When Food Is Good or Bad

Do you label some foods good and others bad? Do you label yourself good or bad depending on what you eat?

Hi, I’m Nicole C. Ayers, and I guide women to make peace with their bodies. Today, I want to talk about food. Specifically, I want to talk about good food versus bad food. And really what I want to talk about is why are we labeling food as good or bad? Food is energy. Food comes into our bodies to sustain us so that we can go about and live our lives.

I know food can sometimes be medicinal. Food can be comfort. Food absolutely can be connection with other people, but food is not inherently good or inherently bad. Yet we feel the need to label it as such.

I was at a dinner this past Sunday with a bunch of women, and multiple times over the evening, I heard someone say, “Oh, [00:01:00] this is so bad, but I’m going to eat it anyway.”

Or what is even more dangerous is “I am so bad for eating this bad-for-me food.” Listen, the only time food is bad for you is if it makes you sick, right? If you have an allergy to something, steer clear of that food, but otherwise food is just food. In our society, we want to rank things as good or as bad.

Homemade is better than prepared food. Organic food over nonorganic food. Labels versus generics. Um, what else? Vegetables over meats, or fruit over desserts. But I’m here to tell you that all foods are okay. No foods have to be off limits, and truly no food is inherently [00:02:00] good or bad. And I want you to know that whatever you’re choosing to eat, you are not good or bad.

So join with me. The next time you catch yourself saying, “Oh, I’m going to be good today and eat a salad,” or “Oh, I’m going to be bad and have that dessert,” just take a beat. And then maybe reframe it. Say: “I am really craving some vegetables, so I’m going to eat a salad for lunch.” Or maybe you say, “You know, the last time I ate that dish, it just made me feel really heavy and not very good, so I’m going to steer clear of that one today.” Or, “You know, I am really craving this dessert, so I’m going to have a bite and really savor it and enjoy it.”

How different does that sound than I’m going to be bad because I’m eating it?

So that is your challenge. Notice when you’re placing value judgments on your food [00:03:00] and stop shaming yourself. Stop shaming your food, and know that this carries out beyond you.

If you are shaming your food, then you’re shaming other people’s food choices too. And we make all kinds of choices based on our time, based on our ability, based on our financial situation. So let’s just stop assigning food with the labels good or bad. And just let us decide in a moment: this is what I need, or this is what I want.

All right. Let me know how this lands, and I’ll talk to you soon. Take care.