Following a clean, healthy lifestyle isn’t just about restricting the food you put into your body. It’s about changing your entire relationship with food. It’s about respecting your body enough to not fill it with damaging junk. What it isn’t about, is spreading negativity, whether intentionally or unintentionally. You might not even realize it, but there are plenty of ways you might be food-shaming yourself and others. Have you ever said to yourself, “I walked 10,000 steps today, I deserve this cupcake”? You’ve just food-shamed yourself. Have you ever looked at your friend ordering a big juicy burger, raised an eyebrow and said, “Really?” You’ve food-shamed her as well. Every time you judge someone for their food choices or felt guilty about your own, you’re spreading a negative perception of what healthy eating is all about. So how do you stop yourself from food-shaming?
Don’t Strive For Perfection
Healthy eating is one area where being perfect won’t really do much for you. When
you cut yourself from all forms of unhealthy food, you’re setting yourself up for failure. No one can possibly eat healthy 100% of the time. If you do set this expectation for yourself, chances are you’re going to fall off the wagon very soon. And probably land on a supersized bag of fries. Clean eating isn’t a diet fad, it’s a lifestyle choice. The most crucial part about clean eating is that you make it as practical as possible. If this means eating a steak once a week, then go right ahead. Don’t feel guilty about indulging every once in awhile because it’s the best way to ensure you stay on the healthy eating track in the long run. Your favorite fitness guru might have an Instagram feed full of healthy salads, but you can be sure they’re giving in to a brownie every now and then.
Don’t Judge Others For Their Food Choices
You might have decided to eat only clean, nutritious,
whole foods, but this doesn’t mean everyone around you should too. When you start shaming others for their food choices, you’re not only being the worst lunch buddy, but you’re also not doing them any good. Even if you have your friend’s best interests at heart, being overly critical about their diet will not bring about any change. If anything, it will make them even less keen to eat healthier because you’re promoting such a negative image of it. The best way to influence them into making better food choices is to lead by example. Continue eating healthy, just don’t keep prattling on about it. And definitely do not offer them unsolicited advice. If they want your help to start eating better, they will ask you for it.
Your Vices Aren’t Superior To Someone Else’s
Everyone has a guilty favorite they like to indulge in every once in a while and that’s completely fine. Your vices will rarely ever match your friend’s and
it’s important you respect that. You might like indulging in a cocktail over the weekend, while someone else would prefer a cheeseburger. You might feel like a cheeseburger is much worse for their health than a drink is, but remember to keep your opinions to yourself. Indulgences are just that, indulgences. They aren’t meant to be had all the time, they’re little treats you give yourself for the sake of preserving your sanity. And what your friend likes to treat herself with, doesn’t have to be the same as what you’d rather have.
Develop A Healthy Relationship With Food
Shame is a negative emotion you shouldn’t be associating with something you love as much as food. Too many people believe that healthy eating involves strict restrictions on what you put into your body and cutting out entire food groups from your diet. The minute you slip on this highly restrictive regimen, you’re overcome with feelings of inadequacy and shame. This is the exact
opposite of what healthy eating should be. When you have a healthy relationship with food, you find joy in feeding your body nutritious, wholesome meals. Your perspective changes from focusing on eliminating foods, to trying to find new health foods to feed your body. When you modify your entire relationship with food, you’ll feel much less compelled to food-shame yourself and others.