Feminism / Other Stuff

Eating Clean: When is Enough, Enough?

Food is the enemyThis past week, I attended a luncheon event that featured a “clean eating” guru as the speaker. I suppose I should have prepared myself to listen to a twenty minute diatribe on the horrors of modern day eating, but it was a business function, so I envisioned a talk on…you know….business.

Now, here’s the funny thing — in theory, I’m all for eating clean and do so whenever I can. But, as I listened to the speaker blather on, I grew more and more angry. I wanted to jump up and shout,

Enough is enough! I’m sick of people using scare tactics in regard to food — soy, wheat, dairy, animal protein, caffeine, carbs, sugar, etc. BAD. BAD. BAD. Shut up, already.

I know my anger was triggered by my long and complicated relationship with food, but I was one of 150 women in the room, so I figured I was not alone in this quandary. I looked around the room and saw way too many women feeling weak, ashamed, and undisciplined because they decided to indulge in (GASP) a dinner roll with lunch.

The speaker’s fervor reinforced a well-worn message that women hear over and over again: food is the enemy. If you indulge in a perceived ‘bad’ food you are bad, guilty, naughty…you need to repent. Eat less, exercise more, try harder.

Enough, already. Show me a woman and I’ll show you someone who spends way too much time worrying about her appearance and size and what she puts in her mouth. The extreme mind-set of good/ bad foods feeds into this useless and defeating behavior that so many women struggle with. We’re ‘good’ for six or seven days, and then we snap and clean out the local 7-Eleven on the eighth day.

It’s time to call a cease fire on food. Make the best choices you can and stop the madness.

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