A Reaction To Food Influences and Getting Back To Center
Guys, I love food.
If you follow me on Instagram, you obviously know my love of both eating AND photographing food. If you don’t, then I’m sure you still have a pretty good idea by reading my weekly favorites posts since they’re usually more than 50% food products. The only reason this isn’t a food blog is because most of the time I have no idea to actually create food aside from following someone else’s recipe.
Ok, that’s an exaggeration. I don’t wish that this blog was entirely dedicated to food because then I would also have a hard time writing posts like this.
I’ve discussed it before, but for new readers here is a quick recap —
About a year after I entered recovery for drugs and alcohol, I developed some pretty serious disordered eating issues. Thankfully, I used the people I had met in recovery for one set of disordered behaviors to help me with a second. I slowly but surely started to reshape my relationship with food and found myself in a place where I was able to eat it because I enjoyed it and not use it as a tool to shame, reward, or punish myself emotionally and physically.
Because of the up and down relationship I’ve had with food and exercise over the years, I’m sensitive to phrases that I hear from other people pushing for clean eating or the denial of foods. It’s not even that I’m as personally sensitive to it as I am wary of how these messages will be internalized by groups of women who may be in the same place that I once was.
Over time, I’ve gotten almost combative to phrases such as “I have to work off all this food” and “I’m fasting to save my calories for ______,” to name a few. You know how something gets hyped up and you don’t want to try it just because everyone else does? Well, I’ve gotten angry about everyone else’s preoccupation with food and how it may impact younger or more impressionable people. As a result, I’ve somehow started staging some kind of personal protest that only I know I’m involved in and seems to only be impacting me. Ha.
If you’re unfamiliar with my food philosophy, I believe you should eat whatever you want. I believe if you don’t have any health complications related to your diet then you should love and enjoy food however you wish. Listen to your body and eat to nourish, fuel, and make it happy.
Lately, per my weird personal protest only I seem to know about, I see people advocating for fit bodies and “making up” for food choices and I jump to the other end of the spectrum just to challenge that idea. I eat whatever I want. I post about donuts 2145677 in one week.
It seems like a grand time, but I also end up eating when I’m not hungry or eating something that I truly don’t enjoy to prove that people can eat whatever they want. I’ve somehow developed some type of aversion to consciously planning my own healthy meals in protest of seeing them advertised in unhealthy ways.
All this makes me feel like I am challenging some kind of new social norm, but by taking a step back it feels more like I am again using food to deal with emotions and control situations that I don’t have control over, just in the opposite way.
More specifically, what I think I’m actually doing, is trying to protect any previous version of myself who may be on the internet by showing that you can be happy and healthy without spending $25 on a jar of coconut yogurt or only eating half a piece of chocolate. That you don’t have to work out 24/7 to be fit. That you don’t need to buy special health products or put 96 adaptogenic herbs in your smoothies.
A lot of this post is a mind dump that I’m trying to coherently weave together. It’s a little bit about me and a little bit about you. I want to protect everyone and not have people go through what I did by buying into a lot of misinformation and comparison, but honestly that’s not my job. It’s also pretty impossible.
I’m writing this to remind myself that the only thing I can control is myself. People, places, and things are all out of my control. Just as you do, I need to find my own version of balance and not find myself so averse to advocating for a healthy lifestyle that doesn’t involve SO many desserts and gluttonous foods.
I love warm salads and foods that nourish me. If I eat too many sweets I get sleepy and want to take a nap. I also find my athletic performance suffers more when the foods I’m eating aren’t the best for me. By listening to my body and making food choices that way instead of through some desire to protect the world or fight influences I might take issue with, I feel like I will be able to find my balance again.
I suppose my takeaway for this post is to find your own medium. See how your body feels after certain foods or meals. If there’s no issue, don’t let outside influences push you towards behaviors that aren’t intrinsic. Become educated about products before you buy them. Be true to you.
For anyone concerned, I will still seek out donuts in every new place I go because they are beautiful and delicious. I just may not eat three of them. 🙂