We live in a culture that constantly bombards us with propaganda telling us to fear food, fat, and physical inactivity. Our country has declared “war on obesity” as if there were a threat of enemy invasion on the horizon. While I see the intention of this “war” at the population level, I can’t help but feel the damage it causes to each individual. This war comes with a long list of other things we are expected to be afraid of including “junk food” or sugar, processed foods, dietary fat and carbs. Here is the catch. Have you noticed too? Each year the “fix” or way to keep yourself “safe” changes. Remember when low carb was touted as the perfect weapon? This year it’s Keto that promises to be our savior. But I also can’t keep myself from noticing that each of these regimens tries to turn food or even a body shape into something we should be scared of. In fact, we are often encouraged and at times convinced we have to make a change now and fast because the fears around food and fat keep growing inside us. After all, we have been drafted into this so-called war.
There is something very broken and flawed in this scenario. If the motive behind our behavior change is based on fear it likely means we have forgotten that our bodies are actually walking, moving and breathing miracles. We have forgotten that the food we eat actually fuels our bodies at a cellular level. If we go back to the basics of how incredible our body is and all it does for us in a day, we can re-frame the way we think about food and exercise.
- What if instead of spending all that time reading about why sugar causes cancer or what diet will “save” us, we actually spend time learning about how the body digests and processes food?
- What if we shifted our attention from the media’s list of food to avoid and began listening to our bodies tell us how it feels after we give it a certain food?
- What if instead of going to the gym in the morning because we are terrified of becoming fat we learned how to squat so we could always pick up our kids or pets from the ground?
Suddenly we can begin taking care of our bodies based on permission, not fear.
Article by Jessika Brown, Director of Nutritional Services