(CW: “Diety” thoughts and behaviours discussed)
For the past few years, I’ve purchased a tea advent calendar to help me count down the days to Christmas. This year, I’ve noticed something different. Whereas in the past, I usually drank the tea plain, this year, I find myself adding sugar (and sometimes milk) to most of the teas.
Perhaps it’s because I grew up drinking Chinese and Japanese teas, which normally don’t have sugar added, or perhaps it’s because it was for convenience—I would often take my tea to-go in my Bodum travel mug (Amazon Associates link) which has a French press apparatus built in the lid, so if I didn’t add the sugar before, then it would be a bit of a mess trying to pull the lid off. But I can’t help but wonder if part of it too had to do with “being healthy”.
I’ve always had thin privilege and have never attempted to lose weight. Still, intuitive eating was something I had to learn; like the vast majority of us living in diet culture, I can think of many examples of where I ate based on external cues, such as “not wanting to be wasteful”, “getting my money’s worth”, and of course, “health”. In my case, there’s the added layer of wanting to be a “good dietitian” and “practicing what I preach.” With intuitive eating I’ve been actively questioning some of these beliefs, but even now something feels “off” if there are no vegetables in my meal.
Trying a different tea every day has brought my relationship with sugar to the forefront. While in the past I would’ve just drank the tea plain and told myself that’s how the tea is “meant to” taste, giving myself permission to add sugar has made most of the teas more enjoyable. And really, given that tea with milk and sugar is the norm in Western cultures, perhaps that is actually how the tea is meant to taste.Food freedom is giving yourself permission to add sugar (and milk!) to your tea. ☕️ Click To Tweet