Food – Friend or Foe?

The topic of a person’s relationship with food is one that truly intrigues me. Why do some people have such a hard time with food? Why do some people use it for comfort? Why do some people use it for a sense of control? Why do some people eat far too much and some people eat far too little? Why do some people feel guilt for eating the wrong foods, while others bask joyfully in the deliciousness of it all? Why do we punish ourselves when we eat too much or too little? Why do we use food as a reward for when we succeed? This subject is something that I am truly inspired by, and my thoughts are often provoked by it all.

Today, one in three North Americans are obese. By the year 2020, that number is expected to rise to 45%. Today, one in three people are also overweight, which leaves only one in three at a “healthy” weight. The reasons for this epidemic are as individual as the people who face it – for every person there is an individualized unique set of circumstances, issues, non-issues and battles. Each person must be treated for his or her overweight or obesity individually. Unfortunately there is no magic potion. No magic pill. No magic answer.

It is definitely not due to a lack of trying. Last year, Jenny Craig sales were just short of $500 million. NutriSystem raked in over half a billion dollars in sales and Weight Watchers sold over $1.2 Billion in products and services. The money spent on weight loss products and services grows each and every year. And North Americans continue to get more overweight each and every year. So if we are spending more, trying more, adhering more, why are we not winning the battle against obesity?

Temporary fixes to obesity are what those companies hang their hats on. In fact, 98% of those who lose weight gain it back. But why? What is going on with our relationship with food (and exercise) that as a society we are not keeping the weight off? Losing it for the wrong reason. Losing it the wrong way. Not dealing with the emotional side of it all. Just as people gain it in an individualized manner, they lose it and gain it and lose it and gain it just the same.

Overall, North Americans spend over $70 Billion per year on weight loss programs and products. SEVENTY BILLION DOLLARS on something every single year that is not working! If we spent $70 Billion dollars on feeding the world we could eliminate world hunger! But we keep trying to drop weight, keep it off and struggle again and again and again. So what gives?

I believe that a massive shift in perspective about our bodies and our minds needs to happen. Once you start loving yourself and your body so much there is no way you would want to see any harm done unto it, the way you treat yourself will change. The foods that you consume will change. The amount you eat – be it too much or too little – will change. The day we all start to support the ideology that food is for health and wellness not for punishment or for reward is the day that we begin to change.

I would like to use this blog as a place for people to come and learn about health, nutrition, fitness and wellness, as our mission at Fit Communications is to spread the world of health every day. But we also want to use this blog as a forum for opinions, thoughts and issues that face YOU. So please, share with us in your comments about your take on this. When you think of the term ‘relationship with food’ what comes to YOUR mind?