Thinking out Loud 2/11/16: Don’t label me as “healthy”

February 11, 2016 in Balance / Recovery

Hi guys and happy Thursday! Going to be sharing some thoughts today as it is Thursday. Thank you Amanda for letting me share what’s on my mind today and the link up!

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Don’t label me as “healthy.”

*Everyone in the USA turns head with confusion and disbelief.*

Yeah, I don’t want to be labeled as the “healthy girl.” In a society that is health and fitness oriented, this is probably a huge shocker to some. But I don’t want to be labeled by the food I eat or the exercise I do. Because there is far more to me as a person than that. All of that is just the small stuff, all of that doesn’t define who I truly am.

I get annoyed sometimes when people label me as this. “Ahh you’re so healthy!” As I just get my salad with chickpeas and feta cheese and veggies and dressing and nuts. “You have so many healthy and organic snack choices! I need to start eating those kind of snacks too.” As I grab my Wild Friends peanut butter and apple. “Omg… the self-control you have! I wish I was as healthy and good as you!” As I say no to a piece of chocolate.

Quite frankly, those comments annoy me just as much as the “I can’t believe you ate all of that!” ones or the “Wow, you must’ve been really hungry!” type of remarks. All of these comments are uncalled for. I don’t see a need to comment on what/how much someone is eating. Because in my book, food isn’t that big of a deal. It isn’t a priority. When I’m out to lunch with a friend, the food comes as the second most important thing. The time spent with my friend comes as the first.

During the depths of my eating disorder, I had this desire to be labeled as the “healthy-nut, fitness-guru, clean-eating girl.” This is what I wanted to be known as: this label was the most important thing to me. When people complimented me on my food choices and the control I had, I experienced a sort of high. I was maintaining this label, I was doing something right. During the depths of my eating disorder, I also felt like I had absolutely nothing besides this label. I had absolutely nothing besides the identity of being the extremely thin, clean-eating, fitness obsessed girl. I was known as the girl who was so knowledgable about nutrition and what to eat and what not to eat. And that’s all I felt like I had. This label. This label as “healthy” in reality brought me nothing but unhappiness. This label as “healthy” brought me nothing but loneliness, it brought me nothing but a strained relationship with food. It brought me into a life controlled by food and exercise, and with this label: I lost the true Alyssa. I lost myself.

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“Calorie counting is not the catalyst to happiness.”

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“Today, I will not count calories. I will not eat numbers. I will eat food that will nurture my body and help it grow and thrive. I will not feel guilty. I will smile because I am alive another day in this beautiful world and because I am one step closer to being healthy and happy.” 

So yeah, I do get annoyed when people label me or think of me as “healthy” now just because I may get a salad one day or just because I say no to some chocolates one time. You don’t see everything behind the scenes- you don’t see me eating my freaking eating my cheddar bunnies at 10 p.m. I don’t want this label, I would MUCH rather have the label as being balanced. Of course it is important to eat your fruits and veggies and all that, but it is just as important to eat your chocolate and your ice cream. I eat “healthy” food, that is a fact. I love Quest Bars, greek yogurt, fruits, veggies, salads, veggie burgers, almond milk, almond butter, sweet potatoes. I genuinely enjoy the taste of all those foods. But you know what? I also love ice cream, peanut butter cups, chocolate chip cookies, dark chocolate covered almonds, frozen yogurt with lots of toppings, all that good stuff. And I eat all that stuff too. Because that is what is considered “healthy” for me now- including a wide variety of foods, not letting food control your life, not being consumed by calories and letting yourself eat what you truly crave. And for a lot of people, so many foods are off limits. People won’t let themselves eat certain things, people won’t let themselves eat cookies or chips or red meat or whatever they deem to be “unhealthy” for them. But in my eyes, “healthy” is defined as a diet where no foods are off limits. But so, so many people’s definition of “healthy” is the first one, and that’s why I don’t want to be labeled as that; that’s why I don’t want that identity. I want to be labeled by my personality, by my characteristics. That is what is most important to me now. Label me as Alyssa, the girl that loves to smile, the girl that loves to laugh, the girl that is kind and loves to help others. Label me as Alyssa, the girl that is reserved but also super silly and outgoing, the girl that is empathetic, the girl that is always willing to be there for someone. Label me as those things, remember me by that, not as simply the “healthy girl.”

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“I eat a little of everything. I hear that’s pretty unpopular these days.” -> My motto. Amen to that. 

No questions today, but I would love to hear your thoughts on this post! Thank you so much for reading. 🙂 

Hope you guys have a great day!

Sending my love as always.

Xoxo

Lyss<3

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26 Comments

  • Reply Lynne February 11, 2016 at 11:18 am

    Hey Lyss, I can relate to so much of what you have said. It is a great, deep post, and I love all your honesty.
    Sometimes I think, ‘so what, what people think’, it doesn’t matter. You know who you are, and that is important…but trust me I hear you.
    Have a great day further, my friend. x

    • Reply Alyssa February 11, 2016 at 1:18 pm

      Thank you for reading Lynne <3 that is all so true as well! Hope you have a great day as well 🙂

  • Reply Stephanie Leduc February 11, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    I could not agree more, I truly hate when I pull out a Chia pudding at work and get these disbelieving stares, and people start telling me that I am sooo healthy. Honestly, I think the worse that has happened to me is when a girl told me “I hate you for being so healthy” and I was so insulted. I don’t go around telling people I hate them for some dumb reason! Like you said, I don’t want to be defined as the girl who drinks green smoothies and eats Chia puddings, there is so much more to acknowledge then the food we are eating!

    • Reply Alyssa February 11, 2016 at 2:52 pm

      Ah wow, I can’t believe someone said that to you. People can be so ignorant! And exactly- we are so much more than the food we eat! Thank you for reading Stephanie <3

  • Reply Jillian February 11, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    LOVED this so much. Have an amazing Thursday babe! 🙂 xo

    • Reply Alyssa February 11, 2016 at 2:50 pm

      Thank you so so much babe. You too!! xoxo

  • Reply Marina @ A Dancer's Live-It February 11, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    I LOVE this, and this is pretty much what I deal with too. Just because I turn down dessert or don’t want to eat something doesn’t make me “weird” or “better” or “healthier”, I simply didn’t want it! I don’t want that label either! Not many people realize that listening to your body is actually a thing.

    “Calorie counting is not the catalyst to happiness.” PREACH GIRL!!! Have a beautiful day, Lyss <3

    • Reply Alyssa February 11, 2016 at 2:50 pm

      Yess, so true! I feel like not a lot of people do realize that listening to your body is a thing and is possible. Thank you so much for your support Marina! Hope you have a great day 🙂

  • Reply Sheena @ Paws and Pavement February 11, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    Totally agree with you! I hate those comments, look and you and your salad and carrots. Saying no to the office donuts….blah..blah. I don’t go wow you just ate a donut, fatty! I feel like it’s the same thing. Can’t we just it alone already people. Thanks for sharing, you aren’t alone!

    • Reply Alyssa February 11, 2016 at 3:57 pm

      Exactly! Striving for balance is so so important. Labeling people by what they eat does get so annoying! Everyone should just leave everyone alone with that haha. Thank you for reading Sheena!

  • Reply Megan February 11, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    Hit the nail on the head with this one. Those comments make me so mad too. Yesterday my brother asked me why I was eating peanut butter by the spoonful because it has “so much fat.” What you eat really is your business.

    • Reply Alyssa February 11, 2016 at 7:31 pm

      Amen to that!! I get so annoyed with people commenting on what others eat. Food is food and we need it to survive-simple as that! Thanks for reading Megan <3 xoxo

  • Reply Stephanie February 11, 2016 at 9:51 pm

    Hi Alyssa,
    I don’t know why we feel the need to label people. She’s the smart one, he’s the jock, I guess it is easier, so people don’t have to really look deep into the whole person. Hopefully people such as yourself will continue to get the message out there to STOP doing that and that we as people need to be more sensitive to each other!

  • Reply Catherine @ foodiecology February 11, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    Great perspective, Alyssa. To me, balance (eating the nutritious *and* the good-for-my-soul foods) = heathy. There’s room for salad and there is definitely room for ice cream! 🙂

    • Reply Alyssa February 12, 2016 at 1:39 am

      Yes!! Balance is my definition of healthy too. And so true- there is always room for ice cream 🙂

  • Reply Julia @ Lord Still Loves Me February 11, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    OH MY GOODNESS YES. I feel this a lot. People do it all the time, when really, I just want to be… me.

    • Reply Alyssa February 12, 2016 at 1:40 am

      Thank you for reading Julia and I am glad you agree! <3 Hope all has been well!

  • Reply Kate February 12, 2016 at 12:34 am

    “I eat a little of everything. I hear that’s pretty unpopular these days.” <— I love that! It's so true for me too. And the more I learn about nutrition, the more I think it's the best way to be!
    I've gotten a flurry of comments over the years, sometimes about eating a lot, sometimes about eating too little. It's annoying! Too bad their isn't a nicer way to say "mind your business", haha.

    • Reply Alyssa February 12, 2016 at 1:53 am

      Loved that quote so so much! And I do too- I wish there was a nicer way to tell people to just not be nosey with what I am eating!

  • Reply Ellie February 12, 2016 at 12:52 am

    I recently read an article titled “No food is healthy.” Meaning that we cannot get all nutrients from a single food. Kale is not healthy because it we only ate kale, we would die. Steak is not healthy because if we only ate steak, we would die. Different foods are nutritious, some more than others. Healthy has gotten so skewed I don’t even know if it is a compliment to say something is healthy anyway. Good for you!

    • Reply Alyssa February 12, 2016 at 1:41 am

      Amen to that article!! And so true- healthy really has gotten so skewed nowadays. Thank you for reading Ellie 🙂 Hope all is well!

  • Reply Sarah February 12, 2016 at 2:26 am

    Wow, I relate to this post so much. I always get labeled the “healthy one” by my friends and just random strangers. They’ll make comments about my food choices and exercise habits. It doesn’t effect me as much now as I am farther into my recovery journey, but the comments definitely still get to me and trigger those ED thoughts. Sometimes I laugh it off and am like ” ya I have to eat a lot with this crazy metabolism,” or “Haha, ya I need to work on not eating SO healthy.” But it’s definitely very awkward and I struggle with it a lot. I think my reaction (and attaching my identity with being the “healthy one”) is something I need to work on.

    • Reply Alyssa February 12, 2016 at 7:43 pm

      Laughing it off is the best way to handle it sometimes. Thank you so much for reading Sarah! Your support is greatly appreciated <3 xoxo

  • Reply Kaylee February 12, 2016 at 4:44 am

    This was too on point! Whenever someone makes a comment on what/how/when/etc I’m eating, I definitely am taken aback; it makes it that much harder to recover when people always have something to say about what you’re eating (or what you’re not eating). You can never please them.

  • Reply Taylor February 12, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    Your post is spot on!! It definitely makes me think about the comments I give to others… especially when I view it as a complement. I totally agree with you that I would rather be labeled as balanced. My motto has and always will be “moderation.” I think it is so importance to strive for balance in all aspects of life. Really powerful post! You are awesome!

    • Reply Alyssa February 12, 2016 at 7:40 pm

      Thank you so much Taylor! Love that motto too. And YOU are awesome as well 🙂 xoxo

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