Food For The Fun Of It

The other day I found myself driving behind a Frito-Lay truck and noticed their slogan painted on the back panel – “Food For the Fun of It.” Of course, I think this is a fabulous phrase and completely in line with the principles of Happy Calories Don’t Count. But unfortunately, the idea of “food for the fun of it” is often misinterpreted, especially given that this phrase is the tag line for a company that specializes in “junk food.”

Oftentimes when people hear that “happy” calories “don’t count,” they think that I am giving them a permission slip to go knock back a platter of nachos and a few margaritas with their girlfriends. After all, that’s a “happy” night out so by my definition those calories shouldn’t “count,” right?

Well, it depends. By my definition other criteria also need to be met. “Happy” is not only a state of being, it’s an acronym – Harnessing Alignment Produces a Powerful You. So those nachos and margaritas need to be in alignment with what you really think and feel and believe about them. If you’re discussing the caloric content and why you really “shouldn’t” be eating them but – what the heck – you’ll “make up for it” with an eight-mile run later, those nachos probably aren’t in your best interest.

Furthermore, the permission slip doesn’t really come from me – it comes from your body. How does your body feel about nachos and margaritas? Does it even want them at all? If so, does it want a small plate? Does it want a big plate?

I bring this up because we are entering the holiday season in which “fun” food abounds. This season is not only marked by the abundance of food, it is oftentimes marked by weight-gain. And this weight-gain is generally attributed either to the food itself or to emotional eating.

So how can you enjoy food for the fun of it without it being “emotional eating?” There is a distinct difference between eating to suppress an emotion and eating to express an emotion. If you are eating to quell your anxiety, stuff your anger or even ground your joy, you are eating to contain your emotional energy. And this will not serve you.

If, on the other hand, you are releasing emotional energy and food is a vehicle through which you express that energy and the experience is guided by the wisdom of your body, you can indeed enjoy food for the fun of it. For this experience contributes to your state of being in a positive way.

So how do you know which is which? That’s where that HAPPY acronym comes into play  – are you harnessing your power of alignment? The indication that you are is that you feel good – mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. You’re happy – authentically happy.