I had a groundbreaking realisation about our perception of food recently. The way we view food ultimately shapes our eating habits. During one of my corporate wellness training sessions, a woman shared her deep emotional connection with food. She admitted that she associated food with happiness, which led her to eat every time she encountered a plate of food, even late at night. Recognising the potential psychological factors behind this unhealthy relationship with food, I asked her some probing questions, drawing upon my knowledge of psychology.
In Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), one crucial technique is “mental reframing.” This process involves replacing negative thoughts that can exacerbate issues like anxiety, depression, and pain with more constructive thoughts. I realised that this woman had taken her connection between happiness and food to an extreme, relinquishing control over her eating habits. To help her, I introduced a quick lesson on how to reframe her perspective.
Instead of seeing food as the sole source of happiness, which had led to overeating, I encouraged her to reframe her thoughts and perceive food as fuel. By making this mental shift, she could reduce the impulse to eat every time she encountered food and strengthen her willpower to eat only when necessary. I likened it to filling a car’s gas tank—when it’s full, you don’t force more fuel in; you use the car and refuel when needed.
Today, I invite you to view food for what it truly is: fuel for your body’s energy and vitality. Additionally, every time you fuel your body, you should commit to using some of that energy through exercise to power up your day. In an increasingly sedentary world, where we spend hours sitting at desks or watching TV, it’s essential to counteract this trend.
Think of it this way: Every time you eat, make it a pact to move intentionally. Remember, food is fuel, and it’s up to you to utilise that fuel effectively.