We all have that voice in our head that lets us know when we have eaten something that we “shouldn’t” have eaten. That voice that knows ALL the dieting rules. We’ve worked diligently to train this voice. To teach it all about the things we’ve read in books, and articles along with all we’ve heard people teach us about “proper” nutrition. This voice means well. We call it the food police and it’s only trying to keep us “on task” and working toward the goal, which is the job we gave it. It’s time to fire the food police.
The food police voice is a hinderance when it comes to reconnecting with the intuitive eater within. It is important for each of us to challenge and ultimately change what this voice says to us when it comes to food and eating.
“Scream a loud “No” to thoughts in your head that declare you’re “good” for eating minimal calories or “bad” because you ate a piece of chocolate cake. The Food Police monitor the unreasonable rules that dieting has created. The police station is housed deep in your psyche and its loudspeaker shouts negative barbs, hopeless phrases, and guilt-provoking indictments. Chasing the Food Police away is a critical step in returning to Intuitive Eating.” (Tribole, Evelyn ; Resch, Elyse (2012-08-07). Intuitive Eating, 3rd Edition (p. 94). St. Martin’s Press. Kindle Edition.)
Even the media is taking advantage of the food police in your head by creating advertising campaigns that include such words as:
- “Be bad. Snack well, they let you be bad, and still be good” (an ad for SnackWell’s Fudge Drizzled Caramel Popcorn).
- Guiltless Gourmet (a food company that specializes in fat-free snacks)
- “It’s like you dieted and went to heaven” (a magazine ad for Bailey’s Light).
- “Butter Paroled, Margarine Charged” (an article in Eating Well magazine).
Statements such as these make it difficult to view eating as a pleasurable activity. These statements also bring the food police out of our heads and into society as we begin to hear those around us telling us the same things. These statements are not necessarily true simply because you hear them in your head AND from others within society. These statements are part of the problem not part of the solution. Challenging these statements is part of the solution.
As we work through this principle we’ll talk about the different voices we hear; how they help and how they hurt. We’ll end this discussion with what the intuitive eater voice sounds like. This is the voice we want to hear. This is the healthy voice; the one that matters and helps us along the journey.