A lot of the people I see come to me because they have issues with their weight.
The vast majority of them want to lose weight (though some have issues around limited eating or eating disorders) and they often tell me that they struggle to control their hunger. They are sometimes ‘always hungry‘ and sometimes ‘eat when they are not hungry’. When I ask them about their ‘Newsfeed’, I often get a confused look.
Let me explain where I’m coming from.
Language is a funny thing – especially the English language. It is full of metaphor, simile, multiple meanings and interesting roots. The use of language influences the way we think – so much so that when people do brain scans of bilingual people, they can sometimes differentiate between which language they are thinking in! As a result, the words we think in can influence our feelings and therefore our behaviours.
So, let’s explore some language around eating.
Metaphors around food and eating
Food / eating metaphors are often associated with things we like or dislike…
‘That’s just to my taste’ ‘You’re my cup of tea’ ‘I could eat him up’ ‘She’s the cream of the crop’ ‘That’s the cherry on the top’
‘It left a bad taste in my mouth’ ‘That thought turns my stomach’ ‘scraping the bottom of the barrel’ ‘I’m sick of this feeling’
There are also lots of metaphors related to food and eating when it comes to information.
‘Here’s some food for thought’ ‘Do you just swallow everything you are told?’ ‘Do you fall for it hook, line and sinker?’ ‘How’s is your newsfeed?’ ‘Do you like things sugarcoated?’ or maybe you ‘take things with a pinch of salt’. If things are too ‘plain’ or ‘bland’ do you want them to be ‘spiced up a little?’ If you have ‘too much on your plate’ do you ‘break it down to bite sized chunks’ or spend time ‘ruminating’ on it? If you ‘bite off more than you can chew’, do you find it ‘hard to digest?’ or then again maybe you just ‘choke’. Do you ‘Cherry Pick’ your information or do you want to ‘have your cake and eat it?’
One of the quirks of being us is that we often conflate things. In this case the language of eating and the language of information.
This then begs the question, are there similarities between your approach to information and your approach to food?
Do you believe everything that you see or hear, or are you particular about where your information comes from?
Do you only look for information when you need it or are you permanently on the look out for stimulation?
Do you focus your attention at a particular time or are you always open for more?
Are you fussy about what you let in?
Do you like to be entertained with fast, cheap, junk or are you looking for something that nourishes you?
For those of you on WordPress, look are your reader lists – what do you see? If you’re on Facebook or Twitter, what does your ‘newsfeed’ look like? How often do you look at it?
I am constantly fascinated with the language of metaphors and would love to know of any more that you think of, or any insights you may have.
Please leave any feedback in the comments – I’m ‘hungry to hear’ what you have to say!