I’ve gained weight in the past few months, and to me this is a visible indicator that my relationship with food has changed.
My environment has changed, and my inner world has changed too. I’m happier than ever, but I’ve also let go of some hobbies and interests that used to bring me pleasure.
So my overall balance of happiness needs some recalibrating.
This time around it’s immediately clear that my diet changes my perception of eating from “entertainment” to a source of energy for my body.
I can eat whatever I want; but if I’m eating more than I need to keep going in all my other activities, I’m over-eating by definition. That will be reflected in my physical condition.
And of course there’s the question: why am I eating more than I need to keep going?
The answer is always either for the pleasure of it, or to escape unpleasant emotions.
The solution is to find more alternative sources of enjoyment and pleasure in life, and to allow myself to feel the unpleasant emotions rather than escaping into food.
That latter path may require professional support from a psychologist or counsellor.
I sometimes go jogging and I often practice a martial art. Both count as exercise, but they are also sources of pleasure that give me options other than eating to boost my happiness.
I can’t eat while I’m training, and training keeps me occupied and happy. But I haven’t been able to train for a month, and I’ve also let go of the pleasurable problem-solving aspect of training that had kept me mentally stimulated for years.
For me, at this stage in life, pleasure will come from moving towards my goals. That sense of purpose and direction (even if it’s just “enjoy life more”) puts eating into its rightful place as a support and enhancement of more important and pleasurable things in life.