Tag Archives: negative

Staring at My Own Food

My friends have been noticing that every time I eat, I tend to stare at my food.

They think its weird.

What do I think about this weird habit of mine?

I don’t even know what to think.

Because I didn’t even realized I stared at my food until someone pointed it out.

Of course, after some quiet time, I’ve finally gotten it figured out.

I stare mainly because deep down, I’m contemplating.

Food should be simple, you just put it in your mouth a chew.

What is there to contemplate?

Plenty, I assure you.

Well for sure, I’ve noticed that whenever I stare at my food, I’m less likely to overeat.

Perhaps I’ve lost my appetite after waiting for so long.

Perhaps staring at the food, gives it time to cool down and become less appealing.

I ask myself, “Do I really need more?”

And after some time, the answer is usually no.

When I stare at food, I acknowledge the power that lies in every bite I take.

Depending on what I eat and how much of it I eat, I could double my weight in a year.

I could physically and emotionally transform myself into another person.

I could imprison myself in my own home.

I could become addicted to food and use it as a source of pleasure.

I know it could happen to me only because I have seen it happen to others.

Food should not be taken lightly.

Food can literally make you or break you.

I stare because I care.

I’m going to respect my body by being careful on what food goes in my mouth.

People have different thoughts on food.

Some thoughts encourage a healthy lifestyle while others don’t.

“I always have room for dessert.”

“Never waste any food, finish it all.”

Are two that encourages overeating.

I have observed that many people don’t like to waste food.

They finish 3/4 of their dish and stop because they are full.

Someone usually a parent or a friend in the same table, says “You can’t waste that, finish it!”

And the person who is already full, slowly stuffs the rest of the dish into his mouth.

How does this make any sense at all?

Somehow not wasting food has become more important than my health.

If I make “not wasting food” a habit, soon I’m going to become over-weight.

And everyone knows that being over-weight comes with a ton of health complications.

I’d rather waste food, then end up in a hospital one day.

Why are we even debating this, the answer should be obvious.

Another thing some people say, “I’ve always got room for dessert”.

Doesn’t that sound cruel?

So even if you are full and your stomach can’t fit anything else, you’ll continue forcing food down?

Why would you do that to yourself?

If your stomach is already full, cramming more food down there will only make it expand to accommodate more food.

And guess what happens next time you decide to eat again?

You’ll have to eat more to fill up your stomach.

Last time you stuffed it with so much food, your stomach has been stretched beyond its normal size.

Now it’ll take even more food to fill it up.

This is exactly how people become overweight.

Now for views that encourage healthy eating.

“We should treat food like it is medicine.”

“Be present while you eat.”

Both require us to look at food from a different angle.

Both can make a difference if you allow it to.

I think food should be treated like medicine.

Medicine has powerful effects on the human body both positive and negative.

Therefore, you need a prescription in order to buy medicine.

Included with the prescription is how much you should consume and other warnings.

Without these warnings, people could over-dose unintentionally and die.

Food is just as dangerous if not more dangerous than medicine.

Food can heal and nourish you, but if you’re not careful it can also lead to diabetes, heart attacks, and obesity.

The reason why food is even more dangerous than medicine is because it is so easy to come by.

You think food is harmless, so you let your guard down.

You start to use and abuse it which eventually leads to your downfall.

Another thought of mine is whenever you eat, be present.

You’re going to overeat if your mind is wandering somewhere else.

When you are watching a tearjerker movie with a tub of ice cream in your lap, your attention is on the movie.

What’s stopping you from eating the whole tub?

Nothing, because your mind is focused on the movie.

Being present just means you don’t have anything else on your mind besides the food in front of you.

You give food attention because of the importance it plays in your life.

Food is a game changer and it should be treated as such.

If you learn to respect food, food will nourish you.

If you overlook the importance of food, food will hinder and hold you back from living a fulfilling life.

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Focus = Growth

People say whatever you pay attention to it grows.

For example, if you focus your attention on the negative things in your life, more likely than not you will encounter more and more negative things in life.

Poor people get into worser debts and liars keep on lying to cover up their lies.

The opposite holds true for people who are positive.

People with tons of friends have no trouble making more friends and people who rise to leadership roles have no trouble moving up wherever they go.

It’s similar to the Bible passage Mt 13:12 that says, “For whoever has, it shall be given to him, and he shall in abundance.”

Its as if once you’ve trained your brain to do something, it naturally goes about doing it regardless of whether you are aware of it or not.

I recently saw this theory unfold while I was shooting on a set with John Bich Sy Vuong.

John is the owner and shooter at Blue Angel Photography.

He asked me to come along to help him with a family portrait shoot.

As photographers, we love to setup the setting, lighting, and subjects to coincide with our vision.

Since the family portrait shoot consisted of a family of five (father, mother, 2 boys, and a girl) the photographer’s job is to pose this family of five in the most heartwarming way.

Normally, a shoot would typically last 3-4 hours, but ours lasted 6 hours

This was due to an unforeseen challenge that always pops up in every shoot.

Only this time, the unforeseen challenge happened to be a 4 year old.

The boy wasn’t too happy at that moment.

He wanted to watch his cartoons or get on the computer to play his games.

He didn’t like the fact that we were in his home either, these two strangers with big photographic equipments.

The fact that all his family was looking at him disapprovingly, didn’t help his state of mind either.

So when we asked him to pose for us, he wasn’t going to oblige.

First, it began with defiance.

He would run around, go find some food, and fidget during the whole shoot.

Then, when we forced him into a certain pose for the next shoot, he decided that he had enough and expressed his frustration the only way a 4 year old knows how.

He cried.

He cried and he cried and when he wasn’t crying, he made sure to communicate his displeasure with a sour face.

His dad was extremely frustrated with his son.

He yelled, he threatened, and even tried bribery.

None of it worked.

Soon the dad was just as frustrated as his kid.

Great, now we have two unhappy family members.

At that moment, John the main photographer stepped in to intervene.

Family members with sour looking faces don’t make good pictures.

Not to mention that his reputation is on the line.

Who would want to book a photographer who take pictures of family members with sour faces?

Anybody could do that, John got the job because he was known to be better than just anybody.

John’s method of intervention was actually very creative.

Instead of allowing everyone’s frustration to escalate, he directed everyone’s attention to something else.

He started with the kid.

He gave the kid a little bell with stick.

He asked the kid to hit it as hard as he could.

As the boy was enjoying his new toy, John asked everyone to applaud.

“Hey look at him, he knows how to play an instrument. That’s awesome!”

Everyone played along and started clapping, even the father.

In a matter of minutes, the atmosphere within the house changed from one of frustration to one of applaud.

With the boy’s focus on the bell, John gave it to me and asked me to move behind him while he was taking pictures.

The boy kept on looking at the bell.

He wasn’t in a sour mood anymore.

He was anticipating the next time he could get his hands on the bell.

And just like that, John started shooting away.

After a couple of shots, he would ask me to give the bell to the boy to satisfy his curiosity and we were good to go again.

John ended up getting all the pics he needed.

John turned the tides into his favor through the rule of “focus”.

Whatever you focus on, its gets bigger.

When the boy was in a sour mood, everyone started focusing on the boy’s bad behavior.

The father started yelling at him, threatening him.

Everyone’s eyes were on him, waiting for him to get in place so they could be done with the shoot.

The boy already didn’t want to be there in the first place, but now that everyone unhappy with the him, it made him feel worst.

When you focus on the boy’s negative aspects, it makes him feel worse, and when he feels worse you can’t expect him to put on a smile.

He cries, he throws a fit, he sits in the corner feels bad about himself.

But look what happens when John started to ask everyone to focus on the positive.

Give the boy a toy that he can play with and ask everyone to encourage the boy when he plays with it.

Clap for the boy, hug the boy, and praise the boy.

Do anything to make him feel that he is doing a good job.

The boy felt good about himself and he also felt everyone around him was happy with him.

It was much easier for the boy to put up a smile now that he is in a good mood.

When you focus on the positive of what the boy can do, he feels positive.

When he feels good and we encourage the family to praise the boy, the boy feels good about everyone.

So now, whenever anyone ask him to do anything, he happily obliges.

When you focus on the negative, your attention feeds the negativity and it grows.

When you focus on the positive, your attention feeds the positivity and that grows.

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Hereditary Habits

Besides passing along certain genes to you as a parent, they also pass on habits to you. This is done easily because as a child you grow up looking up to your parents.  For most of your life, they are the only model you have to base your own actions and reactions by.

This is both good and bad, because as a parent they would love for you to pickup on everything they do positively.  At the same time, they would love for you not to pick up on everything they do negatively.  The interesting thing is they can’t program you to do only one.

As much as your parents would love to assume that you didn’t hear them cuss during the traffic jam.  Or see you lie to your spouse about how much you spent at the store today.  You, as a child see all of this, and in one way or another it gets programmed into your mind.

You absorb it all, both good and bad habits.  Many people just accept the fact that they have all these traits which most likely came from being around their parents.  While others absolutely hate it and will even go to the opposite extreme of the habit.

For example, let’s say your mom is a hoarder.  She hoards everything from clothes, to food, to plastic containers and even old electronic devices.  You grow up with absolutely no space for your own and nothing but antique electronics that no one in their right mind would want.

You develop a mindset that is the complete opposite of your mom.  “Why do I need so many things and why can’t I be happy with nothing.”  “I never want to grow up being like my mom.”

Suddenly you start to categorize yourself as a minimalist.  You don’t need anything.  Just the bare essentials.

And you start shunning anyone who you deem to possess hoarding traits.  “I grew up with a hoarding mom my whole life and was miserable because of it.  I’m not going to re-live that nightmare with you.”

You expect the whole world to embrace this new you.  Who is actually created from the interacting with your mother your whole life.  The new you is based on the opposite of who your mother is.

In general, pertaining to our parent’s habits, we will do one of three things:

  1. Accept them as who we are and just let their habits be our habits.
  2. Not accept them, push them away, hate it, and even go to the opposite extreme of the habit.
  3. Become oblivious to it and not even notice it having an effect on us.  For some it may still have an effect, despite their lack of knowledge of the habits.

Personally, I recommend none of these options.  My recommendation is trying to find a happy medium between who your parents’ habits and the extreme opposite of the habit.

Being a hoarder does has it’s positive.  Why else would your mother do it?  People actually recommend buying products in bulk, storing them at home, and using them as needed.

Buying in bulk saves you money because they are usually priced cheaper then individual packaged items.  Buying in bulk also saves you time and gas from all the visits you would’ve made to the store had you gotten the items in individual packages.

At the same time, being a minimalist also has benefits to it too.  You never buy things that end up in your closet or garage like the newest exercise machine that promises to make you look like a super model.  Money and space is saved.

The goal is to embrace both sides and learn when is the best time to apply each habit.  Living on a budget, it’s not wise to buy things cheap, hoard them at home, and never use them.  At the same time, as a business owner you can’t expect revenue to come in when you’re not willing to spend money on marketing and re-modeling.

There is a reason and a season for everything in life.  It is up to you to make the best out of what is given to you.  And what is given to most of us is hereditary habits.

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