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AMA: Food and Humans
The first installment of Ask Me Anything.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I invited readers to ask me anything (leaving the form open for new submissions, so click away!).
Although I was prepared to answer anything, the questions all fell into a few categories: food, people, boundary setting, and struggle.
This is part 1: Food and People. Opinions my own, unless I cite a source.
Q. When you log food, do you seriously account for everything you eat?
A. Umm… yes?
Let’s get real: logging food is a pain in the ass. So it also really depends on why I’m doing it. If I’m sending a log to my nutrition coach, then yes I’m going to put down everything that goes into my mouth.
If I’m logging for myself, I may make a last-minute substitution that I know (thanks to years of obsessing over these things) is more or less a comp.
But snacks, bites, tastes, and handfuls? Yeah, they gotta get logged because they add up!
Q. Do you believe in food addiction, and if so, can a healthy balance between “cheat meals” and healthy eating still exist?
A. Yes, I believe in food addiction. Addictions are when: “[p]eople… use substances or engage in behaviors that become compulsive and often continue despite harmful consequences” (asma.org).
Definitely people can form compulsive relationships with food that impact daily life. The dopamine that releases from food can be real and profound. Ending that dopamine hit is often undesirable–hence binge eating or chronic snacking.
And, yes, I have struggled with compulsive eating before.
But cheat meals or days are part of an unhealthy relationship with food, and I don’t “believe in” them. They suggest that you are being forced to “be good” most of the time by eating things that make you unhappy. That tells me you don’t have a mind/body connection that allows you to choose food that tastes good but also nourishes you.
If food addiction is the culprit, that is a disorder that can absolutely be overcome. But not by willing it away or “cheating” sometimes. To overcome a food addiction requires intervention, help, and strategies.
Please message me to discuss this more, whoever you are!
Q. When you encounter a problem person in your life (aka someone who's just difficult to deal with and giving you a bad time, etc.), do you have any strategies to deal with that problem and try to defuse the tension?
A. Ooo, I had just this situation over the weekend!
In short, I try really, really hard to understand that it’s not about me. Something is going on for them that’s causing this cantankerous attitude. I’m sorry they’re choosing to go through life/their days this way.
But I can and will not take their energy on as my own. Nor will I allow it to interfere with my task or good mood.
Strategies are mostly to ignore their attitude, address their concerns in absolutely crystal language that leaves no room for additional commentary, and move on. Kind of a velvet hammer situation: I’ll be nice, but we’re not entertaining snark here, ‘k thanks. ;)
Q. How do you deal with difficult people or situations?
A. Literally 2 people asked this! I love it!
Like I said above, I interact with them with certainty and plenty of boundaries. “Difficult” people are often either going through something or feel powerless in the current situation (sometimes that situation is life). That’s not your burden to take on. But nor do you have to coddle unhelpful or antagonistic behavior.
If they must be in your sphere, being direct, positive, and affirming is key. Affirm your position, and affirm their humanity. Thank them if it’s appropriate. Tell them they’re doing a good job. They may not realize how much of a Debbie Downer they are!
I don’t want this post to turn into a TL:DR situation, so I’ll save boundary setting and struggles for a bonus post coming soon. For now:
Do you agree with my answers?
Would you add anything?