We deserve to love the food we eat, and have total emotional freedom in choosing the foods that we eat.
I have strong opinions, and sometimes they come out wrong. So let me preface this post by saying that this is not pointed toward anyone with a legit food intolerance or food allergy. It is about the “wellness” industry, and their demonization of food, and infallible capabilities to turn a food-related illness into a fashion statement.
A page on Instagram follows me, touting robust and healthy meals. Hooray! Only to disappoint me with “gluten free” or “keto friendly” or “low carb” or “weightloss goals” etched into their bio. Heavy sigh. Let the food shaming begin.
A “mom blogger” with a large following announced this year that she was “going off of carbs!” She was tired of her quarantine weight. I understand wanting to change something when you’re not happy with yourself. But now her nearly 3 million followers see her (already thin frame) trying to disappear even faster by eliminating half of the available foods to her… so I quickly unfollowed. What a toxic way to use your platform. I was horribly disappointed, and I hope all of her followers remember that they don’t need to mimic her impulses.
So what is “food positivity?”
Just like the body positive movement, the food positive movement should include all foods. All shapes, sizes, colors, and abilities.
I am not suggesting sitting around eating donuts all day. However, if you decide to go on a donut diet, that’s totally cool. Your body, your choice, right? I will not shame you, or suggest that you do anything different. I will probably ask if I can share. And maybe bring coffee. I do love donuts.
I know, I know. Some of you really can’t hang with dairy. Or gluten. Or potatoes. Or grains. Or food. And your body is just too… wrong in all ways. (no it’s not)
First and foremost – your body is perfect. The way it is. Today. Today your body is perfect. Tomorrow it is perfect. And yesterday, it was stunning. And you know what? Those facts don’t have anything to do with what you did or did not eat on any of those days. Change the dialogue you use with yourself.
“I am beautiful!” “My body is so good to me!” “I eat when I’m hungry!” “I stop when I’m full!” “I am happy!”
Secondly… it’s not that I disagree that some people should avoid some foods. I do believe that some people have real allergies and real intolerances. That is not what this blog is about.
When a food allergy/intolerance becomes a fashion statement, that’s when I get frustrated. That’s what this blog is about.
Every diet demonizes at least one very wholesome, perfectly harmless, food group. Sometimes, they take on half a dozen foods at a time! We are programmed to believe that every time we eat a forbidden food that we will become ill, or fat, or ugly, or less than. If you are truly allergic/intolerant to these foods, that’s one thing. But if you’ve just been convinced that a food is “bad”, you maybe need to think again. We’ve all been sold a bill of goods.
When you inevitably get the idea that you need to “change something about your diet”, ask yourself these questions:
- What is wrong with my body?
- Why do I think that is wrong?
- Who thinks that is wrong?
- What are these people trying to sell me anyways?
Really explore these questions. Do you want to get rid of your love handles because you want to? Or is it because you need to please someone else? (you don’t)
Try this: Look at your most hated parts, and say very nice things about those parts (love handles included). See how they feel, and pay attention to how much those parts love you right back. Get in tune with your very own body, and silence all of the nay-sayers. Your body is on your side!
Another tricky thing that diets like to do – Convince you that they have super powers.
Diets make you believe that by following their rules, and eliminating all of those dirty bad foods, that you will become Wonder Woman. You will smile a healthy smile, you will have boundless energy, clear glowing skin, and youth everlasting. When a diet makes these wondrous (and oh-so-tempting) claims, ask yourself another set of questions:
- Can a food actually rob me of my Wonder Woman status?
- What non-food related change can I make to improve my life?
- What kind of a person suggests that my mother’s chocolate chip cookies are bad for me?
I do think that food and nutrition are important. I think that our bodies are wondrous machines, and food is fuel (as well as medicine)! I am a huge champion of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein. I will happily talk to you about all of the ways to healthify your diet.
But I will never ask you to take a food away from yourself. It just isn’t necessary. Our bodies are made to have food. It doesn’t need to be any more complicated than that.
a nutritious substance that people eat in order to maintain life and growth.
Here are the three things I always ask myself before considering any dietary adjustments:
- How is the quality of my sleep?
- How is my digestion?
- How is my overall mood and energy level?
If any of those areas are lacking, first I get more sleep. Next, I meditate. Maybe I take a walk on a sunny afternoon. I’ll possibly throw in an extra piece of fruit at breakfast. And you know what? That’s usually all it takes to get me back to feeling like myself.
Food is not the enemy, but I’m pretty sure the wellness industry is.
We deserve to love the food we eat, and have total emotional freedom in choosing the food we eat. THAT is food positivity. Let’s celebrate it.
You are already perfect, carbs and all.
You are already perfect, carbs and all.Tweet