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    THENEWMICHAEL   28,475
25,000-29,999 SparkPoints

"Guilt-free" food rant

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I'm about to go on a rant. I've been on the verge of it for days and I've decided that holding it in isn't going to cut it.

Leading up to Valentine's Day, I saw a lot of candy advertisements. I saw one in particular that got on my last nerve. The ad was for some cute little candies and the print on the ad informed me that I could enjoy these little bites "guilt free."

Well, gee, thanks for your permission, a$$hole. That's just what we need - someone to give us permission to not feel like crap about ourselves. How nice of you.

The candies were little blobs of refined sugar mixed with high fructose corn syrup - and zero nutrition - but since they were fat free, I was being encouraged to buy them and eat them. As a bonus, I would be allowed to retain my self esteem afterward.




There are a slew of companies advertising “guilt-free” this and “guilt-free” that. I don’t know why this one ad was the last straw for me, but it was. I was genuinely offended and I haven’t quite gotten over it yet.
I was completely jump-off-my-soap-box-and-punch
-someone-in-the-nose angry.

You know why?
…because ALL food is guilt free. EVERY cookie, EVERY burger, EVERY candy bar, EVERY recipe is guilt free.

Have you ever seen a recipe that called for even a teaspoon of guilt? I know I haven’t. Guilt is an emotion, not an ingredient.

If there is any guilt involved it isn’t in any food, it’s in the person eating it.

When I hear commercials that say, “Our product is made with blah blah so you can enjoy our product guilt free!” two things come to mind and both of those things make me sad and angry.

I’ve got plenty to say about both things that come to mind, so I have to cover them one at a time.

Here is the first thing: When a company says, “…you can enjoy our product without the guilt!” it sounds like they trying to tell us that we should feel guilty if we enjoy any other product.

WRONG! That’s wrong! You shouldn’t feel guilty, not at all. Unless you are eating a live baby seal or your neighbor‘s children, YOU HAVE NOTHING TO FEEL GUILTY ABOUT - PERIOD!

Every day, in just about every work place, on almost every playground, in every city, there is someone who is looking down on or making fun of someone who is overweight. Those of us who have carried extra pounds on our bodies have often been made to feel as though we were worth less than our lighter counter parts. Some of us have been excluded, ignored, bashed, or abused by people who weigh less than we do. Our friends, our family members, our doctors, our coworkers, and the media blast us with messages that say we should be ashamed of ourselves.

Some of us have been made to feel as though we are lazy, lack discipline, lack character, or lack intelligence because of our weight. Some of us have been denied jobs, insurance, medical treatment, acceptance, friends, dignity, and love.

…and as a result, some of us feel guilty about eating.

Feeling guilty about eating is tragic. It’s self abuse. I don’t care if you just polished off 9 boxes of Oreos and a gallon of ice cream, feeling guilty about it is just adding emotional abuse on top of physical abuse. It is so, so unhealthy. It’s tragic in a way I can’t even begin to describe. It is a symptom of a tragic problem. It is the internalization of abuse.

On to the second thing that comes to mind and makes me angry: “You can enjoy our guilt-free whatevers…” probably actually means, “We know that a portion of the population has internalized some abuse and learned to hate themselves on some level. We are perfectly willing to exploit that if it makes us some money.”

Oh Yeah? Well screw you and the emotionally abusive, self righteous, skinny little, airbrushed, heroin-chic horse you rode in on!

I do get angry. I get ticked because I go to the Spark message boards and I look at the panic button entries and I see really good people beating themselves up. I’m sad for these people and I am ticked at a society that brings these people to these moments.

Too many times, a person is taught to eat for comfort, and then is taught to hate themselves for having sought that comfort. This is some twisted teaching. It is the equivalent of teaching a student to punish him/herself for having mastered his/her lessons. It's crazy making.

We are taught to take good care of things we love, value, or appreciate -
then we are taught to hate ourselves -
then we are ridiculed for not taking good care of something we hate.
...more crazy making.

If you ever feel guilty about eating something, whether it’s what you ate, when, or how much, please, please look at this feeling for what it really is. It is the emotional abuse of your own self.

You didn’t come into this world feeling this way about yourself. You were trained to do it. Maybe you were trained by people calling you names and telling you straight out that you were no good. Maybe you were trained by hearing those things said to others. Maybe messages like, “Try our guilt-free whats-its!” continues to cultivate in you the idea that guilt and food should be related at times.

No matter how it was done, it was wrong. No matter who delivered the message, they were lying. If you feel as though you lack character in some way because you ate something less-than-healthy, then you are perpetuating the lies. You are agreeing with the abusive notions that others taught you.

Your challenge is to let those lies go. Your challenge is to face any internalized fat-phobia you have and get rid of it.

Your challenge is to adopt an attitude that says, "I don't need your permission to stop abusing myself. I don't need your permission to retain my dignity and nurture my self esteem."

Your challenge is to find those things about you that you appreciate. I don’t care if you have 1,000 pounds of fat wrapped around you, you are a human being! ...A glorious human being worthy of honor, and joy, and love, and hope.

You must learn to be nicer to yourself than others have been to you. You must love yourself, because you will take care of something you love and you won’t take good care of something you hate. You must take good care of yourself because you deserve the best care, not because you’ll feel guilty if you don’t do it.

You must understand that all of your food is always guilt-free and always has been.

It is time for you to be guilt-free, too.

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
CLIMBERS_ROCK 5/8/2013 12:41PM


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FUSCHIA6 4/1/2012 11:50AM

    Right on!!!!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KOALALOVER1978 3/22/2012 1:04PM

    Truer (sp) words have never been spoken. Thank you for sharing what I know I have felt but could never put into words!!

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BRAVEHEART4ME 3/17/2012 8:57PM

  Love it! emoticon

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7WORSHIPS 3/15/2012 5:52AM

  Rant on! emoticon

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JEANNINEMM68 3/12/2012 5:53PM

    Well said!!!

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GRAPHICS2 3/10/2012 9:05PM

    Very good rant. I agree with you on just about everything. We have to change from within, no matter what's bombarding us from the outside emoticon

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CHYCHY01 3/9/2012 12:54AM

    Great Blog!

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ILOVEJIM851991 3/8/2012 5:53AM

    great blog I loved it emoticon

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J2740LOU 3/7/2012 7:10PM

    Thank you for posting such a great blog full of wonderful insight into the whole situation. Look at the person you see in the mirror. Love them. Take care of them. emoticon

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SERASARA 3/7/2012 6:08PM

  This is good I like this!

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ASHLEYKAT 3/7/2012 5:54PM


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SWEETWEAVER 3/7/2012 3:55PM

  Eloquent, spot-on rant. Thanks - I needed that!

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BAMAJAM 3/7/2012 1:15PM

  I think that I detect lots of passion in your blog! LOL
Passion is a good thing-- and I sure like it when you say "You are a glorious human being"-- It makes me boil too when I hear all these advertisers mugging folks through the television. It sickens me to see TV shopping networks spreading their hype for cosmetics. Telling women that their products are miracles; and the price tags are crazy! The unconscionable hype goes on and on about all sorts of items. Not about weight control, but I fume over the "reverse mortgage" peddlers! Robert Wagner, Fred Thompson, and Henry Winkler-- all three want to add to their bankrolls. Consumers, beware of these guys and find a reputable financial counselor. Why should you listen to a TV actor? Yes, I liked this blog!! I feel like I released some steam as well. Indeed, we are human beings deserving of honor, joy, love and hope.

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SABLENESS 3/7/2012 12:11PM

    Love it. AMEN, brother!

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SIRCATNIP1 3/7/2012 12:03PM

    Great blog

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JWNYC3 3/7/2012 11:45AM

  This is some mighty fine writing, and the message couldn't be better. Thank you!

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STEADFASTNSEE 3/7/2012 11:38AM

  My two favorite lines (both true, I might add) :

WRONG! That’s wrong! You shouldn’t feel guilty, not at all. Unless you are eating a live baby seal or your neighbor‘s children, YOU HAVE NOTHING TO FEEL GUILTY ABOUT - PERIOD!

And this, which was actually the first to catch my attention:
Have you ever seen a recipe that called for even a teaspoon of guilt? I know I haven’t. Guilt is an emotion, not an ingredient.

Well done. HUGS

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IMISSOATIE 3/7/2012 11:03AM

    Wow. This was so moving, and so spot on. This needs to be published somewhere.

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HEYBUTT 3/7/2012 10:39AM

    "Your challenge is to face any internalized fat-phobia you have and get rid of it."

I love this.

Thank you for such a great blog post.

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VKKESU 3/7/2012 9:50AM

    Very perceptive of you to see it this way. I'd never thought of it but you are correct ! Great blog.

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-POOKIE- 3/7/2012 9:45AM

    Love this!

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MICHCLEARY 3/7/2012 9:17AM

    Way to go - a necessary rant that is full of wisdom.

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    thank you for reminding us how not to listen to those ads and people like them.

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2DOGGIES2WALK 3/7/2012 8:54AM

    well said!

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    Thank you!

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LEANMEAN2 3/7/2012 7:55AM

    Good one, thanks.

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EGALITAIRE 3/7/2012 7:54AM

    Wow - great blog - well thought out and compassionate rant.

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JOYINKY 3/7/2012 7:21AM

    Well said! Three Cheers!!

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PENOWOK 3/7/2012 6:28AM

    Good thinking!

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GRAMPIAN 3/7/2012 6:18AM

  Great good sense!

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SAMGRAY1 3/7/2012 6:18AM

    Awesome! And so very true! Fantastic that you gave it voice! emoticon

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LIVINHEALTHY9 3/7/2012 4:35AM

    Very well said. Thanks.

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    Very true...

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SHOOPETTE 3/7/2012 2:01AM

    So true

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SOUTH_FORK 2/28/2012 9:59AM

    Thank you for putting this message out there- so often we forget the power of language, especially of those less obvious negative messages we hear day-in, day-out...

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ROBKIM1 2/23/2012 11:12AM

    Thank you.

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BRWNNTWN 2/22/2012 5:55PM

    Thank you!

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SUPERSYLPH 2/22/2012 9:27AM

    emoticon I love this blog!

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OPTIMIST1948 2/22/2012 8:23AM

    "Well screw you and the emotionally abusive, self righteous, skinny little, airbrushed, heroin-chic horse you rode in on! "

You said it. GO! Go! GO!

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MISSG180 2/22/2012 7:41AM

    This is great. Thank you for writing it!

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METAMORPHUS 2/22/2012 6:08AM

    thanks a lot you!

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DENISEFULLER 2/22/2012 12:36AM

    I never thought of those ads this way. I always thought it was kind of a joke, but I can see your point.

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GIGIHEALTHY 2/21/2012 10:51AM


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GIGIHEALTHY 2/21/2012 10:50AM


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MERULE 2/21/2012 8:17AM

  Wow, that was just plain powerful! Thank you!

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FLDEEZ 2/20/2012 9:16PM

    I've reread your post several times now. I've never gone back and reread posts before. Wow. Thank you.

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ANCHEN2 2/20/2012 12:28PM

Right on. And... wow.

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KMMACM 2/20/2012 11:56AM

  Wonderful blog! Well done! And thank you! emoticon

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