For a health coach and someone who’s had true ties with clean(er) food, raw food, vegetarian food, lean meats, etc. This may come as a shock but I gave all of that up for my own sanity and well being – and haven’t looked back.
Though I’m all for eating right for your body and feeling at your optimal best, my body’s optimal best was more of an illusion having taking it too far. Plus, I’d hear someone sabotage their personal health by trying to follow all that’s “supposed to be” good for them simply made me cringe.
There’s a sense of obsession that makes this whole healthy eating thing an absolute waste – and it’s become so popular that a term has been given to it since the late 90’s: orthorexia – those who become consumed with food purity and quality that they restrict their diets in potentially dangerous ways.
Sure, taking great care of the only place you really have to live in is priority numero uno but consider the importance of food in general and the fact that there are many other factors that come into play, such as your sanity and the ever changing needs of your body.
To paint a live picture, a great example I can think of is weight training at the gym. We all know it does a body good to flex those muscles but what happens when all you focus on are your shoulders? What about all other parts of your body – what happens to them? They become neglected and can even turn into mush/weak. To the point that next time you try to stand on your tippy toes your ankles will give out because they haven’t been strengthened enough.
That’s what happened to me but with food. It was all about juicing, smoothies, raw foods (which then turned to real foods because my body didn’t take well to 100% raw) for me – but what’s crazy is that I dropped so much weight (on an already somewhat smaller frame) and kept going down because supposedly “the body knows when to stop losing weight” (please do NOT fall for this one!).
I ended up with a heart arrhythmia (which I’m still working to correct – if possible) and my Pitta (an ayurveda dosha) had become very unbalanced.
Zero processed foods. No extra sugars. Whole grains. Oh it was so good it had become so bad! But since going out into the public like an advocate for this clean, pure, natural way of eating, when the day came that I grabbed a bag of chips, I felt horrible!! (it was a bag of chips for crying out loud – SO not the end of the world!) But in my mind, it could have very well been.
Ever since having that internal beat down, I knew I had gone from healthy living to an unhealthy healthy way of life! And having this first-hand experience with colleagues and clients, I wasn’t prepared to continue down that road of imprisonment – nor promote it.
Whatever you believe, is really up to you but I think we can all agree that life is a gift and is meant to be enjoyed and celebrated – whether you want to stick around for years on end or for a short while. There’s a reason we get such pleasure out of hanging out with friends over cocktails or going on a date with your guy and ordering a shake for two – and no, it’s not the sugar. It’s the option of choice.
I like my croissant here and there, a slice of cherry pie, and an eggs benny for Sunday brunch. I like going to a coffee house to meet a friend and getting myself a tea latte (with whatever that tea bag is actually made of), going for cocktails when time permits (without having to think of the crapola that’s most likely in my fruity beverage of choice), and a thin crust cheese pizza on date night. Do I eat that way every single day? No, and I don’t want to. But when I choose to, I enjoy it…now!
Your choice should be due to what your body works at best – not through an obsession of what’s “good” and what’s “bad”. If you begin to see things aren’t feeling right, change it up right now – don’t wait!
I’m all for being hardcore at something but when it takes you into dangerous territory or into feeling trapped, why do that to yourself?
The whole idea of feeling healthy and energetic is to feel vibrant and free from pain and struggle.
This type of obsession causes a sense of entrapment; a fixation with eating only healthy or pure foods – and that’s not freedom, it becomes unhealthy.
Eating organic is great and all but when it goes to the extreme, that’s when the problems can begin. Giving up entire food groups or main nutrients, such as fat for example – which without it you don’t absorb all the fat-soluble nutrients your consuming and all of the antioxidants that are found in fruits and vegetables – simply because it’s been said someplace that “fat is bad” (it isn’t by the way), is a huge problem.
Learning to connect with your body is what’s most important. Be unapologetic and do good to your body, that’s what matters! Having an 80/20 way of living is the best option for most people – though I’ve heard a few 90/10’s.
Keep yourself in the safe zone and balance it out. Enjoying a more natural lifestyle isn’t just about eating, it’s about being your natural self – the version of yourself that’s not altered. Free to feel your optimal best.