Dear Healthy Eater,
What is healthy? Kale salads and celery juice, right? Sugar is bad, right? You love the praise you receive from friends telling you they admire your healthy eating. They wish they had the discipline to count macros like you. This makes you feel superior, right?
Are you really eating healthfully if you’re counting macros, calories, or on a restrictive diet instead of listening to your body? Are you healthy for eliminating sugar from your diet since it’s our source for glucose, an essential nutrient for living and getting energy. Basically, you need sugar to live. You also need protein, fats, and dare I say CARBS!
Let me guess, you feel strong when you resist eating dessert and feel “bad” for eating a bowl of ice cream, right? Did you know cravings are a way bodies communicate to the brain what nutrient it needs? There’s a reason you can go all day eating leafy greens and low fat foods, then find yourself ravenous, searching for anything sweet or salty. Your body is craving the energy you failed to give it all day. But go you right? Go you for resisting your body…. And also being mean.
Healthy Eater, you are not good for eating X and not Y. You are not bad for eating X either. Food and health is not a moral issue. God gave us a liver and kidneys to do what expensive diet plans make us think we can’t do without them.
Have I scared you yet Healthy Eater? Are you bummed that you’re no longer a good person for eating a certain way? It’s okay. I promise it will get easier to tune out the Diet industries lies. When you give up “healthy” eating your mind and body will improve. Not tomorrow or next month, but it will. The results will last. You will enjoy food, but you won’t love it. Why? Because it’s just food. It has no moral value. However, you will love the times around food more now. I know this for a fact.
In the depths of my eating disorder, until very recently, I did not enjoy weddings, birthdays, or summer gatherings. I would worry days, hours and during about the food being served. I gave food so much power. I could not enjoy my mother’s amazing baking because I thought I’d destroy my body, that I would no longer be “good.” What a lie my eating disorder told me. What ended up happening is I hurt her feelings. I missed out on social events. When I did attend events with food, I was not engaged the whole time. I was worried I’d “be bad,” and I was also hangry which made me no fun to be around.
Today, I am very particular about food. I think I just have a very “refined” pallet! (Plus, I am making up for years of blah food). The difference now is I can eat the bowl of ice cream even if I’d prefer a bowl of strawberries. It doesn’t make me feel bad or regretful. Instead, I am happy I get to enjoy the sweets of life with the people I love. I can also eat foods I hate at a guest’s house just to be polite. I surely do not love every food. I do love “healthy” foods, and I naturally crave them. However, I also really enjoy cheesecake, and I eat it whenever I please. (Thank you Cheesecake Factory for being 5 minutes away).
Oh, Healthy Eater, I pray you can give up that identity. You’ll truly be healthy and you’ll find a greater purpose in life than counting macros, meal prepping, and checking labels of foods. You will live, and I am a true testament to that truth.