Hi Gorgeous, I've been thinking a ton about the concept of food-shaming this week, and I want to talk to you today about why you need to show that shame to the door--and give it the boot.
It all started with a piece of chocolate cake. Let me explain:
I went to a friend's 40th birthday party at a lovely cocktail bar. I knew there would be artisanal cocktails and some light appetizers there, so I ate a very light dinner before I went. I wasn't really feeling it for the salty prosciutto and olives once I got there, because what I was really jonesing for was some kick-ass chocolate cake.
We've all had that unbelievably amazing kind of cake--the kind from a special bakery that you love. The kind that has a buttercream frosting that's sweet (but not too sweet), creamy (but not too mousse-y), dense (but light at the same time), and moist (but not too gooey). The kind that is so delicious that you not only dream about it the next morning, but your mouth waters for weeks afterward whenever you think back on it.
So I was super duper pumped that night when I spied a large white box on the bar counter that housed the exact cake I was looking for. And I could not wait to have a piece.
Once we sang my friend Happy Birthday, she blew out the candles, we cheered her on, and the cake was cut into thick, large pieces that I could not wait to sink my chompers into. And let me tell you, I was not disappointed. This cake was a chocolate explosion in my mouth. Every inch of my body buzzed with pure joy. Because really, isn't one of the greatest pleasures in life is getting to eat the very food you've been craving?
So I had my cake, and I ate it, too.
But it wasn't without controversy.
Two friends at the party took one look at me eating the cake and had to find out what the hell was going on.
First, there was this: "YOU eat CAKE?!? I thought you were Paleo!!!"
And then came this: "I can't believe you're eating a piece of cake--I thought you didn't eat that stuff!" To which I immediately replied, "Take a picture! I'm sharing this with my tribe to show them that not only do I eat cake, but I'm going to enjoy every bite!!"
How is it possible that I preach Paleo one minute and eat chocolate cake the next?
Because it's part of life and I'm human. Because pleasure is my favorite nutrient. Because I wanted it and it tasted so. damn. good. Because I savored every single bite and stopped when I was satisfied, about halfway through. Because during the course of an ordinary day I spend more time thinking about the big rocks (protein, veggies, fats, root veggies) than I do thinking about my indulgences. Because I believe in the power of chocolate and how good it can feel to scratch an itch. Because guilt is no longer part of my vocabulary when it comes to food. Because I'm allowed!
Since I've adopted these beliefs, I'm able to easily maintain my weight and my appetite and cravings stay in check. The feeling of "it's never going to be enough" has been replaced with "I always have enough". And that just makes me feel incredibly free.
There's no more negative self-talk, no more shame around my choices, and zero guilt. I can actually be present and savor the flavor of the foods I love. And as a result, I don't overeat them.
Permission around foods takes away their power. They're far less sexy or alluring, and altogether less tempting.
Truly listening to your cravings and only giving in to them when you really, truly want them is also a game-changer. The art of satisfaction gets taken up a notch. You're always going to enjoy eating something more when you really have a craving for it, rather than just mindlessly eating it because it's there. The brain receives messages in a totally different way when we're eating in our happy place.
Finding your bliss is about empowerment, not judgment.
And while we're on the subject of pleasure and eating, let's talk about YOU and your journey.
Guilt is like a bag of bricks; it feels so much better when you just put it down. That bag of bricks represents your journey, and what you decide to do with it is your responsibility.
Your choices and eating habits are your business and your responsibility--noone else's.
I've had everyone from complete strangers to family members to clients eat foods in front of me and wind up apologizing. They say to me, "I know you probably don't approve of this, but..."
But nothing. There's nothing that you need to confess to me. The only one who needs to be accountable for your eating is you. The only one who needs to answer to you is you.
I dare you to celebrate your choices--they're a huge piece of who you are--and think about the pleasure they bring to you.
Ta ta for now, Esther