Have you ever really stopped to listen to how you talk or even think about food? Have you ever eaten a decadent piece of cake and then felt bad about it? What about a bag of chips that you vowed to only have a couple of and then discover your hand in an empty bag? What about the day that you chose a salad for lunch? How did that make you feel about yourself as a person?
Here is the deal. The type of food you eat has no merit on who you are as a person. End of story. You are not a better human being when you choose fruits and veggies compared to when you choose chocolate and chips.
Exercise is not a currency to be used to pay down your food guilt balance. Exercise is something you do to take good care of your body. To help your heart, joints, muscles and nervous system function better. Add on top of that, the mental health boost that being active can provide. While there is a relationship between our daily diet, our exercise efforts and our overall health, guilt should not be the motivating factor in getting you to eat more plants, less sugar and move your body more. Loving yourself should be.
I felt it important to share this message as we inch closer to Christmas. Every December, I hear people stressing over how to avoid certain foods over the holidays. And, every January, I hear people beating themselves up for having indulged over the holidays. There are many favourite foods at this time of the year that bring joy, stir up memories and provide a sense of comfort. And, this year more than ever, couldn’t we all use all little more comfort?
While I am not one to rely on food for comfort, I am imagining how amazing it might be to still enjoy certain foods from the holidays, even if we can’t all be together in the same space. We have started making our list here at home of some of our favourite things to eat over the holidays. For the things I don’t usually make, I can connect with loved ones and ask for their recipes. Even though Christmas gatherings won’t feel the same, perhaps they can taste the same?
And, when it comes down to it, trust yourself around food. We seem to put a lot of effort into thinking about food and being fearful. We might spend the entire day vowing not to eat even a morsel of chocolate, and then we cave after a rough day and end up eating the whole bar. Trust yourself to just have a cookie or two. Trust yourself to drink plenty of water and include veggies and fruits in your snacks and meals. When we can take a deep breath and trust ourselves around food, we behave differently. We find peace with food, knowing that we are in control of our actions around it and that we are good people regardless of those actions. No food guilt. You’ve got this!