Odds are you are familiar with food shaming, even if you aren’t aware of it. We live in a society with a constant running commentary on food choice. It’s everywhere.
All over the internet, in the mouths of friends and relatives, and all over social media.
“Don’t eat that!”
“I could NEVER get away with eating that, you are SO lucky.”
“Are you sure you really want to eat ALL of that?”
These comments about what we choose to fuel our bodies with have become so common that you may think they are just part of life. But in reality they are harmful, and I have five reasons why you should rid your life of food shame:
Constantly berating yourself up over your food choices isn’t healthy – Life is short, and it just isn’t worth it to waste time at war with your own body. Ultimately what you choose to eat is your own business, and you know your body better than anyone else.
Food shaming yourself or others is a harsh form of criticism – What you choose to eat in a moment or during a meal is no indicator of your health, and you do not deserve criticism from yourself. The reverse is also true. It is never anyone’s place to make comments on food choice.
What you choose to eat should never make you feel ashamed – I know this can be hard for some of us who have struggled in the past, but what you choose to eat is not a defining factor of who you are. You know your body, you know its cues. If you want a cookie, have one! Have two! If you love asparagus, eat some! Your food choices do not determine your self-worth. Nourish your body with whatever you choose to, because it is your body and your decision.
You never have to “earn” food, or punish yourself for a previous day – You should never feel that you have to restrict yourself from eating something because of exercise. You should also never feel that you should exercise more to make up for something you ate previously. Exercise should make you feel great about your body, and not be a form of punishment in regards to food choice.
You don’t deserve it – Food shaming yourself simply isn’t worth it. The holidays are upon us, and that can make that mindset extremely difficult to get past. But these special times of year only come around once, and spending time with family and friends is far more important than stressing about what is on your plate. Eat what you want to, take in the atmosphere, and enjoy moments with the people you care about.
At some of the lower points of my life, I remember being afraid of eating in front of people, or determining my food choice based on who I was around. But I am now at peace with myself, and confident in what I choose to eat. What I choose varies from day to day, and that’s okay! Sometimes it is a vegetable, a piece of fruit, a steak, or even my favorite donut, and that’s okay!
I want to encourage you to post a photo of yourself on Instagram with the hashtag, #forgetfoodshame. It is time to let go of all of the judgement and negativity attached to what we choose to eat. Show us what you love! Show yourself eating and enjoying the foods that fuel your body, and be confident in your choice. You deserve it!