Food and Your Body: 10 Challenges Women Face
Can I just start this post by saying that I always thought I was a boy when it came to food. I don’t think that ‘chocolate makes everything better’, I don’t diet or restrict carb’s and I certainly do not eat portioned controlled meals every few hours. But then this afternoon something really crappy happened which made me do something that shocked me once I’d realised what I’d done.
I went to the shops and treated myself with a new box set and a bag of grain waves…(family size) all in the vain hope to ‘make myself feel better’….
WTF!!!! Am I turning into a woman? Is that emotional eating! Ahhhhhhh better start taking my own advice then… 😦
The 10 Challenges WE Women Face with Food and our Bodies
1. Emotional Eating – The practice of consuming large quantities of food (usually ‘comfort’ or junk foods) in response to how we feel instead of hunger. Experts estimate that 75% of overeating is caused by emotions and we are ALL culprits; we have a bad day and comfort ourselves with a tub of fried chicken for dinner.
Combat This! Learn what your emotional eating ‘triggers’ are and develop alternatives to eating. Stressed out? Have a professional massage or go for a jog. Depressed? Try playing with your pet or see a film with your best friend. Whatever you enjoy, try to replace binging with these activities, as by doing this you will end up as a much happier and healthier version of yourself.
2. ‘I Want to Look Like Her’ – We have all been there; desperately idolising a famous person or model in a campaign, winging that we don’t have cellulite free child-like thighs. The media has warped public’s perceptions on what’s ‘normal’, ‘healthy’ and ‘fat’. A size 6, 23-year-old girl with a height of well over 6ft is not normal, there is no such thing. She is no more ‘normal’ than the size 12 girl up the road whose curves are on par with the Kardashians.
Combat This! Accept yourself. It’s hard but if you can achieve this, you will live a much happier life. Look in the mirror and concentrate on your good points whether it is your eyes, toned arms or amazing new haircut. And always ALWAYS keep things in perspective and realise that a pimple or few extra kilos are nothing in the scheme of life. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
3. That Time of the Month – Every woman knows that at different points during their monthly cycles they are more susceptible to cravings whether it be in the form of chocolate, lollies, alcohol or more savoury snacks.
Combat this! Leave healthier options around the house/office/car. If you crave savoury snacks try mixing nuts, soy crisps and rice crackers together with paprika, chilli and garlic flakes. Yum!
4. Eating is Social – When girls get together they eat. And drink. Its just common knowledge – that’s what we do. We make fondue, order endless cocktails and ‘share’ a large side serve of fries. Not good for our waistlines.
Combat This! Invite the girls over to your place. Make a healthy meal for them and preserve your diet whilst simultaneously showing off your amazing culinary skills. Make a pitcher of a healthier cocktail mix predominantly made up of white spirits, soda water, and cut up fruits. Prepare a huge, delicious salad STUFFED with goodness and team it with seasoned fish or chicken.
5. We View Food as Treats – At the end of a long day, we sit down and enjoy a glass of white before dinner; after we’ve eaten and walked the dog we then think we will treat ourselves with a magnum. It continues. We are inclined to do this after getting ‘treated’ as children with lollies, chip bags and birthday cakes. Its practically part of our genetic makeup!
Combat This! Treat yourself with other things. Try a bubble bath, a new glossy magazine or a pedicure.
6. Snacking and Boredom – We all are culprits in doing this. Sitting at our desk mindlessly munching until we realise we’ve munched our way through an entire box of cheesy rice crackers. Not good. And no matter what you say it is because you are slightly bored. Think about when you have a deadline…. let me guess you forget to eat at meal times let alone snacking for no reason!
Combat This! Create small projects to always keep yourself busy and eat healthier snacks. Try nuts, grapes, berries, seeds, and air-popped popcorn.
7. We Binge – We all know the drill. “Oh ill just have a few pieces of that Cadbury Coconut Rough block sitting in the fridge starting at me….” Half an hour later we’re lying on the floor with nothing but a bit of cardboard and foil lying in disarray around our bloated body.
Combat This! Generally binging occurs if we have been depriving ourselves of what we are craving. Say you start Atkins on a Monday and spend the week suffering headaches and constipation from a lack of carbohydrates… come Friday night you’ll be ordering triple serves of gnocchi quicker than you can say gnocchi. Cutting anything out of your diet is extreme and it will always result in an overconsumption of that particular food/food group. EVERYTHING IN MODERATION.
8. Diets – They don’t work. Any initial weight you lose is put straight back on when you stop dieting. Also many diets make you grumpy and tired, and can give you flatulence and bad skin.
Combat This! Instead of following a strict diet, make healthier lifestyle choices and tweak things here and there. Do you drink most nights? Try to cut it back to a few cheeky glasses on the weekend and aim for red wine or white spirits with low-cal mixers.
9. Focusing on the Negative – As women we are predisposed to focus on our negative points whether it be cellulite, a chubby tummy or ‘tuck-shop-lady’ arms.
Combat This! Focus on the cause and solution rather than the effect. Constantly focusing on the negative symptoms of the problems won’t help you solve them. Focus on what you’re going to do about your current circumstances rather than the circumstances themselves. Also try focusing on the things that matter. Like taking care of yourself, improving your emotional well-being, eating well and exercising.
10. Women: The Queens of Over-Analysing? Yes. We are indeed. And it carries over to our food, our food choices and how often we think about food. Which is generally a lot. By over-analysing everything in terms of food and our bodies we are putting stress on our bodies making ourselves more resilient to weight change.
Combat This! Take responsibility for your life, stop thinking about food so much and LIVE!
Whats your biggest food/body challenge?
P.S Clearly I wrote this last week when I was a smug ‘boy eater’