“My body is finely tuned like a microchip and the flu is like a grain of sand; it could LITERALLY shut down the entire system.”
As some of you may have picked up on, I’m a bit of a health nut. In an effort to make my recipes healthier and more nutrient dense, I often over-correct and end up producing something almost indistinguishable from dirt. I actually am writing this blog post as I sip on my morning cup of dirt (I mean my second attempt at superfood coffee) and wanted to take this moment to share my thoughts on healthy eating choices.
I see a lot of my peers focus heavily on what they ought to avoid in order to attain their media-fueled images of perfection. “No more carbs!” “No more candy!” “No more snacking!”. While these prescriptive rules are said with good intention, they are missing the target as far as I’m concerned. In an effort to create healthy habits for your body, you are creating unhealthy habits for your mind.
Our bodies are our homes and similar to our home, we want to build it with the best materials we can afford. Shifting our focus to all of the nutrient dense foods that we can fuel ourselves with takes the negativity out of eating and removes the shame spiral that some feel after meals. There is no point in working towards an image of “perfection” if you are destroying your self-worth and body image in the process. There are happy people and sad people on every end of the physical spectrum and changing the number on the scale will NOT bring you happiness.
If you feel like you are building a negative relationship with food in an effort to lose weight, try re-framing your goals. I encourage everyone to participate in self-improvement in whatever form they deem necessary but please be gentle with yourself. Instead of feeling sick when you look in the mirror and feel dissatisfied with your fitness progress, switch gears and think about how you feel. Do you feel lighter on your feet? More energized? Are your clothes fitting you more comfortably? How are you sleeping at night? How can you switch your diet and lifestyle to improve these areas?
If you are in the position to try something you’ve never tasted before, go for it. Enjoy new things. But if you are wringing your hands over a slice of pizza, consider this: you know exactly what that pizza will taste like and how you’ll feel afterwards. You can have that pizza any time. In this isolated moment, is there something else that would satisfy that craving but also fuel your mind and body more effectively? Every meal is a new chance to make better choices so there is no need to set long-term restrictions that will soon be broken and leave you disappointed in yourself.
Okay. I have LITERALLY become Chris Traeger. It’s time to go.