Food is either celebrated or it's feared (or both - as we are nearing the holidays).
Think of what it was like a kid. Some of my favorite memories as a kid involved food. We had birthday parties full of pizza and cake with friends. Every holiday spent with family was surrounded by yummy food like turkey, mac and cheese, stuffing and other goodies. Movie theater trips always meant a giant buttery popcorn on my lap to accompany a soda & a big bar Kit-Kat. cookies, icecream, & candy were always a treat for finishing homework. I had Pizza Day Mondays & Wednesdays at school, Tuesday was “bring your own lunch” day. Thursday was Hot Dog Day and Friday was McDonald’s Day. I always had the double cheeseburger meal ...and I was 12. My parents gladly prepaid for those lunches.
We grew up conditioned that food was good. Food was celebrated. Food was a reward for being good. Food was fun with friends. Food was comforting. But slowly I learned as I grew older, wanting food was something to be ashamed of.
Through teen years into early adulthood, I had to learn that I needed to “watch what I eat”. Food was no longer something to be enjoyed but rather something to watch for to not get fat.
I mean really think about it. As a kid, your family, friends, and society in general conditioned you to eat - from commercials to kiddie birthday parties to toys available with your meal at fast food chains.
But then you turn 14 and all of a sudden you needed to be skinny like the women on the magazine covers and you had to learn food was bad… and unlearn everything you knew about food.
How do you undo all of this conditioning? How do you undo what is royally screwed up? How do you battle the voices in your head that said “if you eat this you will gain weight” against the voices that say “but I’m sooo craving ice cream.”
And what do you do when you do cave in and feel guilty? Try to burn it off through insane amounts of cardio right? Because you deserved to be punished...right?!?!?
IT IS EXHAUSTING! It’s about time you realize food guilt just isn’t worth it. And this is how you beat it, guilt free!
The top 5:
STOP Demonizing Foods & Idolizing Foods.
Fat Free. Low Calorie. Raw. Vegan. Grass Fed. Organic. Not Organic. Low Fat. Low Sugar. Greens. Not Greens. Chemicals. Keto. Carbs. Paleo.Atkins. Grains are the holy grail. Quinoa is the Queen of Superfoods. Gluten is the Grinch. Dairy is the Devil but…. Dairy Queen (Mmm) ….. Is your head spinning yet?
Foods are foods. They are not good. They are not bad. They are what they are. Because guess what, you can still eat foods that are considered “good” and gain weight, feel bloat, &/or develop allergies. And you can still eat foods that are considered “bad” without any actual effects on you.
The obsessions with eating the “right” foods only makes you crave cake (the “bad” food) even more. And 3 days later YOU JUST HAD TO HAVE. Because we always want what we can’t have right? ;)
Enter guilt. Enter the belief that you are a bad person because you ate bad food.
But if you get rid of the labels, you’ll no longer chase for something you can’t have and you’ll be surprised how easily you’ll get rid of the “binges''.
Look at food for what it is; a ratio of macronutrients (protein, carb, fat) and see where you lack balance. It has no moral value. And you are allowed to honor your cravings, it is your right.
STOP Trying to Earn it or Burn It Off
How many times have you eaten a food and said to yourself, oh no I need to work off these calories. Or starve yourself all day so you can eat your calories because hey you deserve it. What about binging so hard that you decide to starve yourself the next day...to even the calories out?
Why the self-punishment? It’s pretty messed up. Its probably why your diets fail you and your resolutions don’t stick.
Understand there will be some days you consume more calories than others. It's actually pretty normal too. If you are able to fix this damaging part of your food mentality and build the strength to say NO to punishing yourself, you’ll create balance, and that’s what makes weight loss work.
STOP Hanging Out With People Who Encourage Guilt Behaviors
By nature, we get consumed by collective energy. If the energy of the folks we surround yourself with is toxic, we become toxic with ourselves.
Ever find yourself with your group of friends chatting about how badly you ate or about how much you hate a body part or that you can't fit into your clothes or (.... fill in the blank).
You get sucked into the conversation and immediately feel that guilt.
I mean when was really the last time you told your friends, “I love my body!”.... you’d be the B*tch. In fact, you probably never have.
The only solutions to this problem are to either change the conversation or change the people you have the conversation with.
So hard I know. Such a hard cycle to break. Ask yourself this: did the last diet work for you? (maybe short-term).
Really ask yourself, did it work for you? Because if it has, you wouldn't be reading this right now… and you wouldn’t be asking yourself what next diet you’ll try.
Truth of the matter is you’ve been conditioned by an industry profiting from your food guilt. It’s high time you claim your power back.
START Doing What’s Right For You.
Be inquisitive about your body. Listen to it. What foods fuel you and what foods create an adverse physiological effect? Why do you eat the way you eat? What emotions are involved?
Develop basic instincts around eating. The way one person eats may or may not work for you. The way you ate in the past may or may not work for you now.
Lastly follow these basics :
Eat whole foods a lot.
Have a colorful plate.
Eat until full.
Enjoy the time you dine by yourself.
Enjoy the company you spend your meals with, that's most important..
Enjoy the holidays.
Stop obsessing over what’s good or what’s bad.
A calorie is a calorie.
Food doesn’t define who you are as a person.
Remember, it’s not the end of the world.
If you fall back on food guilt, go ahead and hop on over to my YouTube channel and empower yourself to a feel good strong workout; it’ll make you forget about what you “think” you did “wrong” and remind you how much of a powerhouse badass you are! Don’t forget to subscribe and turn that bell notification on.
If you’re feeling like this food guilt has gotten out of hand, check out our programs and let’s see how we can work together.
What are your thoughts on food guilt? Let’s have a meaningful conversation in the comments below.