Let me tell you a quick story, one recently told to me by a young woman as we discussed a topic unrelated to eating . . . but then again, it was. How we interact with food in our lives is so often a reflection of our tendencies in general.
So, here’s the story, as told by a yoga classmate while we considered our own reactions to rules imposed upon us:
Back in junior high school, the boys were allowed to wear blue jeans; the girls were not. We could wear colored jeans though . . . seemed so unfair!
It really pissed me off because it made absolutely no sense. So I got a really obnoxious pair of pink jeans – the most obvious, ugly pair I could find. They had kinda sparkly things on them, and they were really, really PINK – I mean BRIGHT PINK!
I wore them every day, even though I didn’t like them, just because the rule was so stupid. I mean the boys’ jeans were so beat out. We (the girls) actually had nice-looking jeans. UNFAIR!
I really hate it when people set rules that make no sense. I feel like I just have to break them.
Bingo! She hit the nail on the head. People are often the same way when it comes to eating rules. If they don’t make a conscious choice to follow a particular rule, it is just like someone arbitrarily telling them they can’t wear blue jeans. The response is similar: “I can’t eat any chocolate, huh?! Watch me!!” Then they eat an entire box.
Just like my friend wearing her pink pants, they really don’t want to eat that much chocolate. They want to choose the rules (call them guidelines, if you prefer) that make sense for them.
There are lots of rules on the internet about eating. Read carefully, and consider thoughtfully, before imposing them on yourself. If they make sense, it won’t feel restrictive; it will feel nurturing. If they don’t make any sense for you, they will feel like a pair of sparkly pink pants you wear just to make a point.