“I should have never eaten that!”
“I was bad today. I ate _______ (you fill in the blank).”
“Why can’t I ever pass that up?”
“Why did I just eat that?”
“I feel gross.”
“I have no willpower.”
Chances are you’ve spoken one or more of those phrases before. I know I have.
Why do we gauge our worth on how we eat? How did our food choices become the thing that determines whether we are “good” or “bad”? A jug of milk goes bad when it’s kept beyond its date. A carved pumpkin goes bad if it’s left on your porch until Christmas. You say “good boy” when your puppy goes outside to potty instead of doing it on your carpet. You tell your toddler “good girl” when she picks up her toys without being told.
Yes, we can choose to make better choices when it comes to our food, BUT those choices don’t determine our worth. We must begin seeing our food choices separately from the definition of our worth. Just because I eat something “bad” (although I don’t feel like anything should be labeled “bad”, but more on that in my email on Monday. If you’re not signed up, you’d better get on the list!), doesn’t mean I’m bad. It just means I’ve not made the best choice at that given moment.
The next move we make is key. And if we separate what we ate from the definition of who we are, it’s easier to say “Ok, so how do I get back on track?” “What do I need to do next, so this doesn’t turn into a downward spiral?” It just is. It just was. Move on and make a better choice.
I know…it’s hard. Especially if you’ve always tied your worth to how you look, how much you weigh, what you’re eating. Many people are either “on” or “off”. They’re following a certain and very specific eating plan or they’re just eating whatever. It takes practice, and it’s a process, to get away from those feelings of guilt and shame around food choices. But to live in true freedom, it’s worth the work and the time and practice to get away from that mindset.
What about you? Is this an area of struggle for you?
What labels have you given yourself based on your food choices?
How would it feel to let you food choices be totally separate from how you view yourself?