A couple of evening’s ago I was on a conference coaching call with Michael Neill and one of the subjects that was discussed is the difference between “wants” and “needs”. Now, Michael explained this difference as, and I think this is really just common sense – meaning I am sure that you are already aware of this, a “want” being something that you would like but has no particular consequence (no negative consequence) if you don’t have it and a “need” being something that is necessary to do or have lest there be a bad consequence. An example of a “want” for me would be living in that amazing house on the edge of a lake but if I don’t I’m not any the less happy for it and a “need” would be making sure I pay my electricty bill or I run the risk of having the electric company cut the power.
You could define a want as something internal to yourself that can bring you some kind of pleasure, and a need as an external element needing to be dealt with
There are many elements in life that could enter into both of those categories as a want and a need, food is one of them.
We need to eat food for our health, to maintain our cellular structure and body functions. We want food because it tastes nice.
Now, the difficulty that a lot of us have is combining the food “need” and the food “want” in a manner that is both healthy and pleasurable. There is so much advertising out there, selling us “produce” that is pleasurable but not so good for our health – even worse when the advertising carries mixed messages presenting foods that are not good for us, selling the pleasure element and attempting to maintain the idea that their produce is healthy.
I was discussing with a client this morning about how certain foods had become, for me, symbolic of failure – failure to lose weight and failure, consequentially, to feel good about myself – I will be writing about this more in detail at a later point.
The click for me was when I realized that the foods I had symbolized as failure, a lot of which happened to be the foods necessary for health and weight loss, that the negative symbolic that I had created only came from me, my own thinking.
As a Three Principles based coach, though here we are discussing the essential nutritional elements linked to food, we have to admit that there is a fair bit of psychology going on behind the way we eat – our self-image, symbolic food attachment, etc – a lot of that due to our upbringing and, to my mind, the constant media images that are sent out to us.
I can’t help but think this: in the past, taking the US as an example though the problem is now far more widespread, a burger and chips was a special treat reserved for a special occasion, a barbecue in the garden with the whole panorama of accompanying fries, pies, tarts, etc. And those foods, those kind of special occasions were costly.
In our minds those foods are still a special treat but we are out looking for treats on a very regular basis and those foods, that are not particularly healthy on a regular basis, have become available nowadays for two a penny – so not only are they a treat they are a very cheap treat
A shift in the connection that we have towards food goes a long way in helping us make the right choices and being happy about them. Having the knowledge of how our bodies work and the effect that foods have on our systems, albeit positive or negative, combined with this shift in the mindset is really the key, from a Three Principles coaching perspective, to obtaining the results that you would like to see.
Just as a reminder, here is the video from a few months ago on “Preconceived Ideas – What Should Be On Our Plates?”
Namaste and Here’s To Your Very Good Health