TW: Disordered eating
The beginning of the year is always so triggering for me, as I’m sure it is for many others. It seems every year at this time, in an effort to be their best and healthiest self and encourage others to do the same, the self-proclaimed nutritionists who got their degrees from WebMD once again make appearances all over social media. If you did not study nutrition in school or get your degree from a college or university, if you are not in the medical field or the food industry, I quite frankly do not care what you have to say, because I guarantee I read the same article from Google that you did.
As someone who has suffered from disordered eating, it is so triggering for me when I log onto social media and I see the DOs and DONTs of eating. And I see the GOOD and BAD foods. Say it with me everyone – ALL FOOD IS GOOD FOOD. Your body quite literally needs food and calories to survive.
Which brings me to my next point. I have literally been in situations where I have heard things like the following:
“I love carbs, I eat them every day”
“Oh well you’re still working out a lot, aren’t you?”
This is a trigger because now I am sitting here telling myself that I shouldn’t be eating carbs because all I do every day is sit at my desk in my childhood bedroom and stare at a medium sized screen from 8am to 5pm.
Why do you need to run or do any physical activity in order to eat carbs? The answer is you don’t. Carbs are a part of a healthy, balanced diet and to eliminate them from your diet just for the sake of eliminating them is unhealthy.
Elimination diets, or as well call them now, “lifestyle changes”, are STILL FAD DIETS. Change the name but it still doesn’t change the game; Call it what you want but it is still as negative as a diet. FAD DIETS ARE BAD FOR YOU. If you have an allergy or a medical reason for why you cannot eat certain foods then fine, different story. But if you don’t, eat the food. ALL FOOD IS GOOD FOOD.
On the topic of elimination diets, can someone explain “dry January” to me? I am fully understanding of the fact that alcohol is an addictive substance and it is not good for you or your body. But what good are you doing by giving it up for one month out of the year and then going right back to drinking excessive amounts of it as soon as February hits? I’d like to understand the point of it and maybe instead of practicing elimination suggest that we all practice moderation instead.
Moderation is a good segue into all those silly little tips I’ve been seeing lately on how to eat less. I’ve heard everything from “when you go out to eat and you want to stop yourself from eating, put your napkin over your plate and push it to the side so you aren’t tempted” to “fill up on water beforehand so you eat less”. WHAT? You paid for that meal, finish it. ALL FOOD IS GOOD FOOD.
And another thing, these meal replacement supplements. In my mind, the only thing you can replace a meal with is another meal. People swear that putting protein powder in your coffee is a great alternative to breakfast and keeps you full till lunch. AS IF! Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and according to my Google nutrition degree, eating breakfast kickstarts your metabolism for the day. So, by skipping a meal, you’re slowing down your metabolism and your body will actually hold onto the fat because it does not know when it will eat next. I eat a full breakfast every morning and I’m still hungry again by noon. So if you can eat a scoop of protein powder for breakfast and call yourself full till lunch, I guess that is some sort of super power I don’t have.
I’m not a nutritionist and I am in no way trying to tell you how to live your life, I just know that this time of year can be really hard for me and if that’s the case for me that means someone else out there is struggling too. I don’t know who needs to hear this right now, but it is okay to eat. ALL FOOD IS GOOD FOOD.