Who’s In Charge of What You Eat?


In class last week, Sherry (not her real name) shared how she was torn at a family function about whether to eat a piece of cake.  She tried telling herself, “I’m allowed to have this cake if I want it.”

“Who’s giving you the permission?” I asked.

She thought a moment, then said, “Green Mountain gave it to me.”

One of the things that trip many of us up on the journey to normal, healthy eating is the idea that someone else is in charge of our eating.  Whether it be government nutrition guidelines, the latest book on eating and weight, or our mothers, if we give up the power to determine for ourselves what we need, we’re almost guaranteeing a continuing struggle with food, eating and weight.

Part of our success in achieving healthy weights and healthy lifestyles comes from becoming aware and then taking ownership of our beliefs, attitudes and behaviors.   Noticing the words we use plays a large part in that.   Listen to yourself.  If you notice you’re giving away your power a lot — relying on someone or something else to tell you what, when and how much to eat or exercise or do whatever is considered necessary for good health — consider what that does to your ability to make choices that feel right to you.

Guidelines can be helpful but they aren’t always the last word.  How we feel as a result of doing or not doing something gives much more individual feedback about what’s right for us.

If you’re struggling with taking charge of your eating and health, review our writings on mindful eating (aka intuitive eating).  The practice can be a potent first step in regaining your power and thereby putting food in its place, and gaining peace with it.

Who decides what you eat?

7 responses to “Who’s In Charge of What You Eat?”

  1. […] I read this excellent post about taking control of your food choices, I thought that’s a great summary of how so many of our important daily choices are made.  I […]

  2. Thanks for your excellent advice on food choices and life choices! It reminded me of a paper I had written a few years ago on self-ownership and so I dug it up and wrote a post about how many of our choices are not self-generated, an issue I’ve been considering lately in my own life.
    As far as making better food choices goes, my body took charge of that for me by giving me a BIG, BAD case of Candida recently! Whenever I eat anything with sweets or artificial sweeteners, my toes start itching and swelling. That’s one way to cut out the sweets!

    Laura Lee aka the Midlife Crisis Queen’s last blog post..Giving our power away one choice at a time

  3. Sagan says:

    Great point. Too often we say that we ate because of the situation or someone else had influence but ultimately, we really do have the choice.

    Sagan’s last blog post..How does music affect your health?

  4. I love this message! I finally got the concept and it made a world of difference in my approach to healthier eating. Thank you for sharing it here.

    Cammy@TippyToeDiet’s last blog post..The Lonely Little Gym Bunny

  5. Marsha says:

    Thanks for your comments! Love it that you’re all already on board with taking charge of your choices. It can be hard but it’s totally worth the effort!

  6. Who’s In Charge of What You Eat? | VitaminsHealth.net - Health vitamin, Health Minerals, Health supplements, Health Foods & Health care Center says:

    […] Original Source Who’s In Charge of What You Eat? […]

  7. Cindy says:

    That picture is worth a thousand words!

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About the Author

Marsha Hudnall, MS, RDN, CD

If you’re looking for an embodiment of dedication disguised as obsession, look no further. Marsha is a registered dietitian who has spent the last four decades working to help women give up dieting rules and understand how to truly take care of themselves. Her mission in life is to help women learn to enjoy eating and living well, without worries about their weight. She encourages women to embrace their love of food, which you might call being a foodie. If so, it’s appropriate because being a foodie means you pay attention when you eat. That’s a recipe made in heaven for eating well. Marsha is the President and Co-Owner of Green Mountain at Fox Run.

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