My relationship with food has come a long way over the years. I’ve gone from hating my body to loving my body through a long journey of self acceptance, and today I thought I would share a little of my food philosophy with my readers to help you better understand the foundation of the topics and recipes I plan to post on the blog.
For me, the key to having a healthy relationship with food is simply being at peace with my body.
Our bodies are a gift, our temples, and the only ones we’re ever going to have. Once I started to respect my body for all the things it can do, like make babies, keep my heart beating, and give me strength every day to live, I started to love it for what it was and not for what it wasn’t. Now this did not happen all of a sudden. It took many years of hating and abusing my body before I made this realization. Not until I had my first child did I begin to clean up my behaviors (more out of necessity than choice), and not until a year or more after that did I actually start to love and respect my body.
I finally realized my body was not working against me, but that I had to start working with it if I expected to get the results I was really after, which for many years was just to be skinny.
This is not the case anymore. I want to be healthy and feel good in my body and live a long, happy life.
So what do I think is a healthy way of eating? I do believe there are healthy and unhealthy foods, but I don’t believe it’s unhealthy to enjoy both. I have been on every diet under the sun, and discovered that restriction is not something that works for me. Nowadays, I spend more time listening to what my body wants to eat, why it might want to eat it, and then deciding what I will have. I think more about how I will feel after. Will I be too full? Bloated all afternoon? Sleepy? Jittery? I no longer count calories, points, carbs, fat grams, etc. I’ve done that since the 5th grade and guess what? It has never made me get and stay thin, and it certainly didn’t make me healthy.
Regarding the types of foods I think are best, definitely cleaner and organic foods appeal to me. I feel a lot better when I eat fresh, whole foods. Think about it. Your body knows how to process these foods and it uses each part of that broccoli stem you just ate to make your body function at its optimal level. It does not, however, know what to do with the 32 ounces of sweet tea I love to pour down my throat. So it turns it into fat. And while my digestive system is trying to process all that sugar, I’m sitting there feeling like crap.
Food is fuel, so eating the good stuff is going to set you up for the activities and life you want to live.
Now, there are obviously times when my eating goes way off track, not to mention this is all a journey for me and not something I’ve been doing for years. I think this is normal and totally depends on where you are in life at the moment. While writing this I am pregnant with my second child, and this time many things changed in my life. Right from the beginning we had some decisions to make about money, and if I could stay home with my children this time around. Once we decided we would go for it I was nervous! Would it work out? Should I really give notice at work after having steady and good work for 11 years? How early should I give my notice? I would consider myself a stress eater and let me tell you, I was not thinking about how clean my diet was. I was thinking about the daily mental escape of fast food and just getting through it all. Now that I am at home every day and cooking more, I’m getting back into healthier habits.
It does not make you a failure if you don’t eat perfect all the time or even if you go on a total binge for months.
We are all faced with tough nutrition choices daily. We’re surrounded by junk, we’re super busy, and we don’t all want to spend our lives obsessing over every morsel that goes into our mouths. And if you do obsess about every morsel, you must be exhausted. I say, give yourself a break. Make small dietary changes one at the time and don’t beat yourself up if you go off course.
Create healthy habits, not restrictions!
So to sum it up, my food philosophy means:
- I eat what I want and don’t feel guilty about it. But, I try to listen to my body and eat what will make me feel my best.
- I am not a slave to counting or diets. I don’t have time for that. When I listen to my body, it tells me what I need to know.
- I incorporate fresh, real, whole foods into my diet and try to lay off of the sugar and processed foods.
If you’ve struggled with food, I want you to find the peace that I’ve found, too. Be sure to sign up for email updates and follow along on social media.