Evolution. We all go through it. I’ve restricted and I’ve overeaten, I’ve stopped myself from ordering what I actually want and I’ve spent too much time convincing people that my way was the only way. As I’ve been exposed to more things and have evolved as a person, so have my views on health and eating. I was led to the over-obsessed world of health through fanatical social media accounts and society’s unrealistic ideals. I crashed into a wall when I found myself judging certain foods as “good” and “bad”, and overeating on foods that I swore were good enough to be unlimited.
In this little world of veggies and rainbows that I created for myself, I left out so many foods that would make me feel normal again. I left out the food I’d encounter dating, going out with friends, and traveling the world. I left out a whole world, a world that I really want to be a part of. This world didn’t mean having to eat an abundant amount of “healthy” food to be full, but rather a moderate amount of real food to keep me satiated. I value balance so much more than food rules.
The second piece of the obsessive food behaviors had to do with body image. I was convinced by the superfood-infatuated health world that cheese leads to severe bloated, gluten is the enemy, and anything fried is a sin. I was holding myself to an unrealistic standard, once again driven by the media. God forbid I ordered a creamy goat cheese, pesto baguette with fries, now some of my favorite foods. As soon as I let go and began this process my love for my ever changing body took on a completely new form. I have the ability to promote body positivity for what a normal, nourished body looks like. Now that I have my life back, I’ve never felt more energized, alive, and satisfied eating anything I want to eat. That includes things that come in a big plastic bag that have no inkling of the word organic on them or “all-natural” on them.
As much as I basked in my lifestyle, I knew it was time to come to an end. How could I travel to Paris and not enjoy a warm pain au chocolat or sweet Nutella crepe? That would be equivalent to robbing myself of a real life. Or what about wanting to get a scoop of actual ice cream (not the frozen banana kind of ice cream)? Organic is great and so is non-GMO, local, sustainable, and all that, but it’s not everything. It’s a preference, and it’s just that. By sticking to one way of eating or excluding certain food groups your flexibility is gone, your relatibility is diminished. Food doesn’t have the power to impact your body as much as your mind convinces itself of.
So what does being a healthy, normal eater mean? It’s living a life that has to do with so much more than just food. It’s being mindful and intuitive with food, but not too mindful where you become obsessed with the quality and quantity of what you’re eating. It is being able to choose food you like and eat it and truly get enough of it, not just stop eating because you think you should. It’s allowing your body to fall into place where it’s meant to be, and accepting every bit of that. Whole health is allowing food and eating to take up an important part of your life, but not your whole life.
At the end of the day, food is just food. I’m open to all kinds of food now. I still want to nourish my body and enjoy high quality food, but I also want to live my life. I want to find myself in Italy enjoying a fine truffle pizza or enjoying creamy cookie dough ice cream with my nieces. I want to live my life and I don’t want to be chained down by food rules and restrictions. I want to be free. That’s just what I’ll do and I encourage you to do the same.