Monday, November 14, 2016

Can I Get Fries with That?

Recently, I saw a woman wearing a t-shirt that read, "Will Work Out for Fries." Is it only funny because, for so many, it rings true? How many share this food/exercise philosophy?

I'd do a lot for a good order of fries - drive in traffic, wait on a long line, possibly even forsake ketchup - but I don't want to have to exercise to earn my right to eat them.

The moment we start pairing food with physical activity is the moment we take that first step down what could be a slippery slope, a slope toward counting and comparing, obsessing and overdoing, a slope that overlaps with disorder.

How many miles do you have to run to burn off an order of medium fries? Don't learn this! Data like this, especially for certain brains, can be difficult to unlearn.*

Instead, learn how you feel when you run. Notice your state of mind following those laps in the pool. Focus on gratitude for being able-bodied (if you are) and capable of climbing mountains (if you can). Understand what it means to feel strong and accomplished.

This has absolutely nothing to do with an order of fries.

*If you do know the answer, you can still practice uncoupling food and exercise by keeping exercise patterns constant, regardless of spikes in intake.

You can find Does Every Woman Have an Eating Disorder? Challenging Our Nation's Fixation with Food and Weight on Amazon (as a paperback and Kindle) and at

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