If you follow “foodie” instagram accounts, blogs, etc. you’re likely bombarded constantly by messages about how to eat. Eat clean, eat vegan, low carb is best, paleo will cure your every ailment, sugar is the devil. OR you might be seeing the opposite. Eat the cookie, have your cake, don’t stress about your food, carbs are the bomb (not wrong), burgers and fries are fine. So what should you believe??
It’s complicated, but most of all it’s personal. Overall I personally lean a little towards the second scenario. Intuitive eating, health at every size, and set point weight theory are all things I currently find positive and really interesting. Still, I think there are just too many opinions out there being pushed on others. If people eat too many sweets, they’ll hear that sugar will kill them. “Bad foods” being demonized is, in my opinion, a more longstanding and negative issue, but now even eating too healthy can be labeled a problem. Orthorexia is undoubtedly real, but I find myself being sucked into the judgement and wondering if others will think I am the health police if I order a salad or vegetarian entree, but those are things that I like!
What’s most important about your personal eating pattern is how you feel. Nutrition is so highly individual. I personally don’t eat ice cream, but not because I think it will lead me to disease, it just doesn’t agree with me. When choosing your foods it’s important to think about your motivations. Are you avoiding a food because you feel better without it, or are you avoiding a food for weight reasons?
Sometimes I hear the intuitive eating message so strongly that I start to judge my own “healthy” ways. Of course this is not the movement’s intention, but I feel guilty for passing on a glass of wine or some creamy mac and cheese even though it’s because I either don’t like them or don’t feel great after (or both!) We need to all drop the judgement around food. Intuitive eating is a great thing that I think everyone should get back to, but we should all do it in our own personal way. Find out what your body truly craves and thrives on. Then don’t give a second thought to what anyone else is eating!
Health is important. Fruits and veggies are so important. I do incorporate a lot of healthy foods, but I also know the mental stress and anxiety of elimination and denial of too many foods. It’s a process of learning what your body loves, and a process of being confident in your own decisions and lifestyle choices – confident enough to tune out those of others.