre-packaged cheaper choices.
Eating truly can be an experience. When I returned from Italy, countless times I was asked about the food. And yes, the Italian food culture is different. To us, spaghetti in heaping portions is dinner, but to the Italians this is just one course and it was a smaller serving for sure. We meet our friends for lunch or drinks and the traditional date involves dinner and a movie. You get my drift. So no wonder food is a constant battle on our fitness journeys. Mind over matter. One better choice at a time. Think about food as fuel not the traditional associations. We can talk ourselves into anything is we really try.
BLOG 298 TRIGGERS
Triggers can result from a situation that has or will happen and are usually associated with a negative emotional reaction. A trigger can be a flashback that sets off a memory that can send a person back to the moment in time of trauma. It’s a reminder. This reminder can cause an overwhelming feeling that produces anxiety, sadness, or even panic. Triggers can come in many forms that don’t have to be physical. For example, the date of an anniversary can be a trigger. Sometimes we can predict what will be triggers. For example, watching a scary movie might cause a person to re-live a trauma in their head. Even smells can set a person off. Certain people can be very hyper-sensitive to their triggers. For example, a person recovering from an eating disorder, might be triggered by celebrities and Instagram models that are extremely skinny when they see them.
When the original trauma occurs, we are in flight or fight mode. During this time, short term memory is faulty. The moment in time gets shuffled around and de-prioritized. The situation doesn’t get filed as past event, rather it remains recent and in the short term. This makes the memory easier to recall. Then when similar situations arise, the brain senses the stimuli and recalls the memory. The brain also falls victim to habits. So let’s say someone always smokes while they drive. The brain soon starts to associate driving with smoking, the two go hand I hand, and hence the habit has been formed. The brain then thinks whenever you drive you smoke, and driving becomes a trigger for smoking.
When it comes to triggers that cause us to emotionally eat or avoid exercise, we have to stop and think about the associations. Are the triggers internal or external? Internal would be memories, emotions, or body sensations. Examples include feelings of anger, frustration, feeling out control, feeling vulnerable, pain, sadness or anxiety. External would be people, places, or situations. These include arguments, T.V or movie shows, car accidents, smells, anniversaries, holidays, seeing certain people, or the way relationships panned out. Whatever the case, our why has to be handled and controlled. This involves breathing, grounding ourselves, relaxing, being mindful, and finding support. A life lived by the fear or triggers won’t work. But if you eat like its Thanksgiving every time you see a certain person, then the trigger needs to addressed. We can’t deny what we don’t want to face or we can’t move forward. Our journey is about growth and change, and also diminishing triggers that aim to harm us.
BLOG 297 BINGE WATCHING
Oh Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc….. Episode after episode… you tell yourself just one more. And somehow there is this feeling of accomplishment finishing a series. A simple search leads to a show that could be of your liking, and then eight hours later, you decide to get back to your day. Actually they even do the searching for us and recommend what we should watch haha. We all can’t help but looking forward to that Sunday binge when we find a show that fits our taste. That is what a binge is…. a feeling of satisfaction that comes from doing something in excess. This type of marathon isn’t burning calories, rather it’s creating a deeper dent in the couch.
This indulgence may come back to haunt the many folks who more often than not partake in this endless episode watching. It seems harmless, cheap, and an easy solution to pass the time. But there may be consequences down the line, especially for our youth in their 20s who are readily watching and are of the Netflix generation. The bottom line is that you are sitting. T.V. doesn’t require much cognitive functioning either. Adding to this, it can be isolating and anti-social. Plus, poor diet typically goes hand in hand. Are you having a salad and watching “Blacklist”?? Probably more like a pizza, starting episode one and polishing off more slices around episode 4 or so.
It’s rather interesting when you think about it. Netflix is the answer to a lazy weekend; when you are feeling depressed (it’s a great way to pass the time after break-up); it’s comforting when you feel sick; it’s a way to be cool and do what everyone else is doing; it’s a topic of conversation with friends and at work; and it’s not very expensive while waiting for pay day or trying to save up.
The CEO of Netflix is Reed Hastings. He thought of the idea when he had to pay $40 for returning a video late. Well, he certainly put Blockbuster, Hollywood Video, and all likes to shame. Although the company has been around for 20 years, it’s development has really prospered once big-name Hollywood stars and directors came part of the trend. Through subscriptions, the company now makes about $1.4 million per day. Okay WOW!!!!
At least hit the exercise bike or Elliptical while watching these shows. Hour three and hey, imagine how many calories you burned haha. The point is that all we do in life has to be done in moderation and maybe Netflix should be reserved for your rest day, not your everyday. We have the best intentions to just watch one episode, but let’s face it, we live in a world of wanting more and more NOW. How about feeling double accomplished by exercising while completing the series. At least that’s what I do when I watch “Schitt’s Creek”. Did you really think I could just sit there and watch T.V. 😊
BLOG 296 INSECURITIES
Having self-doubt, questioning yourself, feeling a lack of confidence…. I’m sure we can all identify with bouts of feeling insecure. This could be something very minor like whether your top matches your shoes, or something major like whether your spouse is cheating because you aren’t “good enough”. This negative thinking can be debilitating and certainly impedes on the journey of becoming the best versions of ourselves. But it’s natural to feel this way from time to time. We just need to reel it in and know how to move forward because these feelings don’t validate truths.
It’s human nature to worry about what other people think about us. As a business owner, I constantly am under public watch and have to remind myself that as long as when I turn the lights off when I go home and say that I gave my 100% today, then that’s the best I can do. We live in a culture that seeks approval. Meaning, recognition gives us value.
It takes courage to face what we are insecure about. Leo Babauta from Zenhabits.net discusses the obstacles that a person may face that derive insecurities (https://zenhabits.net/insecurities/)
1. Past criticisms. If a parent or other relatives criticized us while we were growing up, or if we were bullied, we’ve probably internalized.
2. A negative self-image. When people criticize you over the years, you start to criticize yourself. All this criticism, along with unfavorable comparisons of yourself to others, results in a self-image that isn’t so great.
3. Needing approval. The becomes a fearful cycle of need.
4. Lack of trust. We learn not to trust other people to stick with us, to accept us, to see our side of things as understandable.
5. Images in social media & the media. We compare ourselves.
6. Not accepting things about ourselves.
We have to forgive the past, know that the media is not 100% real, trust our intuitions, stop comparing ourselves, and accept ourselves. Certainly easier said than done, but taking these thoughts and practicing them in good faith can lead to better outcomes.
Clients come to me fully aware of their insecurities, but not quite ready to let them go. As we get stronger, more FIT, and develop relationships with myself and others at the studio, we find an uplifting community of acceptance. That is the environment I create. After all, those who judge you are only there in your life for a moment, so move forward without them. There are certain aspects in my life that I don’t doubt or question one bit (like my work ethic and passion for fitness) so I thrive on these elements and focus on letting go of what transpires feelings of insecurity in my life. I ask you to do the same and I will do my best to help you with this.