I never realized how important the way we word things can be until I became a mother. All of a sudden I was the person who was communicating how the world worked to another human being. It was an intensely overwhelming feeling, and I especially felt the pressure when communicating language around food.
Like most people, I had always thought of food as either “good” or “bad”. And my knowledge of what was good or bad was based on what I saw in the media, from books like “Skinny Bitch” and “Eat This Not That”, and what I had learned in fashion and health magazines. Low fat yogurt? GOOD! Plain romaine lettuce? GOOD! Meat? BAD! Fat? BAD BAD BAD!
I totally fell for the dogma, and I know I am not the only one who was dooped. But that is a story for another day (and one I talk about A LOT on here).
As I learned more and more about our history as people, the history of nutrition, and the science of whole food nutrition, one shocking thing that stood out to me was the language that was used around food and how freaking dysfunctional it was.
At this point in history we seem to feel the need to mix our MORALITY with our food choices. People measure their self worth based on what is on their plate, when that could not be farther from the truth, whether it is a perfectly balanced meal or a piece of cake.
Instead of evaluating ourselves based on our love and service to humanity, how we treat others, how we treat our children (you know, the things that MATTER) we evaluate ourselves based on our current diet, how perfectly we can stick to it, and our gravitational push onto the earth (aka: the number on the scale).
When food is labeled as “good” or “bad”, when days we go off our “diet” are called “cheat days”, and when we continue the cycle of restriction, over indulgence, and punishment we are communicating a very clear message.
That your worth as a human only goes as far as your pant size.
Lets commit right now to changing our language around food. Lets make food about flavor, celebration, medicine, and finding out what works for our own individual bodies. Lets cut out the “good” and “bad” and “cheat” words surrounding food and let those words stay where they belong, and that is no where near the dinner table. Lets make the measure of what “works” for us and what doesn’t from a dietary stand point NOT be about weight, but about energy levels and sleep quality, among other things.
Cut out the good and the bad. Cut out the cheat. Increase the love and flavor and happiness around food. There is no where to go from here but up <3