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Saturday, June 18, 2011

How can the Guidelines help YOU?

That depends, of course, on what kind of help you're looking for.  For me, the Guidelines have helped me figure out how to answer the age-old question "What should I eat for dinner?"  They've helped me relax and enjoy my food choices.  They've helped me make better and healthier choices more frequently than I ever used to do.  They've helped me appreciate my food, where it comes from, and the people who work to bring it to me more than I ever did before. 

There's nothing especially magical about them, however.  They won't make you thin.  They won't necessarily make you healthy unless you decide to make healthy food choices.  In fact, the one Guideline - "What you eat is up to YOU" - puts the responsibility for every choice you make regarding food squarely on YOU.  (Assuming, of course, you're an adult.)  The Guidelines do, however, challenge us to show ourselves love by feeding ourselves with real love.  In terms of food, real love translates into healthy food. 

We are generally so addicted to self-abuse and self-hatred that we tend to frame even the things we do that are supposed to be "good" for us in negative ways.  Diets or other food regimens are frequently defined in terms of what we "can't" have.  Whenever I've been on a "diet" I don't remember spending much time thinking about all the luscious fruits and vegetables I could have been eating - I remember focusing mostly on all the buttery, creamy, salty, crunchy things I couldn't have.  I don't remember celebrating my "healthier" way of eating - I remember beating myself up mentally if I didn't "stick to" the diet. 

I  may not have a degree in psychology but I do know enough about my own emotional states that I can recognize these feelings are not condusive to healthy self-love.  By encouraging us to nourish ourselves in the most loving ways possible, the Guidelines can help nurture a more loving approach to how we feed ourselves, and ultimately, to our relationship with all that sustains us in the wider world.  It is no accident that "milk" and "kindness" have been long equated. 

1 comment:

Walk in the Woods said...

"...the Guidelines can help nurture a more loving approach to how we feed ourselves, and ultimately, to our relationship with all that sustains us in the wider world."

'Tis true.

And using the rainbow makes for some beautiful meal presentations … reaching yet another sense that appreciates nourishment … and that nourishes us!