It has become common to use sin-and-salvation terminology when talking about food. We’ve all heard this kind of language before – whether in a magazine, a website, or a talk show. The reality is that we have made food into an enemy. Eating, a God-given activity for the preservation of life, has become a path to shame. A mentality of restriction has made us desire food all the more. But this reaction is natural – like the urge to gasp after having one’s oxygen restricted.
We don’t have an oxygen toxicity epidemic because breathing is not an issue. We have an obesity epidemic because apparently eating is.
Now, perhaps you have joined the crusade for healthy body image. Perhaps you do not even own a scale. Perhaps your sisters and daughters care more about which ice cream flavor tastes best than which has the lowest calories. If so, bravo! But I am calling for an even more extensive revolution – one in which we remove the morals from the experience of eating entirely.
It’s time to depose the diet demigod. It’s time to glorify the Most High rather than the Low-Fat. Restore order by putting food in its natural place, and your weight will find its natural place as an outcome. Discourage the use of moral language in the context of food or eating. Teach your daughters that chocolate cake is not “sinful,” nor is broccoli “righteous.” (These foods simply have different nutritional values!) Purge your home of diet books and magazines and maybe even Dr Oz. I’m serious. If you want your daughters to grow up truly healthy and free, this is the way to do it. Say grace before meals. Cook and bake with your family. Go strawberry picking. And above all, focus on counting your blessings, not your calories.
What are some ways that you challenge Diet Culture in your home?
Copyright 2014 Sarah Blake