Developing a good relationship with food is like navigating the inner workings of the Mean Girls film set.
You’ve got the Krispy Kreme donut, a.k.a Regina George. We all want it, but we know it isn’t good for us. It’s ok in small doses, but too much will turn you into someone you might not want to be (e.g. the high school bitch or pre-diabetic).
Then you’ve got the carrots, which are the Mathletes. They’re good for you, they’ll help you achieve your long-term goals (e.g. college education or minimal body fat), but they don’t have the same allure or popularity as the Krispy Kreme.
In this story, you get to be Lindsay Lohan (lucky you!).
So, spoiler alert, since we’ve all seen Mean Girls I guess you can predict where this story is going. The Plastics and Mathletes integrate into a harmonious balance of smiles and rainbows. There’s no cliques or hierarchies – everyone is equal. This should be the same when it comes to classifying food. The Krispy Kreme and carrots both have a place in your diet – this is literally the definition of ‘balanced eating’.
So, without Tina Fey to coach you through the in’s and out’s of peaceful acceptance, what can you do?
Firstly, remove the labels. Try to stop thinking of certain foods as “good”, “bad” or “treat”. Instead, see them for what they really are – edible substances that vary in their balance of macronutrients. Some foods should be enjoyed every day, and others less often. Just because Regina is a bitch, it doesn’t mean there’s no place for her in your life (…like where would you get fashun advice or meet a cool mom?). Instead, take her in small doses. Removing the labels can remove the guilt often associated when you feel you’ve eaten a “bad” food, and stop you from becoming emotionally dependent on food by using it as a reward.
Secondly, try not to feel guilty for ditching the Mathletes to hang out with the Plastics. If you do choose to have a donut, Big Mac meal or KitKat chunky – then good for you! Enjoy it when you’re having it and move on afterwards – au revoir French fries, sayonara custard tart. Focus on what your next healthy choice will be, rather than dwelling on what you’ve eaten in the past.
Thirdly, avoid those random-AF rules like “on Wednesdays we wear pink”, “I can have a cheat day on Sundays”, or “I can eat pudding because I’m at a restaurant”. These do not form a good basis for a sturdy friendship with food. Instead, try to make mindful choices and achieve a balance all the time.
Before reaching for the pudding, stop and spend a few seconds checking in with your mind and body. Why are you choosing this food? Is it because it’s there in front of you? Are you feeling upset or stressed? Do you feel pressured by the environment around you? Or do you just genuinely feel like a bit of damn pudding. If it’s the latter, then you go Glen Coco! However, if you think you might be eating it for other reasons, then it’s important to reflect on this and find some strategies to address the cause.
Food is one of the greatest joys in life – and you’ve only got one of those so it’s best to make peace with the Krispy Kreme. Don’t spend your life obsessing over something that really does all turn into the same thing in the end…💩
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