Since going (mostly) vegan a few weeks ago, I’ve had a lot of food that I neither love nor hate – here’s why that’s a good thing.
In many ways, I’m the antithesis of a food blogger. I photographed two of my creations because they both took way more effort than I usually put into food prep. I’m rather unskilled (as both a cook and, as you can see, photographer) and am working with minimal tools. At first, I felt bad about being not having the skill or inclination to create gorgeous food. But I’ve come to realize that you can’t really be madly in love with food – or have a love-hate relationship with it. Instead, you have to have an attitude best described as, “Meh…”
I shouldn’t even be worrying about my diet (Lord knows I certainly didn’t while I was finishing my PhD). There are so many other things I could be doing. But I’ve come to realize that if I’m not properly nourished, I’m not going to be able to do much of anything. After cutting out animal products, I felt a lot better (barring a 24 hour withdrawal period). I’ve felt less bloated, had more energy for yoga, and am now 2 lbs lighter than I was when I finished my low-carb diet (some of the weight had crept back on, so I estimate that I’ve lost 5-10 lbs over the last 2 weeks).
The challenge is maintaining these good dietary habits. What it comes down to is that we’re hard-wired by our society to be emotionally dependent on “comfort” food and reliant on “diet” food to quickly lose weight. Many people develop love-hate relationships with food – often accompanied by eating disorders. Add in our family traditions and cultural associations with certain types of food, not to mention the social pressures to eat and drink certain ways, and you’ve got a lot working against you.
I think the only way to get past this is to re-frame your relationship with food. I once heard it described as thinking about it as “fuel, not therapy.” You have to pour your love and passion and joy into other outlets. You also have to appreciate the benefits of feeling well-nourished and full – even if the foods that do it aren’t rocking your world the way a box of Oreos or plate of Mac-n-cheese would…
Do you have a love-hate or “meh…” relationship with food? Would becoming more indifferent to food help you maintain better diet habits?