I remember years ago watching a weight-loss episode on a popular talk show. One of the calorie-cutting tips given was to never lick your peanut butter knife.
This made me sad. Very sad.
Who doesn’t love to lick their knife clean after making a PB&J sandwich, almond-butter toast, or bagel with cream cheese?
It’s fun! It’s yummy! It’s super satisfying!
Harmful, Not Helpful
Every day, we’re bombarded with messages like these that are often more harmful than helpful.
They cause us to be hyper-vigilant about our eating. They result in pointless food rules, restriction and rigidity. They lead to unnecessary fear, stress, shame and suffering.
If you bought into the “no knife-licking” rule, yet failed to follow it (which, if you’re like me, is highly likely!), your thoughts may sound something like this:
Licking this knife is a big no-no—you know that!
I am being bad, and naughty, and reckless.
I have no willpower or self-control. No wonder I look the way I do.
What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I follow one freaking simple rule?
Ugh, I really hope no one saw me do that.
I can’t be trusted with peanut butter; I’m going to stop buying it.
I feel guilty and need to make up for this food sin. No dessert for me tonight!
I really want to double-dip my knife back into the jar and lick it again.
Screw it. I’ve come this far, I might as well keep going back for more!
I shouldn’t do this, but licking the knife clean is so much easier than getting peanut butter off my dishcloth!
Does any of this sound familiar?
Challenge Your Food Rules
I spend a lot of time helping my clients identify and investigate their food rules.
We deconstruct and challenge them, exploring questions, such as: Where did this rule come from? Is it true? Is it reasonable, sustainable and pleasurable? How do you feel and act when you break it? Is it helpful or harmful?
About 99.9 percent of the time, my clients determine their food rules are causing them far more harm than good.
They realize how their rules are creating an unhealthy relationship with food and negatively impacting their physical, mental, emotional and social health.
As my clients start to shed their food rules, a sense of freedom, empowerment, peace and ease surfaces.
Instead of listening to external sources, they begin trusting their intuition, body wisdom and direct experience to guide them.
And they start licking their peanut butter knife again.