DO YOU REMEMBER THE LAST TIME YOU ate a cheeseburger? I do. It was summer, and I was at a local burger bar with my then-boyfriend, Q. He ate a double patty, and I did, too. Every bite was bliss, and I stayed in that euphoric state until I wiped my plate clean. Q went on to eat fries, but I did something different: I went on to feeling guilty. Then a familiar voice started yammering in my head, spinning its regular tune:
It didn’t matter that I worked out for two hours that day, or that it was just one burger. That voice was in my head, and it was going to make me feel all kinds of remorse for the rest of the night.
Here’s the thing: I actually have a healthy relationship with food, about 80 percent of the time. I’m Italian, so there’s that, but I’m also an athlete, so eating well – and eating often – is just as critical to my training as anything else. It’s that lingering 20 percent that is starting to drive me crazy because, on those occasions when I eat outside of my lane, I sometimes feel guilty about it.
Am I alone in feeling this way? Nope. And the reason I say this with such conviction is because I witness it all the time. When women come to my gym class on Mondays, they almost always tell me “how bad” they were on Saturday night and “how much” they need this workout. I’ve been at a table where a plate of fries is placed down and all the girls stare at those little fried potatoes with such intensity but only allow themselves a scant handful.
We live in an age where body positivity is at an all-time high. Women of all shapes and sizes are gracing everything from magazine covers to runways to gym poster ads. The message is clear: Love the body you’re in. So, why do so many of us still demonize what we put in it?
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