Tis the season of food guilt

You don’t need to feel guilty for what you choose to eat, and you have nothing to make up for, and no reason to apologize. You don’t need to titter and say “Well, maybe just a little bit more” when someone offers something you want to eat.

Food guilt season is upon us!

And that means lots of people fretting about what they’re eating, how much of it they’re eating, and how they will possibly “work it off” after food guilt season is over. This is, paradoxically, a time of plenty when people are supposed to be celebrating with food, and a time when people are supposed to be deeply ashamed of the fact that they eat food, and that it is enjoyable.

Lesley recently reminded readers that cake isn’t evil, and it’s worth another reminder that food itself isn’t naughty. Food isn’t bad. It’s not an “indulgence” you need permission to partake in. It’s a biological necessity, okay? Food is life. Y’all are grown folks and you can make your own decisions about what you eat, where you eat it and how much of it you choose to consume.

From the wonderful s. e. smith over at xo jane.

(Cross-posted at blue milk).

Categories: gender & feminism, health, Life, relationships, Sociology

Tags: ,

4 replies

  1. *TW: Food and eating issues*
    Thank you for the link. I think I’m getting better at rejecting the “moral” messages around food, but I just recently had a conversation with a friend/ex about my plan to start baking again.
    Me:”I’m going to cook stuff like cassava cake and sticky rice, so I can justify it for cultural reasons”.
    Him: ”Justify what? To who?”
    The notion that I have to justify partaking in an activity I really enjoy just because I usually end up eating something at the end of it is really messed up.

  2. Thanks Perla, your conversation is an excellent example. I find myself sometimes slipping into these things too. So insidious.

  3. Thanks for the link, I can always use a reminder.
    Food guilt and body shame was basically a sport on my mother’s side of the family, especially at christmas, with Nan, aunties, and cousins all lining up to compare who is getting fat, who isn’t what everybody ate, etc.
    And for all that, there was also pressure never to be “too thin”, constant discussion about who had or had not “filled out” etc. And don’t forget the “nice people don’t eat seconds of dessert” (i still don’t understand this, as if eating the sweets over three days is actually different to finishing it in one).
    Mostly I think people meant well, and wanted to bond over shared body-misery, but it totally sucked and lead to internalised self-hatred all round.
    Perla, I totally understand, I Bake, too, and it can really suck when guilt gets in the way of an enjoyable hobby (also, I don’t know about you, but I hate it when I cave and then realise I have wasted my baking efforts and expensive vanilla on not-so-great healthier versions).
    If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the No Diet Talk stuff at Definatalie. Well timed indeed.

  4. Thanks tigtog and Keira. I’m always looking for more fashion and size acceptance inspiration!

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