How Society Makes Exercise a Punishment for Eating and Why We Need This to STOP!

Do you ever say or hear, “I better work this cheesecake off tomorrow!” or “Good thing I just did my cross fit class, so I can eat this pizza tonight!” I know I have in the past! And I’m certain most of us have seen something like this: foodexercise It’s no wonder many of us have a distorted relationship with food and with exercise! We are taught indirectly that exercising or working out are a punishment to eating! As a result, we are made to feel terrible, guilty, shamed for our food choices, even if this isn’t society’s intention. I know that these charts have well intentions in that they want to help people become aware of the kind of food that they are choosing to put in their bodies.  However, associating food with exercise in this manner is not meant to create feelings of pride, self-love, or joy!!! Rather, it’s associating that these “bad foods” mean you will have to work it off through self-punishment (exercise) or you will suffer the worse thing ever in our society…consequences of weight/fat gain! It instills fear, guilt, shame, embarrassment, a lack of willpower, weakness into us. 

This kind of messaging needs to stop!!! 

I’m always encouraging people to stop labelling food as good or bad.  Foods have no intrinsic or moral value of good or bad- food is neutral. just enjoy food for what it is. When you learn to tune into your body’s own inner wisdom, it will tell you if this food is desirable or undesirable, from the feedback your body gives you (e.g., after eating a certain kind of food, do you feel bloated, tired, brain fog, constipated, gassy, pain, headache, moody, etc)?  Some people can eat wheat and it makes them feel energized. Other people feel bloated and tired after eating wheat. Who is to judge that food as good or bad? It’s all subjective. Also ask yourself why you exercise/move. Is it to punish yourself for eating those”bad” foods, or to give yourself permission to eat, or to get rid of body parts you hate? Or do you exercise and move because you respect and love your body, you want to get more energy, you want to relief stress? Perhaps you are somewhere in the middle of these responses. Whatever your reason to exercise, check in to see if it’s founded from a place of love and respect of your body. If it’s not, I encourage you to shift those reasons. Find activities that make you feel good, rather than bad. Find activities that make you feel like you’re playing and having fun, rather than torturing yourself. Learn to love movement and/or exercise by respecting your body just as it is now. Learn to love movement and exercise by de-linking food associations with exercise. Need support? Contact me and I would love to help you! Email: Phone: 780.468.1366 ext. 103


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