If I’m being honest I have a lot of pet peeves, people chewing with their mouths open, slow drivers, people who are always late, people telling me that carbs are bad and the list goes on. I’m hoping this post won’t turn into a rant but honestly it probably will. One of my biggest pet peeves lately is when people say they need to workout to earn their food. Food does not have to be earned, this mentality leads to disordered eating. If you want to enjoy a piece of cake or a large bowl of mac & cheese you shouldn’t have to put yourself through an intense workout because you think you need to earn it. I often hear other trainers try to motivate their clients by telling them that if they do well during the workout then they’ve earned their cheat meal or I hear them punish their clients when they hear that they’ve had a slip up on their eating (people should not be punished for eating).
I remember attending a fitness class at my local gym, it was around Christmas time and the instructor started the class by saying “alright, let’s earn some turkey”. Before this fitness instructor said this I never realized that you were supposed to earn your food. I mean I was going to shovel some turkey in my mouth regardless of whether or not I worked out. So if I didn’t workout should I feel bad for eating some turkey? Fuck no. The same goes for working out, work out because you love it, not because you’re punishing yourself.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably an adult that can make adult decisions on whether or not you want to eat something. Coming from a past struggle with disordered eating, I’ve learned to eat according to how food makes my body feel. I know for a fact that chocolate makes me breakout and gives me a stomach ache or that consuming bread gives me a stomach ache for days and causes me to break out in a rash. I know that when I eat whole foods, my body feels better, I have high energy levels and I’m not bloated. So because whole foods make me feel like my optimal self I tend to eat more of them. Sometimes I risk it for the biscuit and eat some chocolate but I’m an adult and I accept the consequences of breaking out and feeling like crap. If you want to read more on this, check out Food Freedom Forever by Melissa Hartwig, it will seriously change the way you view food and eating.
As a society and as fitness professionals I think we need to change our mindset when it comes to the way we view food. Making someone feel guilty or making yourself feel guilty about eating something does not help, it does not make you stronger, it only has a negative effect on your self esteem and self worth.
I’m going to keep preaching this until it becomes common practice.