Picture this: You’re out with a group of friends for a post-dinner treat at a self-serving frozen yogurt shop (such as 16 handles). Everyone grabs a cup and then the “do-it-yourself, pile as many goodies as you want, free for all” mentality is ON!
Before you know it, you end up with the most massive cup of them all. Of course, someone makes a comment about you “going all out.“
And the food shaming begins. You begin to feel guilty and “bad” for indulging in something that you know is not as healthy as kale.
A recent (funny) video by comedian Amy Schumer shows how fixated women are on their food choices and depicts real-life ways in which women food shame themselves. See below for link:
Many of us have a habit of classifying foods as being “good” or “bad.” We judge others and ourselves for the foods that we are eating. So when we order french fries rather than vegetables as a side at dinner, we feel guilty and often times this “food shaming” can result in a low self-esteem. Thoughts such as “I can’t believe I ate that, I’m the worst. I’m so bad how could I let myself do that” run through our minds and we begin to feel pretty crappy about ourselves.
So what should we do?
Get rid of the “good” or “bad” mindset
We need to move away from this “all or nothing” mentality. By classifying foods into “good” or “bad” we are putting the blame on ourselves. Let’s be real here, we all know we should be eating dark leafy greens and healthy fats but that scoop of ice cream isn’t going to add 5 inches onto your waist. Eating should be a rewarding and pleasant experience. We should enjoy our food and not see it as “evil.” I’m sorry, but a scoop of ice cream is not worth developing disordered eating for (agree?).
Trust yourself and own it
Often times, we feel guilty when we eat something “bad” because we don’t feel good about our eating overall. This is also the reason why we are more sensitive to other’s comments about our eating. When you become more confident about your eating, you will find that comments from others (who more than likely are not comfortable with the way they are eating) won’t bother you as much.
Don’t be the one to start it
Pay more attention to your own judgements about the food choices that others make and refrain from making shameful comments.
Read on for more on food shaming in this well-written Women’s Health article, which goes into more detail about this topic.
As Evelyn Tribole MS, RD says to Women’s Health , “If you’re feeling guilty as you’re eating it, you can’t possibly enjoy it.” Well said.
Ever been in a situation where food shaming was happening? How did you handle it? What are your feelings on the “good” and “bad” labels we put on food?