No Mama, You Don't Have to "Earn" Your Food, and This is Why
I see you struggling with that inner critic inside your head.
You know the one I’m talking about?
The one that keeps a running log of everything you’ve eaten and treats you like a balance sheet rather than a human being.
The one that shames you and makes you feel guilty when that scale has tipped in an unfavorable way.
Do you restrict yourself from eating the foods you want and need because you feel like you messed up today?
Do you unnecessarily punish yourself with restriction or exercise if you ate more than you meant to or broke that food rule you’ve set for yourself?
Maybe other people can eat the things they want - but you have a different standard for yourself. Maybe indulging in dessert equals extra miles on the treadmill, eating out with friends means longer hours spent in the gym, or a higher number on the scale means less food during the day.
Food has become something you have to earn, something so calculated that you can’t even understand what your body is needing anymore. You’re bound by food rules, and as a result, you’re missing out on moments and relationships that really matter.
That nagging critic can make you feel so bad about your basic needs: food, belonging, connection, and acceptance. We’ve become so blinded by this distorted message about food and our bodies that all joy has been stripped away.
On the outside, it might make you feel like you have things under control. But on the inside, you are raging with turmoil, burdened with fear, anxiety and guilt about food and exercise.
I understand mama, because I used to live with that food shaming critic, too. Until I kicked it to the curb for good. And you can too.
Let’s stop food shaming ourselves, shall we?
Because you are more than a balance sheet that needs to be perfectly calculated each day. Balance sheets are for cash registers, not for moms who want to live their best lives, for themselves and their children.
Balance sheets can’t account for real life and living outside the margins, like:
Sharing ice cream with your kids
Going out for a pizza night with your love
Enjoying popcorn with a movie
Celebrating your birthday with your favorite slice of cake
Feeling free to order dessert off the menu
Not depriving yourself from foods you enjoy and memories you want to make
These are things you are meant to enjoy with your one and only life without feeling like you have to punish yourself. Food doesn’t have to be a punishment anymore.
This twisted way of looking at food is a breeding ground that promotes disordered eating and poor body image.
Here’s the thing mama: you were made for more than a balancing act.
It’s never too late to put food back in its proper place. You don’t have to lose another moment wondering if you deserve food or making up for calories eaten. You are a human being. You are mother to your sweet babies - that in itself is deserving reason to feed your body well, and above all, to be kind to yourself.
Still need more convincing?
Let’s talk about that inner food critic and all the things it plants in your head and call out the lies:
Food Critic: “You need to work out for [X] amount of time if you want to eat that.” - FALSE
TRUTH: You deserve to eat and feed your body no matter what.
Body Shamer (after stepping on scale): “You only can eat vegetables and lean protein until we get this weight under control” - FALSE
TRUTH: In order to function at your best, your body needs a regular balance of carbs, protein and fat to stay nourished, feel satisfied, and prevent mood and energy crashes that come with rigid eating patterns. PSA: Scales are for fish. Toss yours out, immediately.
Guilt Trip: “You ate more than you were supposed to today. You screwed up your eating again. You messed up your diet. Better fix that by eating LESS and working out MORE.” - FALSE
TRUTH: Living by diet rules is not REAL living. Restricting your intake and using exercise as punishment will only create harm, not good.
Can you see the pattern here, mama?
It’s time to speak to yourself in a kinder tone. After all, food is meant to fuel your life, not dictate how you live and rob you of joy.
When it comes down to it, would you ever think of saying these things to your kids? Would you want them to fall prey to the shaming messages that would make them believe they don’t deserve to eat or feel guilt for eating?
How are you any different mama? You deserve the same kindness you give to your kids.
Remember that you are not balance sheet. Balance sheets are cold and calculated and cannot account for the human experiences that bring joy, laughter, warmths and connection around food and eating.
Mama, let’s talk about 3 ways you can begin breaking through an unhealthy relationship with food and your body TODAY so you can start living FREE:
Get Rid of Your Scale: ASAP. In case you thought I was joking when I mentioned it early, I’ll say it again...Toss that piece of junk, immediately. Burn it. Smash it, Blast it into smithereens. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.
Honor Your Hunger and Fullness: Diet culture is so warped that it has actually caused us to believe that our bodies’ natural cues of hunger and fullness are a BAD thing. Not anymore, mama. Our bodies are hard-wired to survive and give us the most accurate knowledge of what we need each day. Not a diet or a book of food rules. You can trust your body instead of resisting it - no more waging war against yourself.
Practice Gentle Movement: You don’t need to punish yourself with exercise. Movement should feel good in your body; something you look forward to - not dread. You don’t need to use exercise as a way to earn your food or to “burn off” something you did eat. Find ways to engage in movement that you actually enjoy - your body doesn’t deserve to be punished for eating anymore.
You deserve to feel at home in your body, mama. To nurture yourself with food you enjoy. To build memories that aren’t plagued by food rules and body shaming. You deserve to reclaim joy and live free, and you can start living your best life today.
You’ve got this!