What a beautiful sound…
…a sound can bring back a flood of memories.
~ * ~
One of the benefits of Eating to live is the ENORMOUS emotional lift one gets from sheer nutrients repairing one’s organs — especially the brain — and having them operating properly. Do not underestimate the power of nutrition to drastically increase one’s mental and emotional state, if not completely heal whatever ails it. This one area of healing branches into so many areas, it’s remarkable — whether it’s just moodiness, or real happiness being realized when the food addictions are no longer there to bury and back-burner your anxieties — It all comes forth, ready or not: You are going to deal with your “stuff.”
I mention this because the memories of and dealing with the passing of a dear loved one prompted the following to occur to me:
For those — for some — struggling with nutritious eating, it can be analogous to — but obviously not the same — the Five Stages of Grief:
Of course, as Kübler-Ross reminded, these are not stages that necessarily apply to everyone or to every situation; it’s sort of a framework. One may or may not experience any of these. No response — or non-response — is “typical”; like our selves, our responses are all different. I see this as applicable to eating healthfully — or not — too.
DENIAL: Living in denial — “I’m not THAT unhealthy.” “I don’t have to be so “extreme”; “This is so ‘strict'”;etc. Or, “This whole thing is damaging because it leads into this whole ‘perfectionism’ thing which is really mentally unhealthful” and other similar justifications (looking for and embracing ideas that confirm what one wants to believe — looking for reasons not to do it — seeking out people with whom to bond and commiserate and cement this faulty thinking. Misery loves company). ISOLATION: Feeling alone on this quest; no support; no one with whom to bond, share food/eating/socializing. Disliking standing out; being critiqued, “different”; etc.
ANGER: Ooh, lotsa this one, right? Angry about this new information that they cannot now forget. Angry at whomever brought them the message; Angry that they now “have to” do this — this awful, bland eating…can’t go out, can’t enjoy “X,” can’t-can’t-can’t, etc. OR anger turned inwards — “why did I do this to myself” (make self so unhealthy, etc.); Guilt (Ugh! that one needs a whole volume!) Just… anger.
BARGAINING: “If I eat well 6 days, then I can binge on the seventh.” Oh, heck, I can have a “treat” every now and then. It’s not going to hurt me…” “I will do this 80% of the time because that 20% won’t hurt” “…it’s better than most people eat..”; etc. “I’ll just do an extra set at the gym…”
DEPRESSION: This one can be split many ways. There’s sadness at the “loss” of your old self; of the “good times” with friends, family; of comfort food; of memories tied to those foods; of socializing… this, then, of course causing and adding stress…And, depression over other life struggles, that one has been stuffing down with food, maximizing because they are being brought to the fore….Blame, blaming…
ACCEPTANCE: well, hopefully this stage. I guess, acceptance of self? of the reality of one’s situation/health? of what needs to be done? This is how I would relate it to Eating healthfully, I reckon — more at “realization,” I guess.
GRIEF — The grieving of the loss of your old friend, who was always there for you. There to spend time with you, keep you occupied instead of leaving you all alone…to think. There to pass the time, when you’d otherwise be…engaged. Say farewell to your old “friend,” food, ie, distraction.
Just some thoughts, by gentle stroke of memory at the humming of a distant railroad…