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… 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.