Making changes to our eating habits can be a real freaking challenge.
Especially when facing the opportunity to eat or drink something that isn’t in alignment with the changes we’ve made.
We know that eating it might delay or detour our progress.
But we also want to eat it.
Sometimes, there’s no decision, only compulsion.
We’re stressed, tired, or upset, and we just can’t “not” eat the thing.
Other times, there’s seemingly endless internal deliberation.
We go back and forth and back and forth.
Thinking about how good it might taste.
How we might look to everybody else.
How it might mean a detour from our normal progress.
I recently saw a flow chart for navigating such situations.
It offered a variety of questions.
“Do you really want the thing…?”
“Do you have a health condition…?”
“Can you find a healthier alternative…?”
The final question was, “Will eating the thing make you happy?”
The intent behind this question is worthy.
To not let food prevent one from enjoying one’s life.
However, the idea that eating something will “make you happy” might miss the mark.
Flavorful food can offer pleasure.
Cooking can serve as a form of expression and exploration.
Enjoying a meal can present an opportunity to meet, connect, and share with others.
Food can play a role in any of the moments that make life worth living.
It’s not the food, however, that’s so valuable.
It’s the people.
These are what matter most.
Nothing you eat will make you happy.
This isn’t to suggest we divorce food from all emotion.
Only that we explore what role food plays in those emotions.
Is a dinner no longer celebratory if the menu changes?
Is a conversation not pleasant without a beer?
Is a film not a good film without popcorn?
Likewise, does any food carry such power without context?
Keep what you’re actually enjoying in mind.
You are worthy of the best life.
With or without any food.
You’ve got this.