Just finished reading this article on Huff Post: Healthy Living called “8 Things Nutrition Experts Wish You Would Stop Saying About Food” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/23/nutrition-misunderstood_n_5508695.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063).

What really stood out for me was Number 2:

“I don’t like saying there are good foods and bad foods — it’s so judgmental! I’m not saying French fries aren’t loaded with calories, fat and sodium, or ice cream isn’t rich in calories, fat and sugar, but saying they’re ‘bad’ foods invokes guilt on those who enjoy these comfort foods. Eating and enjoying food — even foods that aren’t the most nutritious — shouldn’t ever be done with guilt or shame. Eating should be one of the great pleasures of life! And if you learn to eat with pleasure, you may even feel more satisfied with less food.”
–Elisa Zied, MS, RDN, CDN, author of Younger Next Week

I love food! There so many different kinds of dishes, snacks, and full meals that are available to try and experiment with. Living in Washington D.C. I’m surrounded by so many different cultures and a great way to experience that new is through the food of that culture. On bad days I love the comfort of Chinese food from just around the block, or even that turkey and cranberry sandwich that I occasionally make to be reminded of Thanksgiving.  I love learning and trying the spices and heat of Thai food. And who doesn’t enjoy sitting around a table with a group of friends and family, sharing food spiced with conversation?

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Yet in today’s society – and most especially as a woman – I am constantly judged on what and how much I eat. Having McDonald’s for dinner must mean that I don’t care about my body. Ordering a second helping is just proof I’m a glutton. Why aren’t I eating a salad? Why am I eating so much? Can’t I see that I’m overweight? Don’t I realize I’m part of the problem?

I have spent (and will probably continue to spend) too many nights feeling guilty that I ate that burger for lunch. Or that I didn’t exercise today. Even knowing that these feelings of guilt and shame is NOT HEALTHY I still have those nights. I’m constantly bombarded with ads and articles about this diet, this exercise plan, how I need to look and what I need to do to look that way in only 30 days. I go into stores and leave nearly in tears because I can’t find anything that fits me because the clothes are made for what I should be shaped like, not what I’m actually shaped like.

I try to workout. I try to be more active (especially since I have an eight-hour+ work day where I’m sitting the entire time). I try to eat better, more fruits and veggies less burgers and fries. Sometimes I can keep this up for a longer amount of time and I lose weight and can see a physical change. Sometimes my depression or life gets in the way and I just don’t have the time and I gain weight or stagnate.

Here’s the short of it – and something we should be teaching everyone from a young age. Being healthy is good and something we should strive to be. We should participate in physical activity and try to make sure we’re getting our daily fruits and veggies. But we should not (and do not have the right) to judge anyone based on what they’re eating or how we think they should look.

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