A couple of months ago I was talking with my best friend. She and her husband were out on a dinner date with another couple. As they were ordering, she noticed that everyone decided to get a salad...but she wanted a burrito...but everyone else was getting a salad...but she wanted a burrito…so she got a salad.
Has anyone else ever been in this situation? You go out to eat with your friends or family and have your mind set on what sounds good to eat and then get something else because your original choice wasn’t as “healthy” as what the other person/people got? And you have this internal dialogue that maybe goes something like they will totally judge me if I get a burrito OR I should get something healthier so they don’t think I eat unhealthy food or judge me for my choice.
Let me tell you something. We need to stop FOOD SHAMING. What is food shaming? Food shaming is when a person judges someone’s (or their own) food choices and can make shameful comments about those choices. It has become an unhealthy habit in our society. I am in total support of taking care of and nourishing your body. Your body knows what it wants. Listen to those cravings. I feel like our bodies are so confused because we try to cram “healthy” fad diets into them for a week, then give up and go back to the way we were eating, to then go on a juice cleanse for three days. It’s a vicious cycle...and your toilet agrees.
Now, no one was telling my friend that she should get a salad rather than a burrito, nor do I think the people she was with would have shamed her for not getting a salad. But no one had to say or do anything for her to feel guilted into getting the "healthier" option. Food shaming has been a part of our culture for a looooong time which makes it hard to go out and enjoy a meal without feeling judged for what you’re eating...because it is ingrained into our brains that salad=healthy and cheeseburger=unhealthy which certainly isn’t always the case!
So how do we do our part to end food shaming? LET PEOPLE EAT WHAT THEY WANT. Stop the internal and external judgments of a person’s food choices (including your own!). Start conversations about what food shaming is. Come up with and practice responses to someone who food shames you. Plus, there are plenty of other things to gossip about like the fact that Kayne West is running for president and that Splash Mountain is being turned into a wonderful majestic Princess and the Frog ride (like, I literally can’t even, I’m so freaking excited!!).
What someone chooses to eat (or not to eat) is deeply personal and can be a factor of someone struggling with their body image, an eating disorder, or their relationship with food. And if you are struggling with one of those then surround yourself with positive influences. Stand up for yourself and be confident in your choices. Nourish your body! Love and be kind to yourself and others. Start the conversation about food shaming to educate yourself and those around you! And most importantly, in the wise words of Donna Meagle, TREAT YO’SELF!