The Food Haze: When time and reason halts, and an individual is transfixed by one or more edible item(s), which he/she needs so badly he/she is willing to temporarily void all goals, rules and sense of well-being to attain.
Two Fears that will Drive you into the Food Haze:
1. Fear of Depravation
I’m afraid I’m going to get cheated, that if I listen to my stomach and stop eating, I’ll miss out on those perfect, crunchy sweet-potato fries. And they look too delicious to pass up. I’ll regret it if I don’t have some—or more. If I don’t snack or stuff, I’m afraid I’ll be losing something good, something that I need.
2. Fear of Loss of Control
I’m afraid the food is going to control me, that I won’t be able to stop. So to protect myself, I need to eliminate the threat—eat it all and get rid of it. Those fries can’t control me if there’s none left on the plate. Besides, I know if I don’t eat them now, I’ll just come slinking back for more later. And I can’t let them have that kind of power over me.
One Truth that will Help you Escape the Food Haze:
Love is stronger than fear, and it is absolutely essential. The reason the Food Haze is so destructive is because it puts the emphasis on the food. The food is the end-all-be-all, and it is what needs to be attained and procured at all costs. Both fears are focused exclusively on the food and ignore what is most important—you. Both fears are also lies:
1. Real depravation is when you rob yourself of the ability to feel content, confident, and happy by willingly choosing to abuse your body by overstuffing your stomach and sending your mind spiralling into negative cycles of regret, self-hate, and shame.
2. Real loss of control is when you put food above other people and above yourself. Eating all the fries to eliminate the threat is like negotiating with terrorists. Don’t fall for it. Walk away.
Example: Two people have just eaten a full meal and are comfortably satisfied. They’re at what I like to call the “First Gate”, when they could eat more, but they’ve had enough and haven’t hit that “full” feeling yet. They are then offered some delectable treat, in this case a plate of warm, gooey, chocolate chip cookies.
Person #1 who is lost in The Food Haze will focus on the food first without acknowledging their body’s needs or feelings. They will think: I know I’m not supposed to eat when I’m full, but I need those cookies NOW. Quick, grab one—or three—before I notice what I’m doing and try to stop myself. I’ll just do it really fast, and then it won’t even be like cheating. But even if it is, it’s worth it. I’d be depriving myself if I didn’t eat something so amazing. Besides I really REALLY want it.
Person #2 is practicing loving themselves, and though they see the food, they will put themselves first. They will think: Every cell in my body is screaming at me to grab a cookie, but I want to love myself enough to respect my body and not abuse it by stuffing. Besides, I know those cookies won’t make me happy, no matter how many I eat. This burning want won’t go away, it’ll only get worse, and it’ll bring frustration, shame, and that awful and bloated “full” feeling. And I don’t want that. So even though it’s killing me, I’m not going to eat those cookies. Instead of choosing the food, I’m choosing me.
The Test of Time:
What’s one of the best way to discern real love? The test of time. The more times you are successfully able to love yourself, to say “no” to the food and “yes” to you, the easier and more fulfilling it will be. Instead of bashing your head against The First Gate, longing to push straight through to that familiar “full” feeling, you will embrace these new boundaries that allow you to love and respect your body. And once your body gets used to being loved and respected, it will respond. Instead of craving those extra cookies and fries, you’ll begin to treasure that light, confident feeling and lasting sense of accomplishment.
No one else can do it for you. You’re the only one who can get yourself out of The Food Haze, and it’s a painful, time-consuming process, with many setbacks and frustrations along the way. But it’s worth it. Learning to love yourself enough to treat yourself right is invaluable, and unlike those four extra cookies, it’s something you’ll never regret.