It is not difficult to see that we over consume. We are all SO FULL!!!
Its clearly visible in our obesity problem. And it is clearly experienced in our mental health problem.
Yes, both can be from over consumption! I say consumption rather than just eat, because we over consume in many ways.
Our ‘more’ mentality means we are constantly taking in more than we need in many ways in life.
But for me, the over consuming with food and beverages, is possibly the biggest most confronting concern that we have to our wellness.
And this in turn impacts our mental health.
Our over indulgences in what we eat have led to all sorts of health issues. Diabetes and obesity, come to mind, but heart disease and mental health issues are also high on the list. Issues concerning every aspect of our bodily functions are proof that we take in way too much. Not to mention what we have done to our health through our choice of beverages. I could rant for ages on the culture of drinking alcohol and its damage. But equally all the high sugar content drinks that we continue to take in.
Greed has been the driving force
Not just with how much we take in. But why. For it is greed that has led producers to create the addictive qualities that lead us straight to wanting more of the bad. For them more in the pocket. For us, another addictive food that takes control!
No one can deny the lure of greasy sugary aromas as they waft through the air and the guts response to it telling us that we truly need them!
It is greed that has allowed producers of products to use methods of production that have cost us nutritious quality, so that they can mass produce and so it lasts longer on our shelf, so we consume more.
Taking our own responsibility is necessary
We can continue down the thought train of how this may have come about - how we have all been played for fools to eating and drinking the copious amounts of poisonous and addictive foods we have been fed. Yet none of this is going to change the way we go forward.
Our driving force is our own dollar. Our buying power, and we will only make those changes when we see what responsibility we must take in taking back the nutritional and healthy quality to our life.
We are responsible for what happens next . Not just to our own lives, our children and families lives, but to life as a whole.
Our driving force has to be seen by the use of our dollar BUT it has to be felt by our wellness.
By looking in the mirror and seeing the affects of years of over eating, and over indulging. By feeling the affects in our lack of energy, poor health, bad sleeping habits and mind health, this is where we truly come to comprehend the need to relook at our over consumption habits.
Where does over eating come into play in our lives?
It is at the base of so many aspects of our lives, that we would be surprised as to all the ways it is found. Food has taken a huge turn back towards social gathering and with it the need to provide lavish and often indulgent meals. Even healthy options can be misused by many of us and still over indulged in.
How we use food, how we share it, what we use it for and what is going into our meals are all really important questions to ask ourselves so we can come to some form of understanding about the role food has n our lives and why!
But it isn’t just our food, and for us to truly understand the impact of over consumption we need to see all the ways it shows up in our life.
over consuming and exercise
This is a really interesting space and I want to begin here so that you can see the cycle that is over doing anything! This is where we find food and over consuming on a treadmill itself. And there are two components to this example.
First is the exercise cycle that we place ourselves in. Second is the use of exercise as a form of destructive eating cycles, Exercisenervosa.
Let me first explain the cycle that we walk into in many gyms. The primary reason people work out, or join gyms, is to lose weight. And as such they seek help in dietary requirements, as well as the right exercise to do in order to meet their goals.
So, we begin our new commitment. We stick to the eating plan and begin to exercise. As with all exercise we stimulate the Endorphins and serotonin hormones and as such get a great high from working out. It is not hard for those to become addicted to their gym routine. We love the new feeling and the new look. The diet is changed and we are feeling better for it. So now we go further into the cycle. Because we begin to train more. We want more results and we want to keep those happy hormones flowing. So we go from 3 days a week to 5. But now we feel tired and lethargic, because the meal plan only gave us enough energy for the 3 days workout. So we are encouraged to eat more to be able to train more. We increase our food, increase the gym and continue along a few more months. But this high isn't sustainable and after a while we are back to 3 days training. But still eating for 5. After a little longer (which on average is only 3 months) we are back to no training, things came up, it wasn't always fitting in yet we are still eating a 5 day workout meal plan.
In the end we find ourselves back at the beginning. Over eating. No exercise. And about to walk into the gym for another round!
We begin at the gym to fix our over eating, we get addicted to exercise, and over consume the exercise habit, so we eat more, then we exercise less and end up back with a greater problem than we had in the first place. This is an all too familiar event!
Exercisenervosa on the other hand, is a form of eating disorder, where we use exercise to combat our food issues. We eat, and generally in a over consuming manner and rather than purging, or not eating at all, we exercise to make sure we have taken away all the calories. This form of abuse on our body leads to a very unhealthy relationship with food and exercise and is stimulated by over indulgence in the first place. This is a mental health issue, that is often exacerbated by the types of foods eaten during the binging phase that of course exacerbates the poor mental thinking.
The addiction to the food and to how we treat food, stimulates the entire process.
over consuming and emotions
Another classic over eating scenario - is eating for our emotions. For some it may be only when sad or depressed, for others, it is every emotion. And every emotion has a favourite food and it is used to heighten that emotion. A common one, is chocolate and its connection to stimulating the serotonin in the body and is used to ‘feel good’ when life gets too hard!
Over eating when we attach emotion to it allows us to be triggered by every life event. Rather than being in control of what is happening in our life, it is controlling us and we respond with food. This form of over eating is stimulated by the aromas and producers depend on this addiction to sell their products. You can see why there are so many places that certain foods are put in order to trigger connection to emotions. Do you recall at the Video Store, all the confectionary ( aka chocolate and chips etc) at the counter as we rented our movies? So we would be able to connect how we feel whilst watching movies to the food that we stimulate that emotion with!
over consuming and taste
Another classic over eating connection is simply to taste. we all know this. That moment when we KNOW we have eaten too much but who can leave those last few bites on the plate? We couldn't do that! It tastes too good! Or going out for dinner and eating a glorious meal only to have the dessert trolley bought around and you know, there is absolutely no room left within you, but the taste of that mud cake, or the Tiramisu or the Tartlets……… its too hard to resist.
We are stimulated by the flavour and not by the need or hunger for food.
The taste over rides our brain in thinking it has had enough , doesn't want to miss out, and drives us to gorge more with dessert simply for the taste.
over consuming alcohol
This dangerous relationship that is attached to social means as well as emotion draws a big card in the over consuming category. Our relationship to alcohol and the misuse of it is a big contender in the wellness factor.
Mostly because we use alcohol in such a damaging way many people are left with a very strained relationship to the bottle. The connection to alcohol and binge drinking highlights our unhealthy habits of how to ‘have a beer’ or our ability to enjoy a simple glass of wine.
This particular over consumption even combines many of the ones we have talked about. It brings in the emotions, it brings in the taste (for the first few) and it brings in the mental relaxing of inhibitions so that you can ‘relax’ ‘chill out’ and enjoy life more.
Over consuming and the search for ‘knowledge’
This is going to seem strange. But we over consume information!
We pour as much technology, information and opinions into our mind as we can in the same manner as we do food. In a desire to find our purpose our path our journey. In the quest for enlightenment in the search for our souls, we over consume in information. We simply do not stop ‘clicking’ and linking and connecting to find the answers.
We are so used to the habit of going hard and over consuming, we don't realise that we continue to stuff our entire being with ‘food’.
What is this doing to us?
We are literally full! Stuffed to the brim of everything we can find. In searching, we continue to load ourselves up with everything and anything we can get our hands on. And interestingly, this cycle, which feeds into habits which lead to addictions, begins with our relationship with food. If we don’t find a healthy avenue to express our feelings and thoughts and emotions. If we don’t find a healthy acceptance of who we are, the journey of over consuming begins.
And we get sick. And our wellness begins the downward slide.
What happens now?
The challenge is to observe it. Find it. Discover all the ways in which over consumption is happening in each of our lives. Where we do it. How we do it. Why we are doing it. The moment we come to the realisation that it is happening, we can begin the journey to understanding why and find a healthy way out of it.
It is going to take time to see all the ways in which we do this. We haven’t even spoken about any material over consumption. The need for more clothes, bigger homes, new phones and cars and and and and …
Somewhere somehow start to see where you take in too much. Where you don’t stop at enough. Where you feel you are out of control in wanting more.
Over consumption is killing us.
Its also killing the land, the environment, the oceans all through our greed.
It’s time to take back our wellness. At every level. In every way. Mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.