I was teaching at a gifted program at Northwestern University for PreK/Kindergartners. They always had a nice spread of bagels and cream cheese from Panera available. I’d always have a bagel in the morning there for breakfast, and since I never packed any food for lunch, I’d have one at lunch as well.
A colleague of mine, new to the program, was offered a bagel. She immediately screamed, “I’m not eating a bagel! Those are so unhealthy for you! They are like WHITE DEATH!”
Wow, that statement really took me aback. I was stunned. Blind-sighted.
Here I was, eating white death twice a day, & had up until that point been enjoying it. Okay, it was the perfect match for what my whole body desired, but my mind and my tongue really loved it! I continued to eat White Death throughout my tenure teaching in the program.
Fast forward three years into my dark dieting days. That phrase, WHITE DEATH, really stuck with me. Anything with sugar, but especially breads/grains, was labeled WHITE DEATH, & I tried to avoid them. But as I mentioned above, I really love my bread/bagels! So, restriction lead to bingeing and misusing bread for other purposes other than physical hunger.
Restriction —> Bingeing —> False Guilt
White Death. White Death. White Death.
The teacher’s lounge is covered with White Death at all times of the year. I remember once instance after eating some White Death, I felt instantly ashamed. So, instead of chewing and swallowing. I just chewed and spit it out. And that was the beginning of my unhealthy pattern of chewing white death, and throwing it away.
Diet Mentality will do that to you.
(Honestly, how many calories was I even saving?)
I feel my throat choking as I write this. It was such a sad and desperate place to be. I was at my thinnest, and yet so afraid of food.
I no longer fear food the way I used to. I know that food is not love. Love is not food. My relationship with food is evolving. It’s exciting. It’s freedom.
How have you learned to stop labeling food as good or bad?