Thanksgiving Propaganda: Perpetuating Food Guilt?

18 After thanksgiving everyone is talking about getting ‘back on track’ and working off those extra calories. Some are taking another approach and giving us permission to have indulged.

 

What really strikes me is that this is even a freaking conversation. No matter how we spin it, it become a negative way to view food. 

 

Thanksgiving is known as a time for gratitude.  So quickly we forget when it comes to our body, exercise and food. The day after thanksgiving it’s as if the gratitude flew out the window as we work to sweat out the 'indulgences' we may have taken. Sometimes we give permission as we eat and then punish later as we exercise...but it’s all so coyly wrapped up in a pretty package labeled with things like #fitsperation.

 

Even if people aren’t pushing us to ‘shape up’ after Thanksgiving, even if they are sharing the message that indulgence should not be paired with guilt, it begs the questions why? Why do we need someone to tell us it’s okay to eat something? Giving ourselves permission to 'indulge' really says that we did something wrong. Why do we continue to apply guilt or negative emotional connotations to our food?

 

It’s sad to me that we’ve gotten to a place that we need permission to enjoy food, maybe a bit too much food. That we are so out of touch with our body that we think after a big meal well enjoyed we may just keep gorging ourselves with food until we want to burst.

 

It’s absurd how much we over think food, movement and our physique. Analyzing calories, macro nutrients, labels, holding guilt, clinging to pleasure, and otherwise fixate on the act of eating. When did this even become a thing? It seems our world of excess has twisted our relationships with ourselves, our food and perhaps the world.

 

Why on Thanksgiving do we feel the need to eat things that make us feel bad or eat until we feel bad? Tradition? Tradition that makes me hurt isn’t one I choose to participate in.

 

How have we become so out of touch with ourselves? How do we not know when to stop? Why can we not eat without guilt? What feelings are we seeking or suppressing?

 

Perhaps I’m overthinking this…..no I really don’t think so. Although it shows up more during the holidays these are issues that many of us face each day and with each meal.

 

Obsession with food, obsession with body, obsession with exercise….the desire to belong, to be accepted, to be liked by others and ourselves through our appearance.

 

If we could all find our way back to ourselves, our own personal wisdom, this would be a non issue. Meals would come and go, food would be enjoyed until satisfaction, gratitude would span for longer than one month. If only….it sounds so simple and yet I think the reason it hasn’t happened is because it’s much harder than a meal plan or gym dedication.

9 Reasons You Need To Travel

47726_10100382410618110_115808909_n In college I got a bachelor's in Communications in Culture with a Diversity minor.  I had no idea why I was majoring in it but I knew I loved to learn about other people and ways of living.

 

This desire of exploration and curiosity drew me to travel and since my first trip abroad to Australia I’ve been hooked.  A wanderlust addict with a vagabonding soul.

 

What is it that keeps bringing me back? Why do I encourage everyone to get out there and travel?

 

It’s about more than adventure, there are some life lessons found, or maybe rediscovered, on the road.  They are things we should all just practice and know innately, but our lifestyles often cause us to forget.

 

Travel Lesson 1: Loosen Up

 

Things don’t always go as planned in life.  If you are dead set on your schedule or plan, your whole trip (or life) will probably be miserable.  As a schedule-holic at home I had to learn to go with the flow more.  Let go and live.  Sometimes the most unexpected circumstances end up being the best adventures with the most fortunate outcomes.  The world works in mysterious ways.

 

Travel Lesson 2: Live Simply

 

I can live out of a backpack and be happy.  All that stuff we accumulate, that stuff that seems necessary...it’s not.  I couldn’t help but learn how much I didn’t need.  When you carry everything on your back you can only take essentials and you like having less.  In a world where material things reign supreme this is a wonderful lesson to experience.

 

Travel Lesson 3: Do What YOU Want

 

Without all the obligations that seem so important and people pulling at you all of a sudden you get to choose only what you want to do.  I tend to always put others first, which may seem like a good thing until you do it to a fault. (It’s something I’m working on)  When traveling you get to really tune into what you want, and do that.

 

Travel Lesson 4: Smile More

 

At home I walk around pretty straight faced, because I’m trying to get sh*t done!  The people I’ve met on the road smile, and it’s contagious.  I find myself smiling at everyone that walks by and smiling invites friendly awesome people and experiences to us.  We usually don’t start up a fantastic conversation, make a new friend, and have a great experience by scowling at people.

 

Travel Lesson 5: Have More Trust In Fellow Humans

 

On every single one of my travels I have been shown enormous amounts of hospitality and generosity.  It’s absolutely incredible.  People that don’t know me allow me to stay in their home, they show me around their city, feed me amazing food and share their lives with me.  

 

This could be a Seattle thing, but it seems to me that at home we don’t have a whole lot of trust that people are most often good and want to be helpful.  When we expect negative experiences that’s usually what we get, but when we trust our fellow humans they most often prove trustworthy.

 

Travel Lesson 6: Unplug

 

When abroad internet isn’t as easy to come across.  The feed isn’t available every time we glance down at our cell phone.  Thankfully.

 

Travel forces a break in the feed habit and allows us to start to fully experience the world we are in. To be truly present to our experiences.  I love the freedom of not being attached to social media, but for some reason when it’s there it’s hard to ignore.

 

Travel Lesson 8: Slow Down

 

Life lived in the fast lane may be exhilarating for a bit but before we know it life passed us by and it was such a blur we have no idea if we enjoyed it or not. Life is meant to be lived, not rushed through.  At home I’m always scheduling a million things and trying to race the clock (btw. the clock always wins).  Travelling allows me to notice the little things I miss in the rush back home.  The taste of food, the beautiful sunset, that snail that is creeping across the sidewalk.  Tiny joys in life that keep us in the present.

 

Travel Lesson 9: Patience

 

America has certain standards that have definitely helped to create big business and lots of money but it also created a society of instant gratification.  Not all countries run like ours (FYI), and when we visit another country we must learn an immense amount of patience.  Many developing countries run a lot more slowly than ours and even in countries that are very efficient often there is a language barrier that can slow things down.

There are the obvious amazing parts of travel like meeting new people and seeing new beautiful parts of the world. The adventure and the wanderlust.  If we dig just a tiny bit below the surface we discover even bigger lessons that will keep us coming back for more.