Reasons I’m doing the Your Turn Challenge:
- As a HUGE Seth Godin fan, the chance to participate in his tribe is an honor.
- I have been blogging Monday-Friday for the past few months and have found it very stimulating. The simplicity of sharing a few of my ideas every morning before work never would have seemed valuable before. Boy, was I wrong! This 7-day challenge will push me.
- To take a risk, try something new.
So, here it goes…
In an attempt to write something that people might actually care about, I've been contemplating what to say. And, naturally, fear takes over and I come up with a million other things I could be doing right now. I believe it's this same primal fear that drives us into a dysfunctional relationship with food. A big leap, sure, but stay with me here.
The fear center of our brain – the amygdala – is there to protect us, to keep us alive. Primitively, this was advantageous during times where the risk of being killed and eaten by a predator was high. The amygdala kept us safe by making it scary to be separated from the pack. Thus, humans did what they needed to fit in, to conform, to remain in the pack.
This is still happening today, although the risk of becoming a wild animal's prey is much lower. Our society has capitalized on our fear of being rejected and has constructed a system in which we are afraid to stand out. This plays out in our relationship with food every day.
The reasons we eat are a complex combination of biological, psychological and social factors. One of the most complicating factors is body image. From childhood (think Barbie and GI Joe) we are taught what our bodies "should" look like. Those who don't fit this mold are led to believe that they need to be trying to fit it by dieting. And the sad truth is that dieting doesn't work. In fact, 95% of the people who diet will regain the lost weight, often plus some.
Fear of not conforming to society's definition of attractiveness (and worthiness) drives dysfunctional eating. Eating in a way that is disconnected from the body's signals for hunger and fullness. By choosing to reclaim individuality, you can also reclaim your body and your relationship with food.