Food is powerful – it has the ability to nourish us both physically and emotionally. Food can be tantalizing and set our heat and taste buds atwitter. We dream about certain foods, fantasize about it, counting the minutes longingly until we finally indulge. For humans, the variety, complexity and intensity surrounding the eating experience is immense. So much weight, pardon the pun, is placed on pleasure and food, and how food nourishes us.
Since the very beginning of time, festivities and celebrations, good times and bad, have all involved food. Food unites people, brings people together. It is meant to nourish and give pleasure. But when all the emphasis on food as our sole source of pleasure is high, an unhealthy relationship between food, pleasure and nourishment is created.
We as humans are hardwired to avoid pain and seek pleasure. Our bodies and our souls need pleasure to survive, thrive and rest in the physiologic state of relaxation. When we are in this state, digestion is improved, our appetite is balanced and our body uses the nutrients we consume optimally. So skipping the pleasure and joy in eating doesn’t help our health or our happiness. But pleasure, nourishment and the physiologic state of relaxation can be found in many other ways and not just in food. If we as humans seek out ways to expand our quest for pleasure in other ways, we can nourish our bodies emotionally and psychologically without a caloric value.
Finding other sources of pleasure, other sources for making your body and soul feel good can nourish and nurture you. In this way, you don’t have to deny yourself the foods that bring you pleasure and which are not necessarily good for you. Finding non-food pleasures is an opportunity to find connection and excitement, inspiration and growth. It is less about restriction and guilt, cheating and fattening.
Nourish your inner self. Fill your mind and spirit with pleasure, meaning and connection. Go for a walk, catch up with a friend or a loved one, swim in the ocean, watch a movie. Care for yourself, focus on yourself and listen to what your inner self is really asking for. What is your inner self hungering for?