I was out running errands a few days ago and noticed a sign for a "nutritionist". I don't know who it was or what they are about, but it got me thinking...
Does anyone else find it so interesting that we pay someone to tell us how to eat? Obviously I am one of those, so you may find this post surprising. Eating is one of our basic functions and we have lost the ability to accomplish it in a health promoting way. I believe this is due to the following reasons:
1. We live in an artificial environment which leads to artificial pleasure and satisfaction. There are many examples of this, but food is the most common. We also want instant gratification and to have it all right now. We don't want to face consequences of our choices, or don't want to have to put thought, intention and mindfulness into the choices we make.
2. We don't trust ourselves with food. Everywhere we go we are told we can't trust ourselves. That our bodies are against us, that we have addictions, that food shouldn't be pleasurable, that we need a diet or a strict set of rules to outsmart ourselves. I disagree completely. Instead of trying to find what's wrong with you, what if you actually aren't broken and don't need fixing? How would your approach change?
3. On that note, most people have no idea how their body works and functions. We don't listen to it or recognize the association between what we eat and how we feel. We also don't really like to slow down enough to listen to it. We want health, but we don't really want to put in the effort, especially if it means we have to actually think about how we FEEL (which would eliminate the need for emotional eating...)
4. If someone wants to create a healthy environment, it takes effort and planning, which is less likely to happen in a society fueled on convenience. On that same note, we feel the need to be perfect rather than consistent, and fail to recognize the need to feed our soul, which means embracing balance, imperfection and not taking ourselves (or food) too seriously. Live a little!
5. Lots of nutrition misinformation and everyone seems to be an expert. We look beyond the mark and make it harder than it needs to be. It's actually very straight forward, but for some reason making it complex makes us feel better? It's so interesting that keeping it simple and balanced is more of a challenge than making it complex and extreme. We think about food way too much, which really should only be one part of our lives where we derive pleasure and satisfaction. Creating a life that is rewarding, sweet and satisfying might just be our answer!
I could write much more, especially on each bullet point above, but you get my point. What do you think? Would you agree?
Emily Fonnesbeck RD, CD, CLT