I remember when I thought of eating healthy as a habit to be checked off on a chart with a gold star. I proudly, religiously (some might say self-righteously) ate my 5-9 fruits and veggies a day. Actually, the more veggies the better--more nutrient-dense, dontcha know. Every serving of whole grain, home-cooked, vegetarian food was an antidote to my vices (overeating, ice cream, cheese, smoking).
I liked "healthy" food, too. I loved my stirfries with 8 or 10 different locally grown veggies, brown rice and tofu, seasoned with herbs, "good fats," and salt. I loved the little fruit I did eat.
Then, I learned that virtually everything I had ever learned about nutrition was wrong.
Suddenly, I started viewing everything I put into my body that wasn't food for a human--dairy, grains, tubers and crucifers, oils and salt--as a check mark against my good record. I no longer delighted in my virtuous consumption, only worried about my sins. (Of course, I'm exaggerating a bit for effect.) I worried about food combining and how early was too early to eat in the morning.
Now, I'm just starting to scratch beneath the surface of all of this behavior to find the real issues lurking beneath. Can I love the little girl inside and meet her needs without training her to respond to praise and punishment?