A while ago I went to a luncheon for a local charity and the guest speaker was Marilu Henner.
Do you remember her?
She used to be on Broadway and in the television series, Taxi.
More recently she has written several books on health and habit change and even improving your memory.
During her funny and engaging keynote speech, she talked about how to improve the way you look, the way you feel and the way you think about life.
And one thing she said really made my little ears perk right up.
She said, ‘Learn to love the foods that love you’.
Wow. In my world of emotional eating and weight loss, this is a big concept.
So many of my clients choose foods for any number of reasons.
- The taste.
- Memories of their childhood favorites.
- Their mood when eating.
- Their weight.
- Seeing this food as a reward for good behavior.
- And as a way to not feel something.
And when they don’t give themselves a particular food, the general consensus is “I’m so deprived!”
How different this is from what I hear in Marilu’s comment.
What I hear is: stop loving foods that don’t love you back.
When does a food NOT love you back?
- When it’s a food with no brakes… you can’t stop until it’s gone.
- When it’s a food that takes away all of your energy.
- When it’s a food that makes you lose focus of your dreams.
And what I hear Marilu saying is that part of the definition of a grownup is someone who gives herself what she really needs. Not what her inner toddler wants in the moment.
Because our goal in choosing which foods to eat is not so much to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and be a strict prison guard with ourselves. Our goal is to desire to do what’s in our best interests.
So that might mean forgoing that ice cream that gives you tummy trouble. Or skipping the huge plate of pasta that acts like an instant tranquilizer. And especially finally conquering your emotional eating… and tossing the old foods that used to serve as a substitute for a good friend.
The object isn’t to give these foods up because they are bad for you. Who am I to say what foods aren’t great for you?
But the object is to love yourself so much that you don’t want those foods any more. You’ve set your relationship standards higher. You want to be with people who love and value you. So shouldn’t you also want to eat foods that love you back?