To eat or not to eat?
Tuesday, March 01, 2011
This week in my Bible study we are taking a hard look at our lineage and the habits, behaviors, and beliefs that are carried down from generation to generation. Particularly those that have wrapped us up in all kinds of bondage, whether knowingly or unknowingly. I had a hard time going through the lesson yesterday, thinking of things that have been passed down. And then tonight, I had a bit of an epiphany. One of the things that has me chained up is my eating habits (which I've written about quite frequently on here). And I began to trace some of the eating habits that I've been taught (either directly or indirectly) by my family.
Here are some of the things that have been passed down to me:
1) You must eat on a schedule, regardless of whether or not you are hungry.
This was a standard in my mom's household when she was growing up. Her mother (my grandmother) is diabetic (Type I) and so, in order to help keep her blood sugar levels, has to eat on a regular basis. The way that she chooses to do this is to keep to the same eating schedule each day.
My mom, for whatever reason, found that this is something that she didn't really want to practice in her life. To her it was too regimented and helped contribute to weight gain. She saw what that thought pattern was doing to my brother and I--we were both developing some pretty unhealthy habits when it came to eating. So, she chose to go to another extreme
2) You must eat only when hungry
Definitely the right idea, but it didn't work out so well in reality. You see, as well-intentioned as it was, I ended up taking this one a bit too far and would wait until the point where my stomach was growling, I was light-headed and incapable of making a wise decision about what to eat. This extreme hunger often led to overeating/bingeing and created other problems.
Meanwhile, my dad led by a different example:
3) Graze, graze, graze.
Dad tended to (and still does) graze quite a bit while we were growing up. He would often reach for snack foods and nibble on them while doing other things. This type of behavior was okay, until taken to the extreme. I would often eat while watching TV, reading, etc... and then, even though I wasn't really hungry, when dinner would roll around, I'd be eating again. I often ate out of boredom, because eating was something that you did to keep yourself busy (or at least the appearance of being busy).
So, what method is "right"?
Truth be told, I don't really know. I think this is one of the more confusing things I've had to deal with so far on this journey. Honestly, I'm not looking for more opinions--there are plenty of those out there. I'm just trying to identify some things that have helped shape some of the behaviors I have had. That way, I can begin working through them.