Loving Family and Food in That Order

Loving Family and Food in That Order

The holiday season is upon us! Along with all the fun, family, and traditions comes a very complicated relationship with food. Food takes on a whole new presence in our lives as we join together with our family and friends once a year. And this makes sense! Food is a communal activity, a way to bond with those we love and develop relationships with those we want to know better. The act of sharing a meal together helps us feel closer to others.

However, from these positive roots has grown a relationship with food that can sometimes hinder or even trump our relationships with people. Instead of Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner being a time to bond over the shared meal, it becomes a socially acceptable time to engage in binge eating, which for some leads to overwhelming guilt and the urge to compensate somehow in coming days or months. Or for those who struggle with restriction, it becomes an opportunity to prove how much more self-control we have than our family and friends.

Both of these tendencies only serve to distract us from engaging with those we love. Your relationships with people are so much more important than your relationship with food, because food doesn’t love you back. So this holiday season, treat food as food, and people as people, and prioritize them as such. Food gives you energy, builds up your muscles and bones, and helps your brain function well. Appreciate it for what it can provide you. But also appreciate what the people around you can provide: love, support, a listening ear, and simply their human presence. Food can never give you what people can.

Laura Lanier counsels a variety of clients, including those with issues around food. Call her for support and guidance at 940.222.8703.

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