A lesson in weeding.

The other day I had a big weeding job to do in a rather large garden. I don’t mind weeding, it grounds my thoughts and is a helpful time for reflective thinking. I love the metaphors that weeding evoke. But this particular time it got me thinking about food - our relationship and attitude to food.

There are easy weeds that are obvious and easy to pull, with shallow roots and thin stems, just like there are the obviously wrong foods, such as lollies and biscuits, which are the first things we tend to eliminate when we diet as they are easy to identify and cull. Then there are weeds that you aren’t sure whether they are weeds and weeds that hide among other plants so that they are hard to see, like those pesky hidden sugars, salt and saturated fats in “healthy” foods like muesli bars and cereals. Harder to pull but with a little more effort it can be done. Then there are weeds that are firmly rooted in the ground and no amount of pulling will get them out, you pull and pull, it slips out your hands and you fall back and stumble (you try and try to give up these foods and maybe you do but you stumble and regress.) The stem may break off at ground level but the roots are still there and the weed grows back.

You try and give up but because you haven’t tackled the root of the problem your eating/drinking/compulsive behaviour has turned into an addiction (stubborn weed) and you need help to pull it out. The thing about weeding though is that although its hard work and sometimes looks overwhelming, depending on how determined you are, the end result is always an improvement and you can stand back and look at your hard work and effort and feel inspired and motivated and proud of yourself. That’s your diet too. It’s hard at the time but when you see the change to your energy levels, motivation, skin, joint pain, hair, relationships etc it’s worth it. Just be vigilant because weeds have a sneaky habit of sprouting again. If you don’t stay on top of the job, the next thing is you are back to where you were and the effort is once again big.

Addictions have many faces and fall into 2 broad types - substance related and behavioural. All addictions have the capacity to induce feelings of shame and guilt, a sense of hopelessness and feelings of failure. In addition, anxiety and depression are common conditions among those with substance and behavioural addictions. If you or someone you know needs help with addictive behaviour there is help locally. Please contact us at the Naturopathic Health Clinic for a confidential appointment.

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