What do you talk about during your lunch break with your co-workers? Or during your child’s sports practice or games with fellow parents? What’s your normal conversation during breakfast or dinner with your family?
Hopefully the word “diet” (referring to a set of rules that involve restriction and deprivation), “good” or “bad” foods, “good” or “bad” person based on food choices made, or talk about willpower in terms of following a strict plan with food choices and exercise never cross your lips.
No pointing fingers here but I’m sure we have all been a part of a conversation that included these topics. I’m sad to report that these have become “normal” and “acceptable” conversation starters which breed feelings of inadequacy and low self esteem.
When I use the word diet I simply mean the foods you eat and how you eat them. I’m a fan of a non-diet approach and wish there was a better word to use because “diet” seems to have a bad rap. I personally don’t think it’s healthy to label foods good and bad. Certainly some foods are better for us but I like to use the 80/20 Rule (eating foods that have high nutritional value such as fruits/vegetables/whole grains/lean protein/low fat dairy 80% of the time and eating foods that might not be too great if eaten in mass quantities but are ok in moderation-It’s all about BALANCE) and the philosophy that ALL FOODS FIT! It’s a total pet peeve of mine when someone says they are being good when they are eating a salad and bad when they are eating pizza or a form of fried food. Being a good person to me means you are a good friend/child/parent/etc and being bad is you have just committed a crime. Hopefully you get my point. And then there is the word willpower. You shouldn’t need willpower to have a healthy lifestyle. If your eating and exercise habits require willpower then it is probably something that you will only stick to for a short time instead of something that you can sustain for a lifetime.
My request is that before you take part in these conversations you rethink your perspective. Do you want to have a healthy relationship with food and yourself? If you answered yes then please take heed of how I define some of these common topics. I believe it is so important to be a good role model for the next generation. I don’t want them growing up thinking they are not good enough and need to change themselves. I wish we could empower each other to accomplish great things and achieve optimal health by having a healthy balance between food groups and making choices that will be satisfying. If you have any questions about how to go about developing a healthy balance just ask! I am sure to have an opinion!