It’s the time of year when many people will be involved in holiday celebrations that largely center around food. I think this is a great thing! Yummy, special food with people you (hopefully) enjoy or love.
Sadly, there is something that conflicts with this potential joy, and it’s this:
We are a society that has become afraid of food.
We fear carbs and fat because we were told (over and over) those foods will make us fat (they don’t).
We fear processed foods because ingesting even the tiniest amount will kill you before you even read middle age (it won’t).
We fear sugar even though it’s delicious and gives us pleasure in eating and we’ve been eating it for most of human history in some form or other and our bodies run on glucose.
We even fear some fruits and vegetables because some diet guru told us they have the “wrong” combination of whatever in them (too much sugar!).
We fear the modernity of food and food processing. Only the ancient food is okay for us. We must live like the ancients. The food we eat now is bad and modern and processed.
And underlying all these fears is the ongoing fear of being fat. A 2000 year tradition despite 2000 years of no one finding a way to permanently turn the majority of fat people into thin people.
Behind our food fears and our quest for weight loss lies the real reason we succumb to diet culture. A deep desire to control…something. To compensate for what feels like frightening and uncontrollable times – personally, nationally or globally. And we have been in some weird times.
But this doesn’t work.
Controlling our food doesn’t represent actual control, and there is no evidence that living at Level Red Fear Alert around food is making us healthier.
It’s not making life more enjoyable, which is also important for health. Food fear does not improve diet quality or control the bad things – it just makes it harder to eat normally and enjoyably and actually healthfully.
So what can we do about this?
We can decide to stop fearing food.
In order to overcome food fear, you need to understand that your body wants to be healthy with food and to regulate weight on its own. It helps you do that through its desire for a variety of food and honoring hunger and fullness. But it can only realize that kind of attunement when you’re eating regular, reliable, rewarding meals that you enjoy and you are allowed to eat as much of those meals as you want. (Yes, I said “want”)
Give yourself the gift of trusting your body to live without the rules so you can actually enjoy eating this holiday season!
Ready to get help with your eating problems? Schedule a chat with me and we’ll figure out exactly what you need.
Welcome to food freedom! Dare to Not Diet LLC is owned by Glenys Oyston, Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Therapist and Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor. It's time to feel good about eating, your body, and your health.