Saturday, January 23, 2016

"To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting" - Edmund Burke 
From Busy, Stressed, and Food Obsessed!

I admit that I am a chocolate addict.  I crave it, albeit even a small taste, at least twice a day. Not normally a coffee drinker, I’ve picked up the yummy habit of drinking chocolate laced coffee for my daily fix. As a parent of a child with Type 1 Diabetes, I’m well aware of how unhealthy sugar is and the extent to which the average American over indulges every day with all of the sweetened foods that are paraded in front of us. That hasn’t stopped me yet.  I’m a busy Mom with 4 boys and work full time. It’s too easy to grab anything to eat to quell my hunger. I recently read a new book that has impacted how I look at my own food addictions in a new light. I am finally stepping back to ask what I eat and when I do, why? What is triggering my hunger? Is it even hunger?

Busy, Stressed, and Food Obsessed by Lisa Lewtan is an easy read for anyone who find’s themselves caught up in grabbing anything to eat out of habit. Before we know it we are “food obsessed” and can feel like our lives are spiraling out of control. Lisa doesn’t waste time spewing out facts about poor eating that may turn many of us away. She doesn’t beat us up about how we should eat and understands how easy it is to find yourself fueled by processed food. Lisa doesn’t preach about counting calories, jumping on the scale, or watching every little thing that you put into your mouth. Moreover, she doesn’t beat others up or their eating habits. You see, Lisa herself faced a health and life crises because of her eating and she crashed. She shares her story because she wants others to focus on being healthy and happy. She encourages us to stop trying to be perfect spiny “supermodels” and instead illustrates how we can visualize who we would like to look like. When you believe in your vision, you become that vision.

Busy, Stressed, and Food Obsessed first focuses on taking an “investigative approach” to really looking at your own eating habits that have evolved over time or as a result of being too busy and stressed out. Look closely at what you eat, why you eat, and how you feel. Lisa wants us to understand what triggers our food obsessions by getting to know our bodies better. What foods cause us to crash? Why are we eating? Are we bored? Tired and grab anything? Do I grab my morning donut out of habit? In order to “fix” yourself you need to understand why you eat like you do.

Lisa offers effective assignments for reflection throughout the book to really get the reader thinking. I’ve always been a huge milk drinker and when I sat back to really reflect, it dawned on me how often my stomach acts up shortly after drinking milk (or my yummy coffee creamer). Lisa doesn’t spoon feed you information; she wants you to walk down the path of self discovery. You know yourself best and only you can make change. Here are some of the tools that Lisa offers as you face the habits that cause stress or even illness:

·         Sit back and identify what urges you to eat. I know that I will eat at work if I am bored or lack focus. I’m not really hungry.
·         Identify foods that impact your mood, energy level, or health.
·         Realize what it is you are really hungry for.
·         Practice eating “mindfully” so that you are satisfied not stuffed.
·         Give your body a “tune-up” after a binge of eating unhealthy.
·         Focus on your mind as well as your body. They are connected. Take the time to relax, reflect, and even try some meditation.

One of Lisa’s best tips is to not beat yourself up! TV and society are skillful at making us feel guilty if we aren’t “perfect”. You aren’t a failure if you fall off the healthy bandwagon. Everyone makes mistakes and just by identifying what triggers you to eat chips or how dairy makes you feel is a critical step in nourishing your body and mind in the long run. Lisa’s advice and tools offer a process to take control back of your body, health, and mind.

Busy, Stressed, and Food Obsessed is an enjoyable and easy reading book with impact. I read it in a day because I felt so engaged. The book reeled me in and I yearned to keep learning because I saw myself within the pages. The book is humorous, down to earth, and offers valuable insight. Lisa’s tools for reflection are spot on, yet realistic. By getting to know yourself better and what you put into your body, you can change your life. I enthusiastically encourage you to pick up a copy of Busy, Stressed, and Food Obsessed by Lisa Lewtan!