Our media focuses so much on emotional eating (comfort foods, anyone?) yet rarely examines emotional “not-eating.” Some people lose their appetite when stressed out or may (consciously or not) limit their intake when other areas of their life are weighing on them.
Another thing not often discussed, given the subjectivity of the topic, is the way some of us avoid certain foods with which we have negative associations. While many people have foods they turn to to make themselves feel good, many of us avoid and/or refuse to eat certain foods with which we have negative associations.
I think there are varying degrees to which this avoidance affects someone’s life, but regardless, I wish there was more info out there about it. So many times, I pick up a magazine or read a website, only to see yet another article about how to create a strategy or deal with the temptation to eat to make yourself feel better. Um, what about for people who have the opposite problem?
Personally, I just don’t think it’s fair. Still, the $40 billion weight loss industry is pretty damn healthy, and the magazines know where their ad money comes from. It keeps things running to go on feeding that machine rather than take a step to the side and address some other related issues.
While I do find a lot of information about weight loss interesting (especially the different ways in which publications regurgitate the same few studies every month/week/etc), it’s, like, “Hello! Not everyone is trying to lose weight!”
Whether you’re trying to lose weight or not, exploring your emotional connections to food can be incredibly valuable and helpful, though I guess it probably goes without saying that it’s best to delve into that with a therapist or trusted confidant rather than read about it in Glamour or Shape.