The more I practice as a dietitian, the more passionate I become about promoting body positivity, feeling good about ourselves, and taking the focus off of weight. I’d like to introduce more posts exploring these topics to this blog, starting with today’s post about separating self worth from food choices. Let me know what you think about me doing more posts on these topics!
Men’s locker room talk got a lot of attention in this past year. Well, if by “locker room talk” you mean sexual harassment. But that’s a whole other can of worms.
Anyways, today I wanted to chat about women’s locker room talk. Which all too often consists of diet talk and detox talk. I think subconsciously, the reason I never shower at the gym and prefer to shower at home is so that I can get in-and-out of the women’s locker room as fast as possible and thus avoid hearing these conversations.
I wasn’t fast enough one day this week though because I caught a snippet of a conversation between two students catching up on their weekend. Starting with:
“I was so bad…”
Ugh, I HATE that phrase. I mean, did you murder someone? Did you rob a convenience store? No? Oh, you just ate a few slices of pizza or went out for a McFlurry?
That doesn’t make you bad! Just as choosing green smoothies and tofu stir fries doesn’t make you good. We need to start separating our self worth from our food choices. We are more than what we eat!
And I’m not trying to be all holier than thou here because – believe me – I’ve been there. I think if someone said they hadn’t, they’d be lying. We are all exposed to these ways of thinking from a young age so of course those thoughts are going to infiltrate our own. But having these thoughts on any kind of regular basis can be destructive. I remember in 10th grade some girls in my class decided they were being “good” by skipping lunch every day, so I thought I needed to be “good” and do that too. Well, all that came of that was incessant hunger pangs through my afternoon classes, barely enough energy to walk home at the end of the day, and an all out binge when I got home. Healthy? Not at all.
The good news: these ingrained thought patterns can be changed, and it starts with awareness. Next time you have one of these kinds of thoughts, recognize it – and replace it. Instead of “I’m being bad”, think about how much you’re going to enjoy your [insert food here] and make the decision to mindfully eat it. Way more fun than beating yourself up, right? Keep on thinking this way and over time, those negative thoughts will be powerless.
How do you deal with these kinds of thought patterns?