Let's learn from our kids. I don't know about you, but it is pret-ty hard for me to get to my two boys to sit down at the dinner table when they are playing...with anything, inside or out.
Remember when you were a child and you got so wrapped up in playing, imagining or creating that you didn’t want to stop when it was time to eat? Do you remember leaving your meal half-finished to run off and continue playing? Children innately understand that food is secondary to what is most nutritious and primary in life: fun and play.
As adults we seem to have lost our instinct to prioritize play. In our busy world, with its emphasis on work and responsibility, to be balanced we must work on more than just our bodies; we must feed our hearts, minds and spirits.
Have you noticed that when your body, mind and spirit are engaged in a creative project or happy relationship, your reliance on food seems to decrease? Likewise, when you are unsatisfied with your relationships, your job or other areas of your life, you may depend on food to cheer, soothe or numb you. When your life is out of balance, no amount of food can feed you where you truly need nourishment. The food that we eat is very important for health and balance, but what really feeds us—a full and satisfying life—doesn’t come on a plate.
What is fun for you? What makes you light up? What excites you? Make time for it this week. This can greatly reduce stress and anxiety and bring more pleasure to your day. Take your focus off food, try adding more fun into your life and watch the magic unfold. I can bet your cravings for unhealthy, processed junk foods will diminish when your mind is on something else fulfilling.
I don't know about you, but this summer I plan on PLAYING. Splashing around (more) in the ocean, biking with my boys, and making even picking up a Lego or two on a rainy day.
Sources and Additional Reading:
Institute for Integrative Nutrition, July 2011.