Eating “good” or eating “bad” or even “better” is not is what is making us skinny, fat or whatever other adjective we choose to describe ourselves as. In fact it is just another way for us to put the name tag of perfectionism on our plate. Yes, there always is a food pun.
The truth is that these barometers of wellness are only successful at one thing..not meeting our goals which aka results in our direct happiness!! It’s so interesting, I do understand the equation and the relevance of why we use these terms, yet the funny things is, that in general the people who are having the least success with their food, weight, and health patters are the ones that are referring to it as such. Why is that?
What happens when we lean into the Good and Bad debate in our own thunderdome of a mind?
- Well you all know this one, but black and white thinking only leads us to dangerous tipping points. All in or all out. Binge or starve. Whole bag, none at all.
- This is the one I think is really interesting… It is not goal oriented at all!! When we are looking to embark on any journey be it from recovery of food issues, better health or weight loss, it’s all the same…being good isn’t a definable measure. “Oh I just can’t succeed at my “diet”, that may just be because you have genuinely not set up structure of what definitely you are after. It leads to a lot of mistakes, second guessing, and that’s where we can get tangled up.
- What is Good, bad etc? This is different all the time and to everyone. For some people it’s the salad, for others its ordering the salad instead of the fries, and yes, for some it is the fries too!
- Its an emotionally charged word. When looking at food, we are looking to create new and healthy habits around our relationship, not a judging or derogatory one. Wait, weren’t you the person that wanted to find freedom from food. Judgement is not going to help you get there, Good or bad is rarely a term we use to describe anyone or anything, so why is food just the same.
- It makes decisions confusing. Life is complicated enough. Eating within the frame of good or bad leaves lots of room for errors, take the room for errors out and define what you are actually going to do.
Setting goals is important in so many aspects of our life, but much like dieting we use this sort of altruistic value system that literally ONLY sets us up to fail, and not only that, but feel shitty for ourselves afterwards even if we are not working towards a specific goal. SO what can we do.
- Make clear, descriptive and attainable goals
- Remove the emotion behind the path to get there, unless its a forward moving motivator. If its less than neutral, its a no go.
- Ditch the good and bad, its not a measure of success and is more a barometer of perfection in someones eyes
Believe me, as someone who has lost and gained A LOT of weight over the years there was never a point where at my lowest weight I thought, I am doing this “good”, if anything I felt more out of control.
The best thing you could possibly do for yourself in this space is define what you want, and start from there.