If you believe diet culture (and this includes the “wellness” industry), it seems food will either harm you or heal you.
Food is seen as either good or bad which often then translates to “I’ve been good or bad”. This is simply not true and can be highly problematic as I talk about in this blog.
This way of thinking (we call it diet mentality) – which is sadly very common – really limits our brains capacity to reflect and to be flexible.
As one participant explained at our latest workshop, she didn’t realise there were other options, for her it was either a matter of expecting to feel good about oneself or bad about oneself based on the food choice. It was a matter of, “if want to be good, I better not order the chips”.
The black and white thinking that one should either feel “good” or “bad” based upon their food choice, meant choosing to eat a food seen as bad could only lead to feeling bad. As chips are often seen as “bad and fattening”, choosing to eat these meant feeling terrible about oneself no matter how delicious or satisfying they were.
It was a pleasant revelation when she heard different ways of thinking about food and how one might want to feel, such as…
“What do I feel like eating?”
“What will satisfy me?”
“What am I hungry for?”
“I want to enjoy the taste of the food”
“I want to be able to share this meal with my friends”
“I want this to be a really pleasurable experience.”
“Those hot chips look amazing, just the way I like them!”
What black and white thoughts do you have that limit your ability to reflect or be flexible with food? What happens when you do eat the food you label “bad”? How do you feel about yourself and how helpful is this with regard to taking better care of your health, both mental and physical? How does this type of thinking effect your relationship to food and your body?
If you would like to learn more about how problematic our diet culture/the “wellness” industry and diet mentality can be, please check out our ebook Nourish.
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