jennifer hanigan

a pinch of this and a dollop of that

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Time For a Peace Accord

In case no one has told you lately, food and exercise are not mortal enemies. But society sure treats them like they are.

I saw a brilliant tweet* the other day that said something like:

If you want to spend 20 minutes on the exercise bike then you’d better eat two truffles!

Did you have to do a double take?

Everywhere, in person and online, we hear food assessed by how much exercise it will take to “pay” for it. Last week I walked to a nearby BBQ joint on my lunch. A coworker remarked that walking there and back meant I deserved the food. Um, no. I deserve the food because I’m a human, and humans need food to function, and I hadn’t packed lunch, and that was what sounded good. I walked because I enjoy walking and fresh air and I find it silly to drive when something is nearby.

The Kid used to have a motto: Calories are my friends! In his active teen years, it was hard work keeping enough food in his belly. It takes a lot of energy to walk and bike everywhere, study and play, and then add in karate class and I tell you, I always knew the answer to ‘Mom, guess what?’ was ‘I’m hungry’!

The Kid knows the truth. Food is our fuel for living. All those “inspirational” Pinterest posts have it backwards—we don’t exercise to work off the calories, we eat to replenish them. We eat to be strong and healthy and to have energy, and we don’t have to punish ourselves in any way for the things we put in our mouths.

Food is awesome. Exercise is awesome. Guilt and angst are not awesome at all. Go enjoy the first two, and let go of the others.


*I can’t find this tweet and would love to give credit where it’s due. Please comment if you know where it came from. Thanks!