"You're not a dog, so don't reward yourself with food." Why This Saying Is Bullsh*t!

Do these sayings sound familiar to you? 

“Food is just fuel.” 

“You’re not a dog, so don’t reward yourself with food.”

Those sayings make me roll my eyes. Yes, parts of those sayings are true. Food definitely is fuel for the body, and no, we are not dogs. However, food is so much more than just fuel where I come from. Here’s what I mean:

Food is tradition. We’re talking about your grandmother’s pumpkin pie on Christmas morning and your dad’s chocolate cake on your birthday! Tradition is a way for you to remember the connections you have with people, and to stop and recognize what a special gift that is. 

Food helps create memories. I’m pretty sure some of the best conversations I’ve had with my sisters and girlfriends had something to do with pizza and wine! 

Food is fun. Meals that engage all five senses with a variety of colors, textures, and flavors are a lot of fun! It’s even an awesome teaching tool for kids (and adults, for that matter)! Bonus: If you’re cooking and creating with your own two hands, then the whole process is a lot of fun! (Well, except for the dishes.) 

The fact is, food is not the enemy. Treats are not the enemy. Depriving yourself of favorite foods out of guilt is unhealthy. Feeling guilty for enjoying something you love on occasion is also unhealthy. 

If you are fueling your body with the foods you need, you can 100% reward yourself with foods you love and still see results. And surprisingly, you’ll still be a woman, and not a dog.

I hope this season you look forward to all the conversations you're going to have over the sweet potato casserole, not how many miles you need to run to burn off the calories. I hope you look forward to the laughs you will have with friends over a few cocktails, not the extra sugar you may consume because of them.

Be thankful to have the opportunity to experience those moments this year. Stop the guilt. Be kind to yourself.