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  • Writer's picturePaige Smathers

Whether You Know it or Not, You're Likely Making this Mistake with Food

Whether we know it or not, most of us are operating on this premise with food: If I'm just mean enough to myself this time, maybe I'll finally be healthy!

A big no to that one, friends! First of all, it's completely understandable why we might initially approach food this way. We are steeped in a culture that sends us this message on a regular basis. The way most of our friends and family talk about food and bodies is along the lines of manipulation, restriction, guilt, being "good", etc. I get why many of us operate from this premise and if you identify with this, you are not to blame!

But, let's do better. It's plain old not true (or helpful) to approach our nutrition with intense self-criticism, harshness, or meanness.

Think about it like this: feeding ourselves is one way we practice self-care. The key word there is CARE. In order to care for ourselves, we have to work on coming at that care from a place of compassion. It just doesn't make sense to approach care from a place of negativity and self-berating—how can *care* come from anything but gentleness, kindness and compassion?

This makes total sense when we think of how we care for others. It's easy to conceptualize what caring for another person means. Can you work on bridging the gap in how you care for others to how you care for yourself? That, to me, is the essence of self-compassion.

But remember, self-compassion isn't some excuse to "not care" or "not try" with our relationship with food. It's actually the key to unlocking your ability to ask yourself reasonable questions with food like: Am I hungry? Does this sound good? What might satisfy me right now? What can I add to this meal to help me feel my best?

If this resonates as a premise you're operating from, can you work on changing the script? Whether it's in therapy, through a writing practice, or talking with someone who knows you and loves you, can you practice coming to your food from a place of self-compassion?


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