Diet culture has taught us that food is the enemy. That we need to stand guard and fight our appetite with deprivation. That we need to fear carbs, omit certain foods, and follow rigid dieting rules. It teaches us to label food as “good”, “bad”, “dirty” or “clean”, and that we should feel guilty, ashamed or “bad”, if we choose to eat foods outside of the diet box.
We put “conditions” around our eating and hold “cheat” days as being something “earned” for good dieting behavior…. BUT come on, are we really “cheating” when we eat a burger instead of a salad? OR are we simply eating. Yes, one may have more nutrients and a better nutritional profile than the other, but neither has a moral value – so we need to stop labeling them as such.
When we deny ourselves of foods we love and place them in “forbidden” territory, those foods hold power over us, leaving us to feel deprived. This deprivation will then build into uncontrollable cravings for that food. When we finally “give in”, we are likely to binge and overeat, since we don’t know when we will “allow” ourselves to have that food again.
Waving the white flag and making peace with food, means we unhook ourselves from the diet mentality and stop judging and labeling food. All foods get placed in the neutral zone. We give ourselves unconditional permission to eat what we want, when we want, without the guilt, shame and judgement.
But, it doesn’t necessarily mean we eat all foods. No, it simply means we are in control of our choices, and can choose what we eat, based on what we feel we “need” in that moment…. NOT because a diet, or a set of food “rules” has told us otherwise.
We may notice that once we begin to “allow” ourselves to eat all foods, the less power “food” has over us. When guilt is no longer a factor, we will naturally begin to choose foods that nourish us mind, body, heart and soul, and not because they are low in carbs, fats or calories.