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Improving Your Relationship With Food

It has been a little bit since I’ve been able to sit down and write, but it is finally here! For those that don’t know (this goes out to people all across the country), the headquarters of our Tae Kwon Do and FGHTR program had an electrical fire back in January and the damage, mostly from smoke, has had us displaced for more than 2 months now. We are knocking on the door of FINALLY getting back into our facility but it has been a stressful ride! With all that said, FGHTR isn’t just a program for people to do, it is a program to create a community - a FGHTR Family. And we have felt the FGHTR (and World Class TKD) support so strongly from so many people! My team has stepped up here in Birmingham while I have been dealing with the insurance and reconstruction. Thank you to my World Class Family & team and my FGHTR family! Alright! Back to our regular scheduled newsletter, and our topic is an important one! Lets talk about our relationship to FOOD! Lets get some of the obvious stuff out of the way:

  • Food matters

  • Food effects our day to day mood

  • Food effects the way our body looks

  • Food is fuel

  • Food effects our health

I don’t think anyone is going to be surprised at that information, and my goal isn’t to just give you studies or knowledge about what food does. My goal is to empower you to have better control of your relationship to food. The basis of all good relationships, whether is it people or food, is COMMUNICATION. Yes, I am talking about talking to your food. Well maybe not out loud, but you’ll see what I mean! I recently finished a communication course with the author of Average Sucks, Michael Bernoff, and he had some interesting takes on developing your relationship with food. He said food comes in one of three categories:

  • Entertainment

  • Addiction

  • Nutrition

And without getting into the “science” of food like understanding macros, inflammatory response, gut health, digestive enzymes, hormonal balance, etc, it’s possible to just think about how food effects us. Where does our daily food intake fall as far as these categories go?

  • Are you going out to eat with friends and family? - Entertainment

  • Are you eating ice cream every night? - Addiction

  • Can you not pass up a Reese’s Cup? - Addiction

  • Did you make a salad with grilled chicken? - Nutrition

The strength of language is in the power of the words we say to others or ourselves. There is a difference in looking at those Oreos and telling ourselves “I’ll just have 1” versus “This will poison my body.” How do we have a better relationship and make better choices? We need to develop our communicative abilities.

  • Start with a journal or spreadsheet.

  • Write the date.

  • Your next meal or snack, write down why you choose to eat that particular meal and if it falls into on of the above three categories.

  • After you eat or drink, write down exactly how it made you feel - full, bloated, light, clean, guilty, etc.

  • After 20 minutes, update how you feel - tired, stuffed, uncomfortable, energized.

  • Update your feelings at night - did you have digestive issues, inflammation, not be able to workout as hard, etc.

  • Now review it next time you want to eat that specific food. Remind yourself of what that giant Jersey Mike’s sub did to your focus at 2 pm.

  • Continue to learn and associate the good results from nutrition and associate feeling bad with entertainment and addictive categories.

Like any relationship, there are ups and downs. There are good relationships and bad relationships. Sometimes you can’t avoid all negative relationships (no names please - ha), but we have to make “best” choice decisions. To sum it up: 1. Overtime, eliminate the addictive sugars, alcohols, binge eating and high carb foods. 2. Limit the entertainment categories but enjoy them - especially when they are for social or emotional wellbeing. 3. And learn to love what good nutritional choices does to us short-term and long-term. Next time you sit-down and look at your plate, ask it what are you about to do to me? Are you going to make me feel good in 10 minutes? Are you going to help me in my next workout? Are you assisting me in achieving my weight goals? Are you providing the next stepping stone to my longevity so I can be the best mom, dad, teacher, leader, friend, or spouse? A well lived life will always be the dance between enjoying the now and setting ourselves up for the future. The answers in our life are rarely black and white, but when it comes to food, make sure it’s a healthy relationship because it could be the reason you have the right mood, energy and time to keep your human relationships healthy. To health and a well-lived life - KEEP FGHTING! Master Justin Scarsella


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