I am starting a new series called “When Common Feels True.” Certain things may feel normal because they are common. It’s also easy to believe common assumptions about eating and health. Through this series, I hope to present more life giving perspectives.
#1 It’s “normal” to feel fear and guilt around eating. This may be common in our culture, but not the way we were designed to approach eating.
Fear often happens BEFORE eating. You may put certain foods in the “bad” category for whatever reason. We then create food rules in our head, and the thought of breaking them creates fear. Guilt happens AFTER eating when you break these food rules. It can also happen after binging, which I’ll address in a later post. What do guilt and fear lead to? Stress around eating.
Our body’s goal is to extract what it needs from the foods we consume–protein, carbs, fat, fiber, water, vitamins, and minerals. Whenever you eat, your body seeks out these nutrients. It’s that simple, Eating was never meant to be so complicated. Creating strict food rules disconnects us from our body, and leads to stress. We may feel “good” or “bad” based on how we are eating. The more we connect with our body, learn what it needs, and figure out what makes us feel and function at our best, the more peace and freedom we will have. (This is where eliminating foods you may react to due to food allergies, celiac disease, etc. fits in.)
What about motivation? Many feel guilt and fear are good motivators for taking care of ourselves. It may seem to help short term, but often backfires. It also increases our risk of rebellion around eating–the “what the heck/I don’t care anymore” effect you may feel when following these rules feels difficult. What ARE good motivators? Self-compassion and grace. When we approach eating from this place, it puts us in a position to truly care for ourselves, and it leaves room for flexibility and growth. If you eat something that feels bad in your body, you can learn from it instead of beating yourself up.Follow me on social media: