All Good Things

Well, I missed two days, but that’s okay. We had people over on Saturday, and after cleaning and sociallizing, I had no inclination to write. Then, Sunday was my anniversary and, well, I chose to spend time with the Husband. Had he napped, there would have been a post. Alas, no nap.

A few months ago, the perfectionist in me would have focused on the fact that I didn’t post and did not complete the 30 day challenge. After a few months of therapy I have come to realize there are much more important things in life than being perfect. And missing a goal isn’t the end of the world. You are not a bad person for failing.

This is something I’m trying to apply to food and hope to teach to others. We live in a world of diets that demand we avoid fat, eat all fat, eat no carbs, eat clean food, avoid sugar, eat protein, only eat certain colors, eat food X if you’re AB positive… You get the idea. These diets and their rules are creating a culture disordered eating. We eat a cookie, which we can’t have because gluten-sugar-fat-carb-stuff, and we think we failed. We ate a bad food therefore we are bad. Because we’re bad we may as well eat another cookie. And when you eat that second cookie you validate that you are bad and are worthless and thus starts the guilt-binge-guilt cycle.

But here’s the thing, the big secret. There is no such thing as bad food. There is no such thing as good food. There is no such thing as a super food. Food is just food with different nutrient profiles. Just because a cookie isn’t the nutrition powerhouse of kale, doesn’t make it bad. It just makes it a cookie. So why do we attach guilt to that cookie? Because we have been brainwashed by marketers with a new diet that we can only look perfect if we avoid that cookie. We’ve been told that we can only be a size two if we are strong and are good. And really, aren’t size twos the only attractive people? They are the ones with beautifuly spouses and beautiful homes and beautiful lives. Life is perfect when you are a two so if you aren’t perfect and don’t avoid that cookie, you failed. You may as well have that piece of cake in the breakroom and the candy in your cabinet.

It’s a nasty cycle. The only way out is to change your thinking. If you want a cookie, eat the damn cookie. It’s just a cookie. It is not bad. YOU are not bad. You just wanted a cookie. Let it go. Eat it, enjoy it, and move on with your day. If you can’t stop eating them or can’t let go of the self-loathing eating that cookie brings, then there is something else going on. The cookies are a symptom of a bigger issue. Not sugar addiction as some marketers want you to believe, but usually an emotional cue. You need to look inside and figure out why. Are you numbing yourself? Killing time? Is there an emotion attached to that food?

It’s not easy, but breaking years of diet brainwashing isn’t going to be easy. Forgive yourself, hug yourself, and enjoy the damn cookie.

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