My four year old loves superheros. There is something so satisfying about the battle between Good and Evil. Although Marvel has entertained us for decades, there is a grown-up truth; most things exist on a continuum between perfect and awful.
So why play Good and Evil with food?
While there are nutrient-dense foods and nutrient-lacking foods, there is nothing that makes a food inherently Evil, and it doesn’t help to think that way. In fact, the more food is categorized into Good and Evil, the more likely one is to indulge in hedonism. At some point, when realizing they can’t be Good all the time, people usually throw their hands up and decide they have no choice but to be Evil.
What if, instead, they accepted themselves as flawed heroes?
What if instead of subscribing to their idea of perfection, they just tried to incrementally make better food choices? Although it may take longer than going cold turkey and only eating “good” foods, it will likely also be more successful because all that time and energy won’t be spent on trying not to binge on pizza until finally... binging on pizza.
So, Flawed Hero, if you’re trying to lose weight and you want pizza, what do you do?
You eat the pizza, but you eat it slowly. You leave the crust or add a veggie. You eat one fewer slices or don’t drink a soda with it. You wait 10 minutes between each slice. You stop eating when you notice you’re full and then you go back to eating normally the next time you’re hungry. Or maybe you decide not to eat the pizza.
The beauty of living somewhere between Good and Evil is that you have a lot more choices.