Hi guys and happy Monday! Hope you all enjoyed your weekends. Going to be linking up with Julia today for another Mental Health Monday!
“Am I disordered for wanting to eat healthy?” A lot of people have asked me this question, and I have asked myself this many times as well. “Does it make me disordered if I want a quinoa salad for dinner and vegan ice cream instead of regular ice cream for dessert? Is it okay for me to want to eat food full with nutrients so I feel good?” These are just some examples of different things people have asked me. The thing is there is no right or wrong answer. I’m just going to be sharing my thoughts on this with y’all and I am not saying I am 100% right- I’m just a 19 year old blogger conveying some thoughts on my mind that will probably spill out like a word vomit. So let’s just dive right on in.
“Old ways won’t open new doors.”
The thing is, whole foods trips make me as happy as a clam. Acai bowls and smoothies make me smile from ear to ear and having big bowls of oatmeal with globs of nut butter and banana makes for a happy Lyss. Seeing new granola and cereals at health stores or Japanese sweet potatoes the size of my hand results in me dancing like a 5 year-old in a candy store. But does it make me disordered for liking all these things? Am I considered disordered for choosing Love Grown cereal over Lucky Charms and Earth Balance coconut peanut butter over Skippy peanut butter? I don’t think so.
The thing is, eating foods full of nutrients makes us feel great. That’s a given-we all know that eating our fruits and veggies is important. But taken from the view of someone who has struggled with extremes, we can’t take things too far on either spectrum. I was full-blown orthorexic for a year, and the year after I didn’t care what was going into my body as long as it came right out and I felt empty (where the laxative abuse started to come into full-swing). Following residential treatment where I was fed pretty normal food and snacks (grilled cheese’s, eggo waffles, pizza, goldfish, ravioli, quaker oatmeal, teddy graham’s, etc) I swore to myself that I had to stick to this type of eating and that if I went into Whole Food’s and got something as simple as flax seed crackers, I would go on a downward spiral and lose all the progress I made. I was stuck in black and white thinking, and it took me several months to get out of it and actually enter a Whole Food’s again. I remember telling my mom that I didn’t want to be afraid of anything. I conveyed to her that I never wanted to become obsessed with healthy eating again, but that I did want to branch out from what I was eating and add variety to my diet.
And after that Whole Food’s trip that I was so afraid of, I didn’t become hooked on healthy eating and infatuated with it. The variety in my diet expanded and it led to more food freedom. Fast forward almost three years from that day, and I can tell you that I adore Whole Foods and even though it can add up sometimes, I love allll their stuff. And their salad bar/hot bar. Another thing I can tell you? I really do love putting good, nutrient filled food into my body. Because I think we should all give our bodies good food and treat it with respect. But does that make me disordered? No. And here’s why I think that: I am an advocate in fueling your body with wholesome foods, but I am also an advocate in fueling your body what it craves. And sometimes that isn’t foods with all the nutrients. That’s okay because nothing is off limits! That is the huge difference between my mindset now and my mindset in the past. I don’t label treats as “bad” and a salad as “good.” I label it food- some filled with nutrients for my body and others filled with nutrients for my soul. You see what I’m sayin’? You catchin’ my drift?!
“Soon, when all is well, you’re going to look back on this period of your life and be so glad that you never gave up.”
What I do considered disordered is putting food off limits. Because when we do that, we feel deprived and we take away that healthy relationship with food we should have. If I say I can’t have a cookie because it isn’t “healthy” and filled with nutrients, I am not even thinking about whether or not I actually even want the cookie. I am fixated on how healthy the foods I eat are and disconnecting myself from what my body is telling me. If I am afraid of food besides kale salads, banana nice cream, etc. then I think my desire to want to eat healthy is driven by the fact that I am afraid of putting less nutrient dense food into my body because I believe that food to be “bad.” There is nothing wrong with wanting to fuel your body with all the fruits, veggies, healthy fats (coconut oil and nut butter aka my loves), grains, etc.; but what is wrong is when you deny yourself of certain things because of this extreme desire for health. Because in that desire to be pure and nothing but healthy, you end up losing that good mental health along the way. And we all know that is also essential for our well-being.
So yes, sometimes I do want all the acai bowls and huge salads from Whole Foods, but having those foods doesn’t make me disordered. I genuinely enjoy them and they make me feel gooood! But you know what too? McDonald’s ice cream cones and smores make me feel pretty dang good too. It’s all about finding your balance, which is so freakin’ hard- I know!! But I also know you all can do it, because it is possible. Your bodies are one powerful tool, and it’s so essential that we keep listening to them! And I’ll meet you all somewhere between an acai bowl and an ice cream cone, because I think that’s the best place to stand: right in the middle of it all. That’s where it’s the most comfortable. 🙂
“Your mind will always believe everything you tell it. Feed it faith. Feed it truth. Feed it with love.”
No questions for today, but I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic!
Have a wonderful Monday friends!! Have an amazing day <3