This is Post Three of the 30 Days of Shamelessness Challenge—Eat. Whatever you want.
Anyone who has read this blog for more than a couple weeks (or looked at the header image of me smoking a stalk of asparagus) knows that food is something that has always had an important role in my life, for better or for worse.
Because of that, I have an issue with this prompt in the traditional sense, so I’m going to make it my own.
(Ahem…sorry, you had to know this was coming.)
By definition, “shame” is: a negative emotion, capacity to feel unworthy, state of disgrace or cause of regret. Those are powerful words to assign to something necessary for survival, but yet there’s still that association.
I eat a SunButter and banana sandwich a few times a week—no shame.
As I’ve said before, many Americans are just generally worked up about food. They’re told food can both protect them from and causes diseases, improve their minds or rot their brains, bring them pleasure or bring them pain. They are seduced by the loveliness of its aroma and multiple forms of “food porn” and then chastised when they actually indulge in something “sinfully” delicious.
For some people, eating is a nuisance and interrupts their regularly scheduled programming of daily life. It’s unimportant and simply necessary. For others, it’s a very powerful tool.
Standard lunch or dinner because it’s delicious, not just because I think I need veggies (well, and it’s easy as heck.) No shame.
It’s taken me a long time and a lot of work, but eventually I’ve reached a point where food no longer holds such power over me. When I’m dealing with daily stress and frustrations, I try not to turn to food as the fastest, easiest path to either pleasure and gratification or restriction and punishment.
In other words, I eat what I want.
Even if it’s a whole Amy’s Pesto Pizza at 9pm on a Saturday after a day full of three meals and a snack. Yes, this is a regular occurrence—no shame.
While I do long for more freedom with my thinking, I know I don’t ever want to be ambivalent towards my choices. I will never see eating as simply a nuisance that interrupts my regularly scheduled programming of daily life.
It will always be important and I’ll always carefully consider my options and allocate the time, effort and money to eat the foods that I truly prefer. Others may question my motivation, but in the end, I’ve been through too much and worked entirely too hard to let others influence how I feel about myself and my choices.
I actually crave huge salads, but I make sure to add in whole avocados and other ingredients to bulk the things up—no shame.
This isn’t an exercise in deprivation, self-harm or righteousness. The last thing I feel is deprived or restricted. It’s simply the way that I feel the best and it doesn’t even feel like a choice—it’s just me and how things are, how I want things to be.
So at this point, I do eat whatever I want with no shame—treats and all. While I most certainly have my moments—probably more than most people— the only time I ever regret what I’ve eaten is when I know it wasn’t what I really wanted.
I realize we all have different needs and wants, but we all also have the option to make the best choices for us—day to day and meal to meal. There should be no regret, as at that moment, it was what we wanted to eat.
No matter what, shame is not a side dish.
30 Posts of Shamelessness Challenge