Confession time: Are you more familiar with the labels inside your clothing or on your shampoo bottle, than the ones on the back of the food you eat? Do you spend more time figuring out what to wear to work than what to eat for lunch?
So often we eat without really thinking about it--even I, who live my life around food, am guilty of it on occasion. We may think about calories or taste or the atmosphere in the restaurant, but it often doesn't go much beyond that.
When I work with clients, one of the things that often comes up is just how much time we spend thinking about the quality of the items that touch and go ON our body. For example, our clothing, our skin lotions or foundation, those fluffy bath towels, the thread-count of our sheets, even the leather on our car seats! But yet, when it comes to the food that we put INTO our bodies, that same kind of care and consideration often goes out the window, falling into the category of a mere inconvenience or chore.
Part of it is that we're simply dealing with a mix of primal behaviors and routines. We eat because we're hungry and our bodies need it. We also eat because it's 8AM or noon or 7PM, and that's when we
eat. It's a routine, a part of our lives, and at its root, a simple means of survival. It doesn't help that the hungrier we get, the less we really want to think about it.
Unlike selecting a magazine to read or a dress for a party, it's something that HAS to happen and so we often reduce it to the most basic level of need. We're hungry, so we eat--usually whatever is quickest, easiest, and most readily available.
Unfortunately, what's perceived to be easiest isn't
But I think another part of it is a question of culture. There was a time when cooking, preparing daily meals, and selecting quality ingredients was expected to be part of our daily lives. For a long time, it was even the focus of each day for many women.
But times changed, we got busier, and technology and corporate culture evolved to the point where it no longer felt necessary because we could just as easily hire or pay someone else to feed us--whether by dining out, ordering in, or buying prepackaged meals that can be prepared in seconds.
The problem with these so-called "conveniences" is that very often, their reason for being is not to keep us healthy, strong, and feeling our best. Why? Because it's not their responsibility to do that; it is ours.
And yet for some reason, we don't fight it. If you were to come home from a store and find that the necklace you bought was a fake, or the sweater fell apart at the seams, you probably wouldn't stand for it. You'd take it back. You'd demand a refund. At the very least, you wouldn't shop there again.
But when it comes to food, we don't do that. We accept what we're given. We accept the claims on packages that a certain food is a "healthy choice" or "all natural." We eat mediocre Chinese takeout or microwaved Lean Cuisine meals night after night, knowing that it's not good, but not really doing anything about it. We don't take the time to learn how to cook easy weeknight dishes or prepare a few simple breakfasts. Why is that? Why don't we care as much about the inside of our bodies as we do the outsides?
I think it's possible to change this. I think it's possible to reach a point where we place just as much value on
how we feel
as we do on
how we look
(and where we realize just how connected those two are). I think it's possible to take back that control in a realistic way. There is no need to completely shun all conveniences (Lord knows I don't!), but it is possible to make use of them in a responsible and conscientious way. This will begin with a change of mindset.
To begin with, we need to realize that the inside of our bodies DESERVE and NEED the good stuff just as much as the outside of our bodies.
I'm talking the
When it comes to picking what we eat, we need to be going for the sexy and so-good-for-you thousand thread-count, cashmere,
of food, because THAT is what our bodies are really craving. (And note that I'm not talking about cost here--it's all about quality.) REAL food--fresh local fruits, full-fat yogurt, local farm eggs, raw milk cheeses, nutty whole grains, gorgeous grass-fed beef, etc.--will actually make you feel just as good on the inside as those silky sheets and cashmere coat feel on the outside. It's like wrapping yourself with the goods from the inside out.
What do you think? Are you ever guilty of spending more time deciding what to wear than what to eat? Would you rather spend more money on shoes than on groceries?