Which one are you? Do you live to eat, or do you eat to live?
I remember the first time I thought about this concept. My mom was talking about my grandma. She said that grandma had never had a weight problem because she “viewed food as fuel for her body.” That was a concept I had never even considered before. At about 12 years old, I had never considered food as a source of energy. I just ate what I wanted when I wanted it. I ate what sounded good. And, to be honest, it worked for me pretty well. It was when I got to high school and started wanting Chipotle burritos as after-school snacks that my philosophy began to fail me. I put this information about my grandma on the back burner, though, and didn’t think about it again for many years.
It was the summer after my freshman year of college that Mom and I decided to start Weight Watchers together. That summer marks the first time that I every considered a calorie. It was that summer that I realized what I put into my body has an effect on my health. (Hey, we all have to realize it sometime.) I remember being astounded at the fact that my beloved Chipotle burrito would cost me 16 WW points, when I was only allowed 21 in a day. “I’m not going to go the rest of my life without eating a quarter pounder with cheese,” I told my mom.
Since then, it’s been a gradual process. That summer, I did eat a few Chipotle burritos and a few quarter pounders. I took the Points hit, and realized that in moderation, I could treat myself. But eventually, 16 points seemed like a lot for one meal, so I began eating burrito bowls… then I stopped craving those as much… I soon realized that a homemade cheeseburger was way yummier, as well… and then I could control what went into it and onto it.
I will never be a person who eats to live. I will never regard food purely as fuel. I love to eat. Some of my favorite things to eat are big meals full of lean proteins, fruits, veggies, and whole grains. But I also just inhaled a bowl of Greek yogurt with crushed Oreos and marshmallows on top. For me, it’s all about balance. Sure, I want to treat my body well… But I also want to enjoy life. And part of enjoying life is enjoying food–there’s nothing wrong with that!
Some of my tastiest treats from my food picture archives…
What about you? Do you live to eat, or eat to live?