Yesterday a friend came over for lunch.
I tucked into my standard lunch of tuna and toast and a cup of tea.
She said she wanted a salad.
“That’s not what you should be eating” she told me, pointing to my sandwich.
She sliced up tomatoes for her salad and said: “This is what you should have.”
(Which I thought was interesting because I have noticed that people who habitually have salad for lunch generally struggle with body image)
My friend knows a lot about dieting. She’s pretty much an expert. Ask her about how many calories are in an egg, for example, and she’ll ask you fried or poached.
But I know something that she doesn’t know.
I know how to eat in a way that honours my body.
She has spent her life believing that salad is the answer and that dieting is the only way forward. And that her desire for food is the thing that she must conquer. And that she is a failure because she cannot conquer her desire. And that if she tries harder, she will be successful.
She has another choice. She could let go. She could stop trying and berating herself for failing.
She could stop believing in magazines that tell her how Jennifer Anniston achieves her bikini-body.
She could tear down the eating-plan taped to the wall in her kitchen.
She could stop trying the Dukan diet or the no carbs after 5 rule or the substantial protein for breakfast rule.
She could stop having salad for lunch and buying bags of sweets to eat in the car.
She could make life easy for herself.
She could live with ease in a world of alluring food.
She could eat only with dignity, and never with shame.
She could accept that only she is responsible for what goes in her mouth.
She could have the pastry or not have the pastry, without a drama.
She could stop believing them, and start believing herself.