What overindulging with food can tell us

Indulging in food can be a treat and reward for many of us. Going to a restaurant for dinner can mean a night off from cooking. A weekend at home could mean breaking diet rules and having dessert or junk food. We can end up overindulging.

Treating or rewarding ourselves with food has become common for many people. I remember growing up in the 1980s in a rural community and spending time with my elderly aunt and uncle. They, like many others of their age, had been through difficult periods in the early part of the decade. Splurging on a meal out was something they did once a year. One year I received an invite to their annual dining out dinner. We went to an Asian restaurant and ordered a lot of dishes to taste. There were many trays on the table – more than we could all eat. It was an overindulgence experience – much like Christmas Day or Thanksgiving – and then it was over for another year.

Lately I was feeling, as an opportunity to spend time with my spouse, that we would revive dining out on Friday nights together, much like we did when younger. It was an opportunity to spend time together and take a night off from cooking. After we ate the heavy and sweet food, we both commented how we didn’t feel good. The meal didn’t sit well with us. We had felt good prior to the meal and then bloated and dull after eating. We felt like this for the remainder of the evening.

What I have come to realize with diet and weight loss is that we often look for food and things on the outside to bring us fulfillment. That could be overindulging in food at home or dining out. When I overindulge, I realize this is not it, it is not the quality I am craving inside. I have come to realize that no matter how enticing the food may be, it is not a substitute for the quality of energy that I have come to appreciate in my life. In fact, the best meal I had lately was one I made lovingly myself. My spouse and I packed a picnic lunch and had a picnic in the park. The quality of energy was beautiful as we sat and talked and enjoyed the natural surroundings. We didn’t feel our energy had dropped after eating our lunch.

I have also come to realize that what I really crave is not food, but this loving connection with myself and others.

This quality doesn’t come from anything outside of me. It comes from nurturing this quality from inside. It comes from living in a way to support myself, which includes how I eat and care for me.

In my life with my diet and weight loss journey, I have often looked for food as a way to bring me fulfilment. What I now understand is that when I focus on connection and nurturing this quality of energy, it supports bringing out the best in me.

Eating nourishing foods rather than overindulging in food helps me maintain this quality of connectedness.

Overindulging in food may taste good for a moment but isn’t worth the drop in quality of energy I feel when I become bloated and dull for hours later.

When I reflect on my life, it is not the lavish meals I remember most, it is the quality of energy that I have felt with another. This quality comes from within and not from outside. The next time I am enticed by the treats, I will think twice before taking the bait. I have come to appreciate the quality of energy I have within and now know this cannot be replaced or substituted with food.

Filed under

ConnectionNurturingOver eating

  • By Anonymous

  • Photography: Clayton Lloyd