Food is Not Your Friend!

Food is not your friend. Stop saying it is. Stop saying that you eat to be comforted by a dependable friend. Food is not, I repeat, not your friend.

Food is fuel for your physical body.
Food can taste delicious.
Food can satisfy physical hunger.
Food is a reason to get together with friends, but food is not one of the friends.

Here is a definition of friend:

Friendship is a term used to denote co-operative and supportive behavior between two or more humans. In this sense, the term connotes a relationship which involves mutual knowledge, esteem, and affection. Friends will welcome each other's company and exhibit loyalty towards each other, often to the point of altruism. Their tastes will usually be similar and may converge, and they will share enjoyable activities. They will also engage in mutually helping behavior, such as exchange of advice and the sharing of hardship. A friend is someone who may often demonstrate reciprocating and reflective behaviors. Yet for many, friendship is nothing more than the trust that someone or something will not harm them. Value that is found in friendships is often the result of a friend demonstrating on a consistent basis:

• the tendency to desire what is best for the other,
• sympathy and empathy,
• honesty, perhaps in situations where it may be difficult for others to speak the truth, especially in terms of pointing out the perceived faults of one's counterpart
• mutual understanding.

So let’s play this out to make the point. How much does food know you? How much affection does it have for you? How much does it welcome your company? Does it have the same tastes as you do? Does food engage in mutually helping behavior? Does it give you advice? Can you trust food not to harm you? Do you have food’s best interests at heart? Do you empathize with your food and does it do the same for you? Are you honest with food? Do you tell your food the truth? Does it tell you the truth? Does it understand you?

Oh, and here is my favorite question: Does food really comfort you? Seriously…..

Food just is. It doesn’t love you. It doesn’t hate you. It doesn’t care if you eat it or don’t eat it. It doesn’t care if you are sad. It doesn’t care if you are happy. Food doesn’t give one damn about you. Food doesn’t taste good on purpose so you will be happy. Food doesn’t try to be dependable so you can rely on it. Food doesn’t care if you like it and FOOD DOES NOT WANT TO BE YOUR FRIEND.

So some of you might say that you feel better after you eat something that tastes good. But is that really true? Think about it. How do you really feel afterward? Ok, so you might say that you feel better when you are actually eating it. I will give you that even though I am not convinced that it is true either. But while you are eating food, the reason you feel better for a very miniscule amount of time is because you are focused on the food tasting good and not your thoughts. Your negative thoughts are what make you feel negative emotion. And maybe for that one-minute you are eating a cookie, you are distracted from your thinking, and focused on the taste of the food. You just gave yourself a state change by changing your focus. You didn’t make a new friend.

If you need a friend, be your own. Read the definition above and see what kind of friend you are being to yourself. See how much you are paying attention to treating yourself well. Maybe you think food is a good friend because you are a terrible friend to yourself. Maybe if you put a little effort into being kind and warm and trusting and understanding and honest to yourself, you could beat out the Doritos and the Weight Watcher crackers in the “good friend” category.

Food is not your friend.
You are.

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