Body Image and Healthy Eating: The Good Food/Bad Food Trap

Have you been pulled into the good food/bad food trap? Do you find yourself putting all foods into the categories of “good” or “bad”? This thinking is quicksand that pulls you into the sick cycle of dieting, bingeing, purging (for some) and over-exercising (for some).

I remember a woman in her late twenties explaining her list of bad foods. Due to her fear of eating foods with excessive fat or sugar, she suffered from stinkin’ thinkin’ (as the 12 step programs say) in regards to foods. The problem with this all-or-nothing thinking is that we live in a world of gray. Obviously, if we eat high amounts of sugar and fat on a regular basis, our health suffers and we are more likely to become obese.

But the dangers of this black and white (also called “all-or-nothing”) thinking is that it creates a monster within that wants to devour so-called “bad” foods. It starts with deprivation. The first step of the stinkin’ thinkin’ involves trying to avoid the food. The second step is that we begin to crave them like a pack of starving wolves craves meat. This leads to the third step, which is bingeing. Once we binge, we feel ashamed and we drown in shame and get pulled into the cycle of addiction. We feel so bad, we vow to change and therefore elevate to the next step, which is dieting. But once again dieting makes us develop horrendous cravings for “bad” foods. So we give in to our cravings again due to feeling deprived. The deprivation is the ugliest part of this beast. Due to this sick cycle, it is no wonder that dieters usually gain back every pound they lost – plus more.

Deprivation creates an insatiable hunger. Normal people sometimes overeat and eat “bad” foods. So in order to get back onto the train of normal eating instead of dieting and bingeing and feeling shame, we would be wise to stop the stinkin’ thinking’. That means to stop labeling foods as “bad” or “good.” Say no to deprivation, and hop off the dieting/bingeing train that eats away at your body image.

What if you could learn to enjoy foods you used to label as “bad” in moderation? If you could kiss the dieting/bingeing train goodbye forever, you could reclaim much of the plunder of the Body Image Bandit. So go ahead…kiss the train goodbye and let yourself enjoy the peace of thinking gray instead of stinkin’ thinkin’. This will give the Body Image Bandit much less power in your life.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. WaistingTime says:

    While I agree with you in principle… about the deprivation and wanting forbidden fruit and binging… I have found that moderation does not work for me. I cannot eat just one. But I am going to try again, after a good long spell eating black and white and getting rid of my cravings for the “bad” stuff. Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels:)


    1. Thanks for the feedback. The quote, “Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels,” was repeated frequently by a celebrity to her daughters. Not surprisiingly, they now have severe issues with body image and food. While the phrase may work for some women, I strongly discourage people to say that to others. Keep me posted. Thanks, Cherrie


  2. Dave says:

    I guess as I am becoming more educated about food . . . I am learning how it effects my body and diabetis. As I shift my diet from processed to whole foods, pair protiens with carbs and shifting my eating patterns to meal-snack-meal-snack-meal, my energy and feelings of well being have really improved.

    I think for me that I am beginning to look at the nutritional value of food. Embracing more of a eat to live lifestyle verses a live to eat.

    Good Health,



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