"I was so good this weekend! I only ate one cookie!" "I'm being bad; I'm not going to work out today."
In our culture, moral language is so often associated with health behaviors and I think it's pretty twisted. Why? Well, when we use moral language to describe how we're eating or moving, we are attaching our worth and value to our physical health. Being unhealthy is not innately immoral; I do personally believe there are things we can and can't do for our health that could manifest themselves as wrong...for instance, neglecting a heart condition or idolizing food are not wise choices. But by and large, the morality of health decisions is not black and white.
What is my solution to this problem? We must switch our speech around health behaviors from moral language to vocabulary steeped in the theme of honoring. Consider the following sets of statements:
"I was so good! I ran 2 miles without stopping." vs. "I'm so proud of the way I treated my body; I knew I could run 2 miles and did it!"
"This is so bad. Having this cinnamon roll means I can't eat anything tomorrow." vs. "Eating this cinnamon roll is not the most honoring decision for my body. I'm going to stop myself so I feel better tomorrow."
"Don't tell anyone! I'm being naughty and having 2." vs. "For some reason I want to hide the fact that I'm about to serve myself another...would you remind me why my intention is to only have one?"
When we focus on honoring our bodies, the morality of health behaviors tends to fall in it's proper place. I of course encourage figuring out what your personal convictions around food and exercise are! And once you've found those convictions, challenge yourself to change the way you talk about living them out. I predict you'll know a greater freedom as well as stop making some of the choices you regret when you just ride them off as "bad". Willing to give it a try? Let me know what you think!