Lately I have been lately been noticing lots of wonderful posts popping up– all questioning the “health” blogger comparison trap, and tackling the journey of intuitive eating.
I need to give a huuuge hug to Amanda (Running with Spoons), Megan (The Oatmeal Diaries), and Jenny (Peanut Butter and Jenny) for inspiring me and making me feel like I’m not the only one. All of these gals are at different points of their lives in terms of eating philosophy and intuitive eating, but they all agree: this whole issue of being the perfect image of “health” can at times do more harm than good.
These girls have all stirred up my emotions for the past few days, and really made me question my view of myself. Let me explain:
I am at a point in my life when I feel neither here nor there– I am not restricting my food intake dreadfully and feeling utterly depressed, but nor do I feel completely happy and whole– I’m not fully trusting my body or having faith in my eating habits.
I am feeling rather confused, to be frank.
Have I gained too much weight?
Am I eating too much?
Am I fat?
Can I trust my body to work itself out?
Will I EVER feel comfortable with myself, inside and out?
I don’t know where to go from here. This is as far as I got the last time I attempted to recover my disordered eating, before essentially “relapsing”. I don’t where things go from here. I have a half daydreaming of France, writing cookbooks, and revolutionizing the world of rats. And another part nastily sneering that I could never attempt these things unless my eating habits were “perfect” and my stomach was flattened out.
It sounds lame, but these are the things that have haunted me.
And until these amazing girls wrote these posts– and I read them– I felt like hope would not be forthcoming. I was simply waiting desperately for my next therapy appointment!
Something Amanda wrote really resounded with me, regarding blogs that can make one struggling with disordered eating feel like a fat overeater with an utterly imperfect life to boot:
“The truth is that no matter how good something looks on the screen of your computer, you never see the whole picture. Sure, someone may eat very little, exercise excessively, and still appear to have a life that’s all sunshine and rainbows, but you don’t ever hear about the darker side… and believe me, there is one.
You don’t realize that the person has no energy to do anything once they finish their workout, or that they need 8 cups of coffee or cans of Diet Coke to get through the day. You don’t realize that they can’t stop thinking about when and what their next meal will be, or that they choke down their egg white omelettes when they’d really kill for bagel with cream cheese. You never hear about the sleepless nights, the missed opportunities, or the health scares. But they’re there. They’re there and they’re very much the result of what happens when you fail to take care of your body properly – it breaks down, just like anything else. It may not happen instantly, but over time, the abuse and neglect will catch up to you, guaranteed.”
“Who did I think I was, eating a decadent dessert in the middle of a Wednesday afternoon? I should be doing homework or going on a run or buying veggies at the farmer’s market, not sitting outside with friends on a gorgeous day enjoying dessert. Then I realized I was pretty sick of always thinking about what I “should” be doing. I told those doubtful voices to shove it and promptly ordered a Belgian waffle covered in chocolate.“
“After thinking about it for awhile I realize that I eat foods like chia seeds and flaxseed not for the sake of enjoyment or nourishing my body, but rather, for the sake of being “the healthiest health blogger I can be!” I try my hardest to resist the urge to compare myself (and especially my eating habits) to other bloggers, but as I’m sure we all can attest – it’s damn hard! Especially when it’s a community so specifically focused on nutrition and health, I think it can definitely perpetuate an obsession with healthy foods and eating as “cleanly” as possible.”
I need to give big hugs and kisses to all these girls! Or send them some cookies…. or rats? No. Maybe not that last one :). (Speaking of rats, Vinny is relaxing on my lap as I write!).
He’s the best 🙂
Perhaps I’m pretty good, too.
What a concept.