Old School to New School: Part 2, "Bad" is Bad

By Fuel4mance Sport Dietitian, Dina Griffin

I often hear phrases or questions from my new clients such as:
- “I was bad this weekend because…”
- “is it bad to eat a piece of ….?”
- “I felt bad when I ate ….”

It’s one of the words that make my spine shiver: “BAD”, especially when referring to food choices or behaviors surrounding foods. There are many reasons you think of “good” and “bad” when it comes to food. It could be related to your upbringing, the influence of the media and marketing tactics, or what you hear from friends. So, when you seek the assistance of a Registered Dietitian, you assume we will be the Food Police, as I alluded to in Part 1 of this blog series. The Food Police scrutinize and tear apart your nutrition, telling you those good and bad foods you ate.

If you are working with a qualified sport dietitian, you should never hear any feedback that reflects you ate badly. In fact, if you initiate any response with a negative view of your nutrition, one of our first tasks is to address this mindset. You will be surprised at first because we may not even discuss specifically what you ate. Be prepared, for this approach is typically quite challenging to wrap your head around. Again, you expect to be told what “good foods” to eat and how much. Instead, we are going to delve into your behaviors surrounding negativity and self-sabotage regarding food choices and habits. Through this work together, we develop strategies to change the way you view food, which will build a trusting relationship with food and help you live freely from the black and white, the “good and bad” traditional way of examining nutrition.

Next time you think you were “bad” for eating a particular food, catch yourself and think about why you had these thoughts. It’s a process, but ultimately moving away from the notion of “bad” will be a very good thing.

Dina Griffin, MS, RD

Sport Dietitian, Fuel4mance