The other day I was at the grocery store carrying out one of my 12 usual grocery store runs for the week when I bumped into two ladies I knew from my neighbourhood. The first words which came out of both of their mouths was “Don’t look at what I put in my cart”. I guess this comment was made because I’m a Holistic Nutritionist, but I walked away feeling terrible for them and myself. Growing up it wasn’t so much about food shaming as it was about body shaming. Now suddenly there is yet another issue to add to the list as women to make us feel insecure, inadequate or guilty and it needs to stop, now.
Ladies let’s face it, we are hard on ourselves. Shame, guilt and inadequacies seems to be on our radar from an early age and the pile on seems to be growing. Now although there does come a sense of some freedom once you reach a certain age, we are not quite free of all demons. So, I propose we collectively free ourselves of the shame we have connected with what we should or should not put in our bodies or furthermore, what others put into their bodies. “When you judge others, you don’t define them you define yourself”. -Wayne Dyer
Now, I am all about healthy eating and real food. I am because I have watched what it has done for my family and do try to make it a priority because it has changed our lives. However, this doesn’t mean we don’t indulge.
Sometimes Friday night comes around and I’m over cooking because I’m tired, so we order in. No shame in that! Sometimes it’s a Wednesday and I’m not tired so we go OUT for dinner, no shame in that either. Sometimes I get myself and my husband a gooey brownie from a local bakery and I FEEL NO SHAME! Why? Because I know I am just trying to get through the day as balanced as I can and it’s not every day. Sometimes packing lunches, keeping the house clean, trying to keep up my work all while trying not to drop the f-bomb in front of the kids needs the balance of a big goblet of wine at the end of the day.
Life’s indulgences shouldn’t make you feel bad nor should we make others feel bad either. You want to eat meat or not eat meat, go for it! Peanut butter and jam sandwiches in the car as you are rushing to hockey practice? I get it… Sitting at your desk while you scarf down last night’s Chinese food because the baby was up all night and your boss has given you a really tight deadline? Rock on sister. Been there, done that.
So, let’s remove a layer of guilt in our lives and know we are doing the best job we can. Some days, better than others…but no shame in that.
I leave you with a few quotes from a woman who has spent her career researching shame. Be good to yourself and others.