This was the craziest thing I came to realize during my six-month reset. All those trigger foods I was so afraid of? Some of them aren’t even that good! Just because I like cupcakes doesn’t mean I like all of them. Some cupcakes are just not delicious. Some are dry and tasteless and kinda gross.
Why would I eat something that’s kinda gross?
If it feels like the last cupcake on the planet, that’s why.
When cupcakes are perceived as evil and off limits for ever and ever, any crappy cupcake is better than no cupcake. Who KNOWS when you’ll get another chance to eat one???
But when cupcakes are just neutral inanimate objects without moral implications, there’s no urgency. If it’s a good cupcake, you eat it; if it isn’t, you don’t. Cupcakes aren’t rare. More cupcakes will come around in life. It’s just not a huge deal.
The longer I let myself eat whatever I wanted, guilt-free, the more the realizations piled up:
Not all bread is delicious.
Not all French fries are delicious.
Not all cookies are delicious.
Not all muffins are delicious.
Not all candy is delicious.
These were mind-boggling breakthroughs for me. I’d spent so many years defining myself as someone who “just likes food too much.” But it turns out I just feared food too much.
When you criminalize or deify food, you give it power. When you neutralize food, you take your power back. Not all food is delicious, and there is not a single food in this world capable of the mind control we give it credit for.
Don’t worry if you haven’t experienced this feeling yet — depending on where you are in your intuitive eating journey, you may or may not have gotten to the point where some food is just meh. But the more you eat with complete freedom from shame and judgment, the more you will give your mind and tastebuds the opportunity to reframe your entire approach to food.
The next time you’re faced with a food you fear, try taking a bite, and ask yourself a question: Does it taste good? It might. It might not. The answer isn’t the point; the point is asking the question.
What you do with the answer isn’t the point either. Maybe it tastes great, so you eat it. Maybe it’s great, but you find you’re not in the mood. Maybe you find it’s not very good, so you don’t want it. Maybe you think it’s not that delicious, but you keep eating it anyway — because you’re hungry, because you paid money for it, because it’s someone’s birthday and you need to be polite, because you just feel like it.
There are so many reasons to eat or not eat a particular food at a particular moment, and it’s so much more nuanced than diet culture’s false dichotomy of good foods vs. bad foods. And none of it—none—has any bearing on your worth as a person.