I wanted to write a quick post about guilt and shame around food.
The more I get to work with others, the more I realize a lot of us carry negative messages about food that have been passed on from generations and generations.
I even have a little story about diet culture to prove my point.
This winter break I went to a farm with some of my lovely students (I teach 7th and 8th graders here in NYC!)
Something I LOVE to do now that food isn’t a problem, is to just enjoy food again.
So we made warm bread and got to have some fresh bread rolls for dinner with some of my students.
I noticed how some kids ate one bread roll, and others went for seconds because they were hungry. Now, we have the kids who go for seconds and just enjoy it, then move on with life…and then there are the kids like ME, who had to ask for seconds while also shaming themselves for wanting more food.
For example, one of my students grabs another delicious bun and says: “I’ll probably gain five pounds eating this.”
“How about you eat it without feeling guilt? It tastes even better.” I respond, as I add more butter to the warm bread.
Finally modeling what nobody ever modeled for me when I was growing up, surrounded by women who constantly feared gaining weight.
*Such a simple act. Eating.
Then I think. It’s 2019 and a lot of us still eat with guilt, judgement and even shame.
I still see myself, years back, the first time I was enjoying a meal and a friend of mine uttered “we are going to become cows if we eat like this!”
How from that day I couldn’t eat carbs in public without adding “this is so bad.”
The morality and constant food policing. The judgements. All attached to a simple act, a ritual, such a small thing and yet how many negative messages around food will we say to ourselves and each other until these messages get ingrained for years and years.
Then we are all grown and they are still there, driving us to restrict and deprive ourselves physically, emotionally. Such a little thing, and yet it can cost us a lot of damage.
It’s important we begin catching ourselves when we are guilting and shaming over food, so that we challenge diet culture and our own toxic diet mentality coming up every time we make a food choice and deem it “good” or “bad.”
It’s important we challenge these messages.
Bread is bread. It’s delicious. But it also shouldn’t have so much power over us.
What are some of the negative messages and judgements that you internalized as a kid?
Sending lots of love from NYC!
PS: Book a free consultation with me if you want to get some real coaching and support around anything keeping you stuck from healing your relationship to food.