I have often suggested clients not use these words around food or their bodies: good, bad, sorry, should, and can’t. We don’t need to ‘should’ on ourselves. Calling a cookie ‘bad’ is just a sin. Making a food seem ‘good’ is still food shaming (even though the word ‘good’ is affirming in its definition). Saying you’re sorry you ate something? Please…. And can’t is just, ugh. I suggest we use ‘I’m trying’ rather than ‘I can’t’.
A few months ago, I heard my 5 year old daughter start to use the word ‘healthy’ around food and in other situations. She was starting to label foods as ‘healthy’ or ‘not healthy’. This stopped me in my tracks. I immediately let her know that all foods can be ‘healthy’ and asked where she heard this. I don’t label foods as healthy or unhealthy and it annoys me that we do at all. I understand needing to know and finding balance, but a 5 year old? The older kids at ages 11, 16, and 17 don’t use the word healthy to describe food. They know this is like the inverse food police coming down on them!
I’ve been reminding my daughter that all foods, are indeed, healthy. I like her to have whipped cream (and sprinkles sometimes) on her hot chocolate. I love to bring her local treats from bakeries in our area when I pick her up from school. We bake together and she and her dad bake together as well. I have taught her, purposefully, that Graeters Raspberry Chip ice cream really is the BEST. On purpose!
If we look to next week’s celebrations without the words good, bad, sorry, should, can’t or even healthy I think it will make the ‘food holiday’ easier. If you want to indulge on Thanksgiving, enjoy it. If you want to choose calorie saving with recipe alternates and smaller portions that works too. The point is that ‘all foods fit’. One day, one meal does not define you.
I’ve definitely moved to a non-diet approach. It makes sense to me because I’ve learned that diets not only don’t work, but are quite harmful. I’ve seen this for years in nearly every adult human I know. For this reason the term “weight loss” always made me uncomfortable. To me, if we don’t love our body now, we’re not going to even like it later. Less pounds or not.
Here are the promised links from past e-Newsletters that will round out the rest of this this month’s e-Newsletter.
Thanksgiving, The Eating Holiday, How to Cope
Skip Thanksgiving? Why There’s a Better Alternative
My best to you and yours with the beginning of the holiday season.