Thursday, August 7, 2008

Drop the Guilt and Shame

Guilt and fear. Not the most pretty of emotions that we carry in us and often they come up around food. Okay, especially around me since I teach about food. I notice it in the way someone might act as they eat when I’m present. Feelings of the eater become apparent in the angry tension that is visible beneath the surface. The glance my way, and an almost hiding of the food, or the drop of the eyes, as I stand unaware. I become aware though, as the feeling of something wrong wafts my way. I’m usually curiously eyeing the buffet or what is on people’s plates simply assessing if there is something that I might like to eat for myself. I really am not thinking thoughts of shame or blame or anything about what others choose to consume. If they ask my opinion though, a switch will click in my thinking, so watch out. Then all bets are off and I will have some strong ideas about benefits or destructiveness of so called foods. Thankfully there are friends or acquaintances who do not have noise in their minds about what they eat. They eat what they like and enjoy it guilt free. That’s the healthy way to be. They don’t feel judged because I’m there. They don’t feel any sense of shame. They know I do what I do because I need to for my own health and that doesn’t predicate anyone else choosing the path that I am weaving. I love those people. They also can go to any restaurant with me and not ask me to order for them. Those that are constantly guilty or feeling shame for their food choices are getting more harm in my opinion from the shame and the guilt than the actual food itself. We all need to take personal responsibility and give ourselves what serves us best. My choices usually stem from what would I like coupled with what would be the most supportive for me right now. I have my never’s, as in, I never eat cane sugar and my friends know that if they do it doesn’t make them bad in my eyes. I usually tell clients, if you do, make some kudzu tea sometime after that like the next morning to bring you back and forget about it. Yet, still there are those who feel badly or try to hide the cupcake from site, I’ve even had one girl invite me to a party and ask me to bring cake. I declined as I barely know her and I don’t do cooking for hire. So drop the guilt, the fear, the shame and let’s eat well together!

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