This morning as I scrolled through my Instagram feed I saw a fitness model post a picture of a food many of her followers (and likely most people in general) would deem unhealthy.
I started to scroll past because to me it was just a regular meal.
And then a comment from one of her followers caught my eye...
“You deserve it”.
I wondered WHAT she did to make her follower think she deserved food as a reward. What could the model have possibly done that was so awe-inspiring that her follower believed a fat-laden meal was a reward? Why was eating a reward?
What was she doing before where she didn't deserve to eat a doughnut? I mean, she's a fitness model... ONE doughnut is not going to make or break her.
But then it reminded me of my habits in the past; when I would allow myself with something fatty or carb-loaded because I had finished a long run or completed a grueling workout. I rewarded myself like a dog; giving myself a treat because I was a few pounds lighter or a quarter of an inch thinner...
(good girl, woof).
Here’s the thing, I didn’t deserve it.
I was never deserving.
Because if I was two pounds lighter then that meant that I could possibly be 5 pounds lighter, and if I was a quarter inch thinner then I could be a half an inch thinner… and I would eat dessert then.Then I would be worthy of a treat.
What I’ve learned though, is that I was deserving before I ran the long run or fit into the size two.
Because being deserving, has nothing to do with how hard we work our bodies, what size pants we wear, or what number is reflected on the scale.
Being deserving is about believing we are deserving. Believing that we have more about us than our physical appearance.
And rewarding ourselves with/ depriving ourselves of food or telling ourselves that we’ll be worthy when we are a certain size or weight only causes more guilt, obsession, and feelings of worthlessness.
We should eat food because it makes us feel satisfied, nourished, and content. And, we should work out because it makes us feel strong, energetic, and willful. And in this same vein, food should not be a treat we only get when we have completed a challenging task or had a taxing day and exercise is not punishment.
Now, I’m absolutely not advocating for over-indulging every day of the week and every meal of the day because it’s wildly important to concentrate your diet around nutrient dense foods like fruits, veggies, lean meat (or proteins if you’re veg) and whole grains.
What I’m putting down here to is to stop associating food with "good" or "bad". Stop telling yourself you can’t have the doughnut because you didn’t work out or that you’ll only have dessert if you weight a certain weight.
Because it’s not the small things or the indulgences that make the differences, it’s the overall picture and the things we do regularly that make the difference (when it comes to eating).
Stop letting your self-worth be dictated by anything other than your self-worth.
You’ll never be worthy or deserving enough if you always place boundaries on it. One’s fitness, or lack thereof, does not equal self-worth.
No weight, size, or intensity of workout can make you a better person or better mama.
You are deserving just how you are.
So, eat the doughnut, the taco, or the pizza... without letting it mean anything.
And then enjoy your life.
You deserve it.
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