In effort to rediscover and reset my relationship with food, I have been practicing changing my eating habits. For years, the method of eating has been to shove as much as I can in my mouth, in record time. I believe someone recently called this ‘power eating’. I should earn a crown for being the queen of this realm. I think this comes from growing up in a household of three brothers and then having four kids. If you want food, and want it hot, you eat it quickly!
The effort of change is a tough one, but it must be done. If I want to create sustainable change, I have to do something different.
<sigh> I love food. At the top of that list is French fries.
Ya feel?! They are part of that food group that I feel are bad for me, but I always want, and I usually feel guilty after I eat them.
Next comes the task of checking out why I feel guilty about eating French fries and either justifying that guilt, or moving on. I took this head-on yesterday. Let me clarify: fries, hash browns, tater tots, etc. They are all in this same category. But for this purpose, I had hash browns at breakfast and a couple of my daughter’s fries at the ball park. Fries that I cooked her in a vat full of hot grease and make them extra crispy – because she loves them as crispy as I do.
French fries are simply potatoes that are cut and put in grease. Seems simple enough, right? The grease is where they get you.
Have you ever smelled a fry?
Sure enough, they smell (sooooo) good right out of the fryer – but if you take a minute and really smell them, other scents start to emerge.
For me, the biggest scent I noticed was the smell of the grease.
It smelled, well…OLD.
I have no idea how long it has been since the grease those fries were cooked in was. It could have been fresh poured that day, but my guess is it has been a hot minute since it was changed. That smell got me thinking, what else was cooked in that grease? Corn dogs, chicken fingers – who knows what else. How does that previous food effect the food I am now eating?
I started running away with my thoughts, and suddenly, those fries did not appeal to me anymore. Whoa! What a huge revelation for me.
I took it a step further. We went out for dinner last night, and ended up at a local Mexican restaurant with some friends of ours. Those pesky chips (fried in grease), salsa and yummy cheese dip? Yep, hands off. That same (old) grease smell permeated my nose and I was instantly not interested.
For the first time in my life, I am noticing things I have never noticed about food before. By simply slowing down and putting conscious effort into my food choices, the decisions are being made easily. I do not feel that I am missing out, because these items are not appealing to me anymore.
By the way, Mexican restaurant dinner – grilled tilapia, outfitted with a huge plate of grilled vegetables and sliced avocado. I couldn’t finish my plate. I enjoyed my dinner, and more importantly, the company. We had great fellowship, surrounded by trigger foods, and I left feeling like I conquered a mountain. It feels great!
What food would you give up, if you practiced this same exercise?