You hear these words all the time in relation to food, maybe you even use them yourself:
good, bad, toxic, treat, reward, indulgence, clean, dirty, guilty pleasure, and the list goes on…
Do you have a favorite?
One of the jobs of our mind is to immediately analyze and describe things as good or bad, and therefore to be chased after or avoided. Usually this happens so quickly, we don’t recognize it. Sometimes this discernment is helpful, but honestly, most of the time it is not. In fact, whole spiritual traditions have been built upon explaining how to overcome this tendency!
Especially when it comes to what we put in our bodies, this polarizing thinking does us no good whatsoever.
Because, as you have probably experienced, the moment you tell yourself you shouldn’t have something, that it’s bad for you, that is the very thing you want, and your desire to have the thing right now ramps up, big-time.
So then you do one of two things:
Grin and bear it, resist with all of your willpower, and white-knuckle your way through the urge, all with some amount of resistance.
OR you give in, eat the sinful food, and feel guilty about it afterwards or try to put it out of your mind.
You might have noticed that neither of these works very well. Because, in the first case, willpower ALWAYS runs out, and eventually there will be a backlash of indulging anyway. In the second case, my guess is you probably didn’t really enjoy your “treat” all that much, certainly not as much as you might have with all of the shame and moral judgment you’ve been heaping upon the food and yourself.
So, what to do?
Just this week, start by noticing when you are judging food, and experiment with dropping the labels. If you truly want something, allow yourself to have it. No judgment, no shame, no guilt, no drama. Don’t make yourself wrong for wanting to eat cake or fries. Savor it and enjoy it as MUCH as you can. Relax and breathe deeply while you eat. Don’t hide and don’t rush. Notice if anything changes for you.
I’d love to hear from you about what you discover. There’s a real human being behind this website, so be in touch through a comment or email!
Go here to see what I ate this week – my weekly menu with at least one recipe!
May your days be truly delicious and satisfying!
Hi! I’m Laura Jarrait and I work with women who adore good food but feel like it’s running or ruining their lives. They don’t want to diet or quit socializing around food but are tired of feeling less than their best and guilty, obsessive, or confused about what they eat. I help them keep the pleasure and drop the stressful thinking and extra weight, so they feel confident, light and free — all without ending their love affair with food!
I would be thrilled to help you do the same! Get my free Beautiful You guide that teaches YOU how to eat with pleasure and thrive at your natural weight or learn more about how I can support you in your eating, body love, and weight-loss goals.