Regardless of if you're a vocal anti-dieter or if you're currently trying the newest diet trend that will guarantee you to lose 10 pounds in two weeks I think this post is something that you should stick around to read.
I've been doing a ton of research and began really digging into diet culture and our relationships with food over the past few weeks.
I've learned a lot.
And I've realized that most of us are really deep in the dieting mindset and it's messing us up, myself included.
I don't really talk much about my relationship with food publicly. I go back and fourth on doing so and what's stopped me to this point was thinking that I had to share the evolution of my relationship with it from the beginning. For some reason I just didn't think about sharing what's happening with my life right now. It was always a share everything or share nothing mentality. Go big or go home. It never could be sharing about what's up right now and then maybe in the future sharing the other things that lead me here. Well, it could never be that way until today.
Today is a day where I'm going to change that and get real about where I'm at with food.
Well, I don't know. Maybe you care or maybe you don't. I think that a lot of us are in relatively similar situations with food and I want to talk about it because it's really important. I think we need to create conversations to help uplift each other either by sharing a bit of light on a struggle or letting each other know that we're in the same boat and we have each other to help build an ark.
I've been really working on getting away from a high carb vegan diet. I got sucked into it a few years back and I claimed it to be the "best diet/lifestyle" but I've come to realize that isn't the truth for me. I was saying that and believing it at the time because I thought it would bring me whatever I was after; fitness, weight loss, happiness, success, etc. I believed that if I did that then I would achieve those things that I thought I wanted.
And then something shifted.
I started to feel restricted in certain ways and was tired of living my life around that lifestyle. I would go out to eat at Chipotle and feel bad about it because the food had oil in it and in the high carb movement oil is not seen as healthy.
And even though I don't particularly view oil as a health food, it's not something that I want to feel bad about. I want to be able to not use it at home if I choose but also be able to go out to eat and not feel bad about doing so.
I'm not just saying the high carb lifestyle was the root of my problems. I had my fair share of struggles leading up to that point. The only thing I did though was transfer an issue I had with food previous to that which became an issue I had with oils and fats.
So here I am eating a healthy amount of calories and a primarily plant based diet. I'm exercising a decent amount and at a "good" weight. It all looks great from the outside but what isn't seen is the issues I developed around oil and fats. Once I started fearing certain foods, I knew that something had to change. That's when I realized that the high carb diet was a no go for me. I didn't want to have this type of relationship with food. I missed peanut butter and I missed avocado pudding. When you're brainwashed into believing that these things should only be "sometimes foods" it really takes something away from you. Life without a decent amount of peanut butter and avocados in the same day just to be slim, no thanks.
At that point I didn't realize what I know now. I was drawn to that diet because of weight loss. That's the number one seller of any diet and that's why so many people come to join the high carb movement.
I truly believe that any type of food restrictions are red flags unless they are based on allergies or ethical connections.
If you go out to eat and can't have oil in a dish because it is "bad for you" then you do not have a healthy relationship with food. It is as simple as that.
Balance. Moderation. Food freedom. Body acceptance. They all stem from a healthy relationship with yourself. That relationship involves trust, kindness, understanding, confidence and intuition. And honestly, that relationship is hard to develop.
That's where I'm at right now. I'm trying to build that relationship. I'm trying to trust and accept myself. Health matters to me and healthy is what I want to be. It's just important to remember that health looks different on everyone. You are the only one who knows what makes you feel best. You are the only one who knows what your body is craving and what it needs. It is so hard to listen to that with all of the external messages entering our heads. But as hard as it is, it is an extremely important step towards truly loving yourself at whatever size your body happens to be in this moment.
Life is in a constant state of flux. Remember that you need different things during different times in your life. Sometimes all you'll want is salads and other times you'll eat half of the cookie dough before it has a chance to reach the oven. Both are valid. Both are okay. Those things will ultimately guide you in the right direction. When we try to control our food we block out that intuition to provide ourselves with what we need.
And that's not something I am interested in doing anymore. I want to treat my body the way it deserves. I want to be in touch with it in ways that a lot of people miss out on because they're trapped in diet culture. I want to provide myself with what I need and I want to grow a beautiful, loving relationship with food and myself.
I'm not sure how that's all going to happen because trusting yourself is scary and letting go of any restrictions around food makes me nervous. But I think that sharing this post is a good start.
Some things to note though: I am still vegan and will continue to be vegan. I don't see that as a restriction. I can easily eat any foods that non-vegans eat through delicious substitutions. That is the only thing that I want to remain constant. And sure, I'll still probably eat the same way that I do now. It'll be a bit different though. More baked goods because I enjoy them. Guacamole at Chipotle because it's tasty. A scoop of ice cream here and there because ice cream is one of my favorite things.
And this is where I'm at with everything. I don't know where I'm going. I think I'm on a path to a good place though and I'm ready to share it with you.
Are you ready to let go of a fear or restriction you have around food? Join me in the journey by commenting down below to let me know. I'm looking forward to connecting with you and doing this together! xx