Have you ever thought about why you overeat or restrict your foods?

 

Why when you’re stressed out, anxious, or even happy you…

go after certain foods like ice cream, chocolate, fries, burgers, pizza, and cookies?

 

Have you ever thought about it? Well, I have and I’m here to share a few thoughts and trigger you to go back in memory lane so you find out where your habits and behaviors are coming from.

Why is this important? It is important because I am on a mission to help people get to the root cause of their inability to lose weight and feel confident about their health. Once we know the origin of ‘things’ and the why we feel more empowered can put a plan to change once and for all.

I am on a mission to empower you to optimize your weight and health so you feel vibrant, lead a fulfilling life, and feel happy in your own skin.

I suffered from an eating disorder, chronic digestive and intestinal issues, had prediabetes, and more. I’m here to tell you that it’s possible to change–requires commitment and work. And you know what, it’s worthy. You are worthy. You have too much to offer to live suboptimally.

I have transformed my lifestyle and health and every career 180º. Today, I help men and women to transform their lives as well.

By the way, I did a little video about this topic. Here below to listen to it or keep reading.

I see too many people not happy with themselves, with their lives, with the way they look and feel. They lack energy, confidence, and self-esteem. They are not feeling good in their own clothes.

When we feel out of control, we seek comfort and like it or not, most of us find comfort in foods and beverages ice cream, chocolate, pizza, and alcoholic beverages that suppress emotions.

The starting point to change is when we start asking ourselves “Why am I doing [eating and drinking] this or that?” Next, take action towards betterment.

Take Action

Here’s a great exercise I encourage you to do toward a healthier you.

  1. Grab a notepad and pen (vs making notes on your phone or computer)
  1. List your habits and behaviors related to foods, beverages, and activities that you know that are impacting your weight, energy, and health. They are impacting your ability to fully enjoy yourself by doing things that are important to you and your family.
  1. If defying aging and having plenty of energy during retirement and as you age, list activities you want to start or keep doing alone or with family.
  1. List your life stressors, triggers associated to each, and ways you often react to them.

Studies reveal that habits we practice the most during our adulthood were ‘implanted’, unknowingly, by our parents. And today, I am specifically talking about foods that were used to reward and punish us.

So now go back to the exercise. Take a step further and write down where your reactions are coming from.

Here are a couple of examples:

> When you get a cold or sick, you have a hot chocolate. Where is this hot chocolate coming from?

> When you reward yourself after an important accomplishment, you eat out, or have ice cream/dessert.

Where are your habits and behaviors coming from? Write them all down.

Here is a personal story and habit that impacted my digestion greatly.

I didn’t chew food much for most of my life–kinda swallowed food like a duck as my mom used to say. And I still have to pay attention to simply not swallow food. Growing up, food was scarce at times. When my mom or sister cooked something I loved, I ate fast and swallowed with little chewing needed. Having a scarcity mindset can do that to us and much more. Do you think I had a clue? None. I had never taken time to reflect my why’s until my late 30s.

A lot of parents use food as a tool to reward or punish kids. As a punishment, it could be as simple as You’re not going to get that ice cream or that cookie until you clean up a room or unless you finish your plate. You’re not going to get that caramel popcorn right or soda until you all the broccoli on your plate.

Or maybe you grew up in a household that your parents were always talking about their weight, expressing self-criticism or toward others. Or many dining table conversations often included foods you can or not eat because of x, w, z.

One punishment my mom used with me was eating certain foods so I could play or an activity I loved. I will never forget this one time. My guess is I was around 9-10 years old. I loved fishing and mom and I went fishing often.

That sunny summer day, I rushed back home from school and when I got home, my sister who is 9 years older than me, said, “mom said you can after you eat this piece of liver. She is waiting for you at….”. I hated liver and still do–trust me, as a health coach focused on eating nutrient-dense foods, I’ve tried. I cut that liver tiny and swallowed every piece with a spoon full of rice. One of the house rules was “no food is left on the plate”. Once I finished all, I took off to meet mom. I remember that so clearly.

Studies aside, put your common sense hat on and be honest with yourself…

Is there a probability that our eating habits are associated with food techniques used to reward and punish children?

These learning lessons happen daily and within every family. Children soak all in from words, emotions, and feelings, and build their own responses and associations.

It wasn’t until I gained knowledge, dove deep into my habits and behaviors, and went through my own healing process, like most people, I have always found cute and funny to see pictures and videos of young children with ice cream and cakes or spaghetti or whatever foods that are addictive in nature.

I see these activities from a different angle now. I reflect on myself and hope that child isn’t heading to food addictions, eating disorders, or metabolic diseases early in life. I hope that what I see is not happening multiple times a week.

Who is to blame?

Nobody. Not our parents, grandparents, neighbors, food manufacturers, etc. And especially when it comes to parents, I believe from the bottom of my heart that every parent does his/her best to give their children the best experience in life.

Many people are just unaware of the complex relationships I am talking about here. They are aware of added sugars and simple carbs impact a child’s growth, bone health, brain development, digestion, sleep, and cognitive health.

When we don’t know, we don’t know. This was me from the age I could think for myself to my late 30s.

Awareness and Education

One of my key jobs as a coach is to raise awareness and educate.

If you feel like you cannot control your eating and drinking habits, are experiencing difficulties changing your habits, and getting to the root cause of your imbalances, there is a way out. You do not have to do this alone.

Maybe one of the reasons that you haven’t succeeded in reaching your ideal weight and sticking to exercise, feeling fabulous is because you haven’t had a personal coach. Schedule a complimentary strategy session HERE.

In the meantime, I encourage you to do the exercise I mentioned. Allow yourself to dive deep. Go to a quiet place, give yourself time–especially early mornings when your mind is clear. Trust me, you will find answers. Then, together, we can transform these answers into tools to help you achieve your health and fitness goals.

Enjoy the process!

A few studies related to the topic:

1. If you are good you can have a cookie: How memories of childhood food rules link to adult eating behaviors

2. Rewarding children with food could lead to emotional eating

3. Parents’ use of emotional feeding increases emotional eating in school-age children

 

Cheers to a healthy you,

 

 

 

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