Est 3 min read
I want to talk about one of the ways that our systemic culture of capitalism adds to challenges with food and your body. One of the ways that this capitalist culture manifests is through this idea that food is optional, eating is not necessary, that if you need to take breaks to eat, if you need to have lunch, or snacks, or any of those sorts of things, somehow you're weak or weird; You should be able to just drink coffee, push through, and work the whole time you're at work. How damaging that culture is!
I have a client who works for a software company and we were talking about how challenging it is to actually break away from the team group work that they're doing, and go have a lunch break, and how no one else seems to think that food is necessary.
This is something that really makes me angry because food is absolutely necessary!
Your body and metabolism are designed to need food every three to five hours or so, depending on your personal metabolism and the way that your body utilizes energy. Eating every three to five hours helps to keep your blood sugar stable, your brain fueled, and able to work and focus. You are meant to be in relationship with food and this is something you need all day, every day, your whole life.
When you go into these workplace cultures, where you're expected to disregard your body signals, and just produce all of the time, you're being indoctrinated into the idea that you can't trust yourself, that your own internal signals are weak, bad, wrong, are meant to be fought against, pushed away, controlled, or managed. In overriding those body signals you push through all day long and that causes primal hunger, typically in the evening. Then, you'll eat beyond fullness because your body thinks that you're going into a famine and that it needs to make up for the loss of energy.
Physiologically, it's really hard on your body. Mentally and emotionally, ignoring hunger is disrupting that trust and connection with your body because you're basically saying, body you're not important, this project is important. I'm just going to disregard, override, push it away, and avoid it. The more that you do that, the further you get from being able to attend to your needs, listen to your body, honor, and care for yourself to provide nurturance for yourself. Over time this leads to burnout and it leads to more avoidance with your body. Ultimately, your body will start to shut down, have chronic fatigue, sleep issues, and inability to handle stress well. That kind of stress can increase anxiety, and other mental health issues.
Your body is meant to be listened to and honored. Hunger is important and valuable and it is a message that your body is trying to give you more fuel. Fight back against the capitalist and diet culture systems, take back your bodily autonomy, and push against this culture that you should be more robotic, don’t need fuel, don’t need to take breaks, and don’t need to eat during the day. Food is NOT optional.
Download your free hunger scale now!
The first step to healing your relationship with food is reconnecting with the signals your body gives you. One of the ways to do that is by checking in with your hunger before you eat. Here's my spin on the traditional hunger scale..