I should go for a run. I shouldn’t eat that. I ate too much. I did so bad this weekend. I did well so far today. I have to do better tomorrow. Tomorrow I’ll be good…
This blog is short and simple. The sooner we can release our JUDGMENTS about food and exercise, the sooner we can eliminate binges, overeating, guilt, shame, and more restriction to complete and repeat a viscous cycle that often leaves us wondering what the heck is wrong with us.
Food is food. There are more nutritious foods than others, but no one is on this planet to solely eat “healthy” foods. And if we are going to punish ourselves EVERYTIME we eat something we deem “bad” or “too much” of something we “shouldn’t” have eaten, we are setting ourselves up for failure. You’re brain wants to “fix” the failure so naturally, restriction is the first logical option. But as soon as the brain knows restriction is coming, the brain makes you want to eat. And now you’re probably going to eat more than you did or more “bad” foods because your brain knows they are going to be taken away again at some point. Remember this, if you just eat that thing you want and move on, you aren’t going to gain weight. The weight gain comes when you eat it, judge it, don’t enjoy it, feel guilty about it and then try to restrict, “be good,” and “get back on track.” Because that one instance just became a dozen more. All because of one simple word. One simple phrase. One simple thought. Your brain isn’t stupid.
But that’s a good thing. Because you can change it and it starts with one thought at a time.
Food is food is food. Make the present moment choice. Eat it. Forget it. Stop beating yourself up over a choice of what to eat. I promise, you will eventually choose food that makes you feel good. You won’t always choose cookies or chips. But that’s where you have to trust yourself. If you label certain foods “off limits,” that’s all you’re going to want. It’s human nature. And you will almost always overeat or binge on the foods you restrict. When was the last time you said, “omg I ate wayyyyy too much broccoli and brussel sprouts, I better be good tomorrow!”
If you can eat your forbidden foods any time, they will lose their control and their constant appeal. But if you are always saying, “I shouldn’t eat this…” you can bet you’re going to overeat it soon or at the very least, feel guilty and try to “get back on track” tomorrow. If you are off track, there’s a track to get back on. And the only way you would label yourself off track is if you are viewing what you are doing as “bad.” Are you exhausted yet???
My mom invited me over for dinner one night a couple months ago. I was alone, she was alone. Made sense to go, right? But then she said she had made white pasta and I was like, “Oh no! Not white pasta!!!” I didn’t go. Then it hit me. How F*ing sad that I did not go spend time with my mother, one of my best friends, because she made white pasta for dinner and I needed to control my body by controlling my food. I couldn’t allow myself pasta for dinner. It was 7pm!!!! That is like a dieting 101 no-no!
So my mom ate alone. Yes, you could say well just go spend time with her and not eat the dinner. But it was more than that. Her sauce is love. It’s her signature. I would die for it. Two summers ago, I spent my days and my nights praying for my mom as she was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was a day that changed my life forever and I can write a whole different blog on how, but for now, I realized just how sad this was. I’m almost embarrassed to even express what I did. But two years ago I prayed for more dinners with my mom. I prayed for more of her sauce because none of us can make it like her. I prayed that I wouldn’t take things for granted or sweat the small stuff and I would enjoy everything I could with everyone I love. And I know obsessing over our bodies seems huge to us in the moment, but is it really worth it? Should we really be judging our bodies and our food so harshly? I prayed for more time with my mom and I got it. Thank God I got it. But then I turned it down because it was a “bad food.” Never again. I had my mom. And I’m going to have her sauce. And if my Italian mother uses white pasta sometimes, so be it. I guarantee that it will not make me fat like I fear just because of how I judge it.
So consider the judgments you are making daily in your life. Are they truly helping you? Are they making you happy? Are they fixing your body that you think needs fixing? Or are they keeping you from happiness? From contentment? From love?Nothing good comes from judging our food. You ate it. You might as well enjoy it. And then move on to the next moment. Save the judgments for the court room because one day, you’re going to wish you had some moments back. Judging your choices and your body will only cause you to perpetuate that cycle of restriction, overeating, guilt and shame. So if you stop judging, will the cycle still be possible? The jury is out. Let me know what you think….