You Wouldn't Say It To A Child
So the other day the kids and I tucked away 2 large Domino’s pizzas, chicken strippers, potato wedges and desert between us.
Around 1500 calories each for Evie & Isaac.
About 3000 calories for me.
That was on top of all the food that we had eaten earlier in the day.
I probably ate in excess of 6000 calories on Saturday.
Did I feel guilty for eating all that pizza on top of my normal calorie requirements?
Did I hell.
Did the kids feel guilty?
I dunno because...
a) I didn’t ask, I was too busy being impressed by what I had witnessed.
b) at Evie & Isaac’s age they wouldn’t understand the concept of guilt in relation to food. They just had half a pizza each in their eyes.
c) if I was to tell Evie & Isaac that it was “naughty” and that they should feel “bad” or “guilty” for eating all that food I would create a negative association with food that I would then spend the rest of my life trying to undo.
So, why is it, as adults we attach “feelings to food”
We all love pizza.
Some people love chocolate.
Others love a beer or a glass of wine.
Which is all good.
But then some people love broccoli. Others hate it.
Some people love avocado. Other hate it.
(Hate, is such a strong emotion to attach to anything, never mind food)
But it’s when we turn those emotions back in on ourselves that attaching feelings to foods becomes a problem.
We eat “comfort” food that makes is feel awful and doesn’t comfort us in any way.
We eat cake that makes us feel guilty.
We demonise food and so much so that a famous weight loss company went so far as to call certain food items “sins”
But it’s just food.
It’s not good.
It’s not bad.
It’s not evil.
Again, it’s just food.
And it should not leave us with feelings of guilt or failure because we’ve chosen to eat something that’s not considered part of a healthy lifestyle.
Yet how many times have you started a fitness program, cleaned up your diet and started to lose some weight?
Everything’s going well then you eat something that’s not strictly healthy or on your nutrition plan.
A piece of cake for instance.
Or maybe you had a glass of wine.
Maybe even a bar of chocolate.
But because those items are not “healthy” or part of your program you feel guilty.
Guilty that you ate them.
Guilty that you didn’t say no.
Then through guilt you do double your planned workout because you feel you should punish yourself for eating cake.
This creates a guilt/punishment association with food and exercise.
I ate cake.
I am weak.
Therefore I must punish myself.
Sounds ridiculous right.
But yet people do it to themselves all the time.
Now, let’s rewind all the way back to the beginning of this article.
Did I feel guilty for doubling my daily calories?
No. I showed that pizza no remorse and enjoyed every single bite.
Did Evie and Isaac show any signs of guilt?
No. They just ate until they felt full.
Did I make Evie and Isaac feel guilty?
So, a quick question for you...
Would you make a child feel guilty for eating cake?
So why do it to yourself?
Look, if you slip up on your diet and eat a slice of cake or have a glass of wine in the week, savour it and make sure you enjoy it.
Then get over it, move on and enjoy the rest of your day.
You got this.
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