Does food control your life?

. 2 min read

I took part in an interesting conversation yesterday. It was about how some people's lives are controlled by food. You see, there are people who think about food and their diets constantly - it's the ever present undercurrent that dominates their thoughts - and even if they do think about something else for a moment, say work, the moment they have a break or their minds start to wonder, their thoughts are automatically directed towards eating.

Do you recognize yourself in this description?

There are two kinds of people in the world: those whose lives aren't controlled by food, and those whose lives are. The first group consists of people who don't diet, ever. They eat whatever they want to eat, stop when they're full, and aren't afraid to throw leftovers in the trash or store them in the fridge. They don't have the compulsive need to eat their plates clean or to think about that leftover food in the fridge or that chocolate bar in the drawer. The second group cannot leave food on the plate - or, if they do manage to do it, they'll think about the leftovers constantly and the second they don't feel full anymore, they go to the fridge and eat the leftovers. And if they take one piece of that chocolate bar, they need to eat all of the bar - and they'll search for every other sugary piece of food in the house and consume it.

You see, at the very core, food and eating is about psychology. You're either a compulsive eater, or you aren't. And everything else in your life follows suit. You either have your shit together, or you don't. You can either control yourself, your life, and your emotions, or you can't.

They say there's no such a thing as an ex-addict. So I can't say I used to be a compulsive eater. I am a compulsive eater. When I was vegan, I couldn't control my eating. When I was an omnivore, I couldn't control my eating. When I did keto, I would overeat. Only when I became a carnivore was I finally able to take control of my compulsive habit; I no longer have to finish my plate; I can place leftovers in the fridge without having to think about them constantly.

But here's my problem: I love vegetables. Broccoli is among my favourite foods. But I can't keep it under control. If I eat even a little bit of broccoli, it turns a switch in my brain that tells me to eat tons of broccoli and whatever else there may be on the plate. Same with other vegetables, and also cheese and nuts. Even a little bit of those makes me overeat everything else as well.

So for psychological reasons, I can't have vegetables. Not at the moment at least. I don't want to ever go back to those compulsive patterns, but a very strong part of me doesn't want to give up vegetables forever, either.

If you can relate to this situation, I suggest you take it easy. Treat your body well - you're responsible for it. Don't treat it badly. And if you really want to get vegetables back on the plate, develop a system that prevents you from losing control. Personally, I shall try eating broccoli only in the evening and immediately after drink a large mug of hot water with lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. Hopefully that will kill my craving for more broccoli.

And perhaps, in time, you'll (I'll) be able to control myself and my compulsive thoughts and eat food without obsessing over it.