Let’s do a little exercise together today.
Say the first thing that comes to mind when you read the following…
Name one ‘good’ food
Now, say the first thing that comes to mind when you read this next thing…
Name one ‘bad’ food.
What came to mind for you?
Most of us have been taught, at some point, to label foods in certain ways – like ‘good’ or ‘bad.’
Which might not seem like such a big deal until we realize that those labels actually teach us how to feel about ourselves when we eat those foods.
Labeling a food ‘good’ really means that we identify ourselves as ‘good’ when we eat it. And labeling a food as ‘bad’ really means that’s how we see ourselves when we eat it.
Labeling foods in this way, and tying our worth, identity, and morality to food can be harmful in so many ways (helllooooo guilt + shame, restriction, judgment, dieting + weight cycling, and more).
Today, I’d love to dive into the idea that there is no such thing as a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ food by sharing some simple steps you can take to start to see food (and yourself when you eat it) differently!
First, a food cannot tell you what kind of person you are.
You are not defined by the food that you eat. And, no ‘perfect’ way of eating can make you enough.
I often hear clients share with me that they were trying to eat ‘perfectly’ (i.e. only ‘good’ foods) so that they could feel a sense of control over who they are, how they are perceived – a sense of control over their worth, identity, and life.
Who you are is not defined or controlled by what you eat.
If you’re struggling with this, I’d love to encourage you to see it as an opportunity to release food rules and re-discover with who you truly are.
Second, food labels (‘good’ or ‘bad’) and the guilt that comes along with those labels really messes up the connection to your body.
It’s hard to tune in, know what you need, understand how something makes your feel, experience satisfaction, or take care of your unique body when you’re intuition is interrupted by thoughts like…
‘You shouldn’t eat that.’
‘You’re going to have to make up for that later.’
‘This is the last time you’re having that because it’s so bad for you.’
If you’re struggling with this, I’d love to encourage you to see it as an opportunity to release the food rules and re-connect to your body’s innate wisdom + signals!
Lastly, all foods have value.
When people in the intuitive eating community say ‘there is no such thing as good or bad food,’ they aren’t saying that all foods are nutritionally equivalent to one another. So, if you find yourself thinking… but ‘broccoli and brownies aren’t the same!’ please know that nobody is trying to argue that all foods are nutritionally equivalent.
But, all foods are valuable in their own ways!
By shifting your perspective to seeing the value a food adds, it allows you to shift from seeing a food as off limits or ‘bad’ to seeing it in a more neutral way (or maybe even in a positive light!).If you’re struggling with this one, I’d love to encourage you to see it as an opportunity to release food rules and re-frame how you view a variety of foods! (psst… I actually did an entire IG story where I show you how to do this with specific foods like mac n’ cheese, bread, sugar, and more: check it out here).
When we let go of the pressure to ‘eat perfectly’ so much opens up for us: connection to our worth + identity, connection to our body’s wisdom + signals, and more opportunities for freedom.
I love helping women experience more connection + freedom.
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