I used to love Halloween. Dressing up, walking around town with friends, eating candy until I feel physically ill- what is there not to love? Growing up Halloween was the shit.
Thinking about a time when food was neither good nor bad, when it had no morals, when I ate till I was full and didn’t think twice, makes me both happy and sad.
Now Halloween is filled with frustration of hearing people talk about “dieting” after eating “so unhealthy” for a day (shut the fuck up with your two Reese’s cups eating ass self) and usually a wicked emotional hangover due to eating 32 mini Kit Kat’s after swearing I would be “good.”
If I could pin point when candy went from “delicious” to “the devil” in my mind, I would probably be able to cure myself. I sometimes think it’s a switch that is programmed inside all of us. One day we wake up and think of sugar as “bad” and lettuce as “good.” We start saying things like “oh my god Karen you are so BAD eating all those carbs, on a weekday! You little devil.”
I wish I could understand why food becomes an issue of morals as we get older. Food is food, right?
When I was like 10, I would eat a sleeve of Oreos without batting an eye. I wish I could unlearn that candy is equivalent to some amount of burpees or miles needed to “earn it” or “burn it.” I wish I could not think in terms of good, bad, healthy, unhealthy, black and white thinking is my downfall.
I know it’s not just me. I know this isn’t even just an eating disorder issue. This is a societal issue that we continue to ignore and bolster because we all praise thinness. You can disagree, you can say “that’s not true I was once skinny shamed” but to be honest you sound ridiculous and I’ll write more about that at a later time.
Anyway where was I? Oh food and morality. Yeah. Raise your hand if you have ever called something that is super delicious, that you enjoy, “bad.” Now think about why? When did we start calling food bad or demeaning it unacceptable or unhealthy. When did food guilt become a thing? If you enjoy it, if it makes you happier, if it tastes delicious, and it is legal-why the hell is it bad?
Cookies. Donuts. Chocolate bars. Pasta with creamy sauce. Carbs. Fats. Anything that is processed. Anything that’s not vegan. Anything that’s not a raw lifeless vegetable, is bad???
So, what constitutes food as good and what makes it bad?
The more we place parameters and morality on what food is good and bad, the more likely we are to begin fearing it, which leads us to staying away from it, which leads us to trying to replace it with some half assed “healthy” option, which then leads to an eventual binge on the “bad” food. (Sorry but an apple will never, ever satisfy a craving for a Reese’s cup, I promise).
And while there are a lot of ways to be a good person in the world, I doubt that enjoying a bag of candy on Halloween more than a plate of steamed veggies does not make you a more or less decent human being.
Food is not a moral issue. Food does not make you good or bad. Food is food. It gives you energy you need to enjoy life. So whatever. If you feel like you need permission to eat whatever candy you want to today, here it is. Enjoy it. And if someone tells you it’s “bad” or “you’re bad” tell them I said to suck a dick.