I just saw a magazine cover with a beautiful artisan-looking pizza with fresh veggies and all — looks yummy, right? The headline was “Guilt-Free Pizza”. Trigger angry rant…
Why are you implying that pizza comes with guilt? Pizza is food, not cheating on exams or spouses, not embezzling from charity, not lying to get out of jury duty. Yes, healthy pizza is good for your body, but if you choose to eat greasy, meat-laden monstrosities with cheese-stuffed crust and indigestible consequences, you own that choice. Own it hard and make no apology.
If you “know you shouldn’t”, then don’t. Easy as that (OK, sometimes it’s difficult, but ultimately, you control your body’s movements. Refuse to guzzle that dish of gravy. You have will power). You better make good food choices for your children, and you’d better model good eating habits for them, but if you are an adult, YOU choose what you eat and when. I’m sick to death of this culture of “oh, all the food I want is Bad, so I have to self-flagellate every time I enjoy a meal and say I just couldn’t resist.” Stop it. I will give zero quarter to that talk. I will straight up ask you if the box of chocolate put a gun to your head. No? Then it seems like you made a fully-informed decision to eat them.
Let’s not “resolve to eat better” this year. Let’s resolve to take responsibility for our choices (how about all of them, not just food choices?) and stop pretending we are slaves to desire and circumstance. Then guess what? When you have the power and responsibility over your own life, you tend to take that responsibility more seriously. You tend to make the choices that are better for you and then, when you start feeling better, those good choices are reinforced. And when you occasionally want to gorge on truffles and wine? Do it. But don’t lie to yourself and everyone else about who made the choice. “Tonight I was sad and wanted to eat my feelings and get buzzed while I watched reality TV to make myself feel better about my life. And it was everything I hoped it would be. No regrets.”
Then, another wonderful thing will happen. Stupid cultural messages designed to make you feel powerless and guilty about your life choices will not be able to inspire vague impulses to spend money on things you don’t need. You’ll see “guilt-free pasta/dessert/cocktails” and laugh and laugh. Because society and magazines and water-cooler-talk have NO POWER to make you feel bad about your food choices — only you do.