Food is complicated

Why is eating so complicated? It’s supposed to be satisfying and enjoyable, and while it usually is just that, it also has a tendency to come with guilt and shame and even a little bit of fear.

Just now I finished eating a meal, which admittedly wasn’t the most balanced meal in existence. For lunch today I cut half a bacon sausage/loaf thing into small cubes, which I then fried before adding a tin of tomatoes and some spices. With it I had pasta and cheese on top. Salty, processed and fat. Very smart. 😛 I had some leftovers of the bacon sausage sauce thing and I ate it just now with mashed cauliflower (with too much butter).

See, here’s the thing. I am full. But just a few minutes after I finished eating I started craving more…something sweet this time. This always happens, I eat something, and then I start craving sweets. I don’t nearly always indulge, usually because I don’t have any candy lying around (I avoid buying it most of the time), but the craving is terribly frustrating.

Why can’t I just eat until I’m full and then feel satisfied until I’m hungry again? Why must my brain play tricks on me?

So I googled the problem, and found this on livestrong.com.

So basically it’s something like this:

  • “Neurochemical changes” due to a diet full of sugar and fat. It creates a sort of habit where I don’t feel properly full until I’ve met the “need” I’ve developed for sugar and fat in my food.
  • Serotonin levels rise as I eat, but then fall quickly because my meal has too much of the simple stuff (read: sugar) that makes me happy quickly but doesn’t last. So I start craving more of it as soon as the “high” passes.

Well, that’s all well and good. So I should eat better food, and overcome my addiction to sugar. Because we all know by now that fat isn’t the problem, sugar is. The tricky part is the fact that there’s sugar in everything!

I bought that stupid bacon thingie because it’s cheap. My food budget is limited and the processed, sugary, fat food is by far the cheapest. Cooking it is also less work. It’s not really much of an excuse, I know, but we’re constantly told to eat better food while the efforts to make the “good food” more easily available are limited at best.

So that leads to stress because eating is so complicated and costly, guilt because I’m overweight and everyone tells me it’s all my fault, shame because I like food and as an overweight person I should just never eat…or something.

And a bit of fear that I’ll never feel comfortable, and that I’m going to die a slow painful death because I didn’t eat “right”.

I have a strong feeling that I’m not the only person who feels this way. I always mean to buy more vegetables and fruit and eat more wholegrain things and drink lots of water. But when I’m practically counting every króna I think twice before buying bread that’s healthier but twice as expensive, or loads of vegetables that I might end of throwing away because something came up and I ended up not being able to cook for two days and they started to rot. I’m only ever cooking for one, and that’s remarkably difficult sometimes.

And my Coke Light makes me happy dammit.

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About Halldora

I am a Geographer who has specialised in Public Health and International Development. I am passionate about human rights, LGBTQ issues, critical thinking, and the environment. I am also a very silly thing who likes cats, books, singing, baking/cooking and sleeping.
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2 Responses to Food is complicated

  1. This reminds me of an article I read when ‘horsemeatgate’ happened here in the UK, in response to a claim by some smarmy politician that ‘this will teach people not to economise on their food!’, which pointed out that when you’re living close to the poverty line, there isn’t much else you CAN economise on. Housing, utilities, transport – all the other basic requirements of survival are pretty much a fixed price.

    • Halldora says:

      I meant to reply to this and then I forgot! But yes, you are right. Food is the one place where I can find ways to spend less…but that often leads to less healthy food. :/

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