Happy Monday everyone! I want to chat about something that I really truly believe can be helpful to anyone who struggles with “eating healthy” or making “good” food decisions on a daily basis. I have heard a lot of people suffer from guilt after they eat something or feel bad about a meal they consumed that maybe was out of the ordinary for them. I think many people can fall into this category at times, myself included, but there is definitely a light at the end of the tunnel here. I have some freaking fantastic news for you if this is something you have struggled with in the past… there are no such thing as “good” and “bad” foods….
I don’t remember the last time a doughnut chased me into my car and tailed me all the way to work or a giant bowl of ice cream held me hostage in my living room after adding a few extra chocolate chips on top. Foods are not evil and they are also not a magical source of fuel that will make you grow wings and fly around your house in healthy bliss. Everything that you put into your body will be digested, utilized for energy if necessary, stored for later used, or excreted from your body. Yes, some foods will provide more nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and give your body a more efficient source of energy, but that doesn’t mean that they are “super” or have magical powers. We all know an apple has more fiber, vitamins, and minerals than an ice cream cone.
The term “orthorexia” was established in 1996 and is something that you may or may not hear pop up more frequently when talking about eating disorders. There is a fine line between trying to be healthy and being health-obsessed. Orthorexia nervosa is an intense obsession with healthy eating, not necessarily being thin or loosing weight. It’s sad to me as a dietitian that in a way our society has created this diagnosis. All of the muscle-pumping, ab flaunting, carb shaming folks out there who make unrealistic expectations for the average American need to think twice about what they post on their daily feed.
These extremes now seem like the “correct” way of living a healthy lifestyle. Uneducated or unqualified professionals are filling minds of those who are grasping for a purpose or want to feel happy and healthy with a bunch of hyped up crap. People feel guilty about eating a “bad food” or only want to share when they have something “super healthy” and clean. I’m all about sharing the food love and love to see people following their “fitness” or “health journeys”, but by all means please don’t let other’s experiences shape your feelings about yourself. Enjoy a treat when you really want it and DON’T fell guilty about it.
While I always preach moderation, not deprivation, I know this can be easier said than done. They key is to remember that everything doesn’t go down the drain from ONE meal…. ONE scoop of ice cream… ONE piece of cheesy, decadent pizza. You will be ok. Don’t beat yourself up because you had a pastry with your co-workers this morning at work. The day just started and a dark cloud doesn’t immediately appear once that pastry hits your tummy. Your blood will still flow fine, and I promise you won’t turn purple and fluff up like an umpa-loompa (how do you actually spell that??).
I felt like I needed to write this because after my last personal post, I received so many positive comments and messages that it made me feel like I need to keep sharing. Yes, I live for what I do and I promote eating for good health, but I am also human. I know that words of one can effect the actions of another, and I want to help squash negativity around these topics in any way that I can.
With that said… go kick some butt today and enjoy the rest of your Monday!