Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Are You Really Bad?

Posted by terrepruitt on September 10, 2009

I have heard many people use it.  Recently I was having coffee in Willow Glen and I overheard someone say they were bad for eating something.  Or sometimes we say we are eating something bad.  For example, “I was bad because I ate four pieces of pizza.” or “I ordered a sandwich and was bad because I got fries.”  The use of the word bad gets no reaction.  Most of us just shrug and say nothing.  Some people even like it when you are bad.  Some people even think bad is good.  So it really doesn’t have an impact.  It really doesn’t matter.  Think about it?  Is there something you ate today, that you would consider “bad”?  Or HOW MUCH you ate, would you consider it bad?  If there is, try this exercise, say it out loud.  “I was bad because I ate a half dozen cookies.”  “I was bad because I ate my chips with my sandwich.”  Or whatever . . . . just say it out loud. 

What if instead of saying “bad” we identified it a little more clearly?  What if instead of saying “bad” we said “unhealthy”?  I keep hear “health” lately, so what if we actually said, “unhealthy”?  Do you think that would make a difference?  Do you think if we actually used a word that is a little more clear and can actually be associated with a huge topic right now, that we might actually NOT eat that unhealthy food item or that extra unhealthy portion? 

Do you think people might actually pause and think, “Yeah, that is unhealthy, maybe I won’t.” Instead of giggling because you were “bad”? 

Now instead of saying “bad” as you did previously, say, “unhealthy“.  “I was unhealthy because I ate a half dozen cookies.”  “I was unhealthy because I ate my chips with my sandwich.”  If we start saying it differently do you think we might start eating differently?

Maybe the same can go for working out.  Haven’t you heard someone say, “I was bad because I didn’t workout.”  What if we started saying, “I was unhealthy today, because I didn’t workout.”  I’m just wondering if changing how we say it might help us change and care about our health.

5 Responses to “Are You Really Bad?”

  1. I really really want to strike that use of “bad” from everyone’s vocabulary but especially women. And even rather than saying “I was unhealthy,” but rather “I could have made a healthier choice.” Because really, does eating X number of cookies when one is generally making healthy choices, make one inherently unhealthy? I don’t think so.

    I took my college daughter out for dinner tonight at a nice restaurant. It was such an amazing treat for both of us. I had mussels which were served with… frites! (aka FRENCH FRIES). Was I “bad” for eating them? (I had about a dozen little skinny ones) Was I even unhealthy? I think I’m still the same healthy person I was this morning when I went to a Nia class AND followed it up with a “body chisel” class. 🙂 On another day I might say that this was “bad” or “unhealthy.” I don’t even think it was an unhealthy choice today. It was the right choice for a special occasion. Now if I made that choice every day or even every week, it could get pretty unhealthy.

    I DO think that words matter, and how we talk about ourselves and our behaviors matter. I think that we are making choices in every moment, and the patterns we follow will make us unhealthy or healthy. I’d like to get rid of the words “good” and “bad” altogether!


    • WordPress is not allowing me to reply in my admin page. Odd.

      I am guilty of saying “bad” and it is silly. I do like YOUR choice of words better. “I made an unhealthy CHOICE.” I think if we used the word “unhealthy” it might help us be healthy.

      Words DO matter. And I am working towards using them properly.

      Thank you so much for stopping by.


  2. Words words words. They do have power. Words are preceded by thoughts and followed by actions.

    If we think we’re bad, then that is how we will behave and that kind of language will emerge from our mouths.

    I love how you simplify the change in behavior. I would take it one step further and make an affirmation out of it: “Today I choose healthier eating habits (work out habits, etc.)” Make it so.

    Thanks Terre!!! In always enjoy your fresh and timely blogs.


    • Jill,

      Thank you for stopping by. WordPress is not functioning properly for me. When I try to reply in my admin page is does nothing. Last night I wanted to reply to Foodie’s comment but it did not let me in my admin page and I thought it was my computer, but today, different computer and it is not allowing me to do so.

      But, I love your comment. Thank you for stopping by. I believe that Foodie’s comment is correct and you are saying something similar.

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting. And thank you for being even more clear, just as Foodie was.


  3. […] to fit the family, individual. I just like it instead of saying the food is “bad” or I was bad. I could say, “Oh, I had some red light food.” The idea for the red light is to stop […]


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