When I saw this message yesterday about healthy eating meaning having a healthy relationship with all the food you eat, I smiled. Over the past little while, I feel inundated with moralistic messaging around food.
I don’t mean the vegan kind of moralizing, where people actually might have a point. No, I mean that familiar and wearying “I’m so good because I ate salad with lemon juice” and “I’m such an epic failure because I had pizza.” I despise that kind of talk.
For the love of everything, food is beyond good and evil. You’re not good because you ate “clean” (oh, please stop with the “clean eating” thing). And you’re certainly not bad if you ate french fries or cake or potato chips.
It’s food. We all eat it. Move on.
I know what it’s like to obsess about food. I used to do it all the time. But over the past few years, I have put serious effort into developing a healthy relationship with food. So dedicated have I been to that project that I cringe now when I’m subjected to overt or even slightly cloaked versions of the message that there are good foods and bad foods. And good people eat the healthy, good foods. Bad people eat the “junk.”
This kind of talk makes me sad and annoyed at the same time. I never know whether to say something when a friend gets into that mindset, or just let it go and mind my own business.
Our food choices don’t determine our worth. And we do get to eat what we want, in the amounts we choose to eat it, at the time of day we desire to do so. And when we do that, we are neither more nor less worthy or virtuous after we’ve eaten than before we ate.
What does a healthy relationship with food mean to you? How do you respond to people who engage in the good/bad talk where food is concerned?