What Primary Foods Are and How They Influence Your Eating Habits
After my breast cancer diagnosis, I experienced cycles of anxiety. I went from doctor to doctor, and between blood reports, scans, I was told to do chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. I read whatever I could about on alternative treatments, and the amount of information was overwhelming.
I felt alone in making decisions about the next steps to take in dealing with the cancer. I got opinions left and right on what to do, but there was no sure answer. Everything sounded scary and I had to make the call.
I felt very lonely, frustrated, angry, sad, worried—and I would turn to food. Although I knew better, I would binging on an entire bag of cookies or chips, feel foggy and sluggish once I was done, feel guilty about what I did, then circle right back to anxiety. I was stress eating and abusing Secondary Foods (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks).
Primary Foods vs. Secondary Foods
When primary foods are fulfilled, secondary foods become a means of nourishment with the main purpose of getting the nutrients the body needs to function. Eating food becomes a way of getting sustenance instead of comfort and things like cravings, stress, overeating and weight gain are alleviated.
Once I became aware that I was doing this to cope with having to navigate through cancer, I focused instead on Primary Foods and found ways to calm myself down before I made poor choices. I worked on surrounding myself with friends, family and joy.
I no longer rely on eating as a way to fill a void or to cope with negative emotions. I no longer “eat” my feelings. Once I made changes to be nourished through primary foods, secondary foods became more as a means of physical nourishment. I stopped turning to a bag of cookies to soothe my stress. I was able to find fullness and satisfaction mentally/spiritually and physically.
Some time later when my health stabilized, I felt an emptiness because I didn't have purpose, aside from my cancer healing regimen. Knowing this was key for me. I need to share my experiences because I am passionate about helping others deal with pain, confusion and lifestyle changes. Now that I am writing, it has changed me and I feel useful again.
How would you rate each of these on a scale of 1 to 10 (With 10 being "great")? Out of the twelve, which three areas need the most improving? How would you improve on them? Who else could help support you in raising the score?